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Sustainability Plan Update

Item 4 - Presentation - Sustainability Plan Update

Videos

Staff Presentation

Files

Staff Memo ( 0.32 MB )
Sustainability Plan Annual Report 2019-2020 ( 5.32 MB )
Municipal Renewable Energy Program Summary ( 0.55 MB )
Sustainable Neighborhoods Program 2019-2020 Summary ( 0.65 MB )

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Open until 12:00 PM MDT 9/21/20

Dear Mayor and City Council,

First, I would like to thank you for putting sustainability on the council’s priority list for this year and for creating an additional position within the sustainability department (focused on water and energy). I want to thank the sustainability department as well for all their efforts mentioned in this report and especially for recognizing that true sustainability requires an integrated approach. I believe as such sustainability should be included in every City Council conversation and plan, and be addressed in every department.

In environmental justice cases we see that the environment is intertwined with social issues. The report clearly states that for sustainability we need a healthy community in the most general terms. I appreciate that the report identifies structural racism as a serious challenge that needs to be addressed. We cannot be healthy unless we tackle inequities within the city of Lakewood.

The report mentions COVID-19 as a disruption that offers us a lesson for the future when dealing with challenges such as climate change. I encourage the City to soon begin a climate vulnerability assessment as part of our preparedness for this looming challenge.

The report highlights Terumo as an example of sustainable business practices in our community, however the company also emits Ethylene Oxide. It has been established that the emissions fall within what the EPA considers acceptable. Yet, Ethylene Oxide is a carcinogen and a pollutant; we should not want any of it in our air. Just because it is legal, does not mean it is sustainable or healthy. Can we work toward reducing the amount emitted in order to improve the health of community?

Furthermore, I urge the City to reduce its municipal and facility energy use further to get on target and to set a firm timeline for rooftop on-site solar generation. The City should also increase the community-wide efficiency, for instance with policies like benchmarking requirements. Fort Collins, Denver, and Boulder have such requirements and these have a proven efficiency gain.

The City should also introduce beneficial electrification (replacing direct fossil fuel use with electricity in a way that reduces overall emissions and energy cost) programs; working on education and outreach, and persuading people to use electrification. Beneficial electrification does not only save the environment and cut greenhouse gas emissions but it also reduces energy costs for consumers. See the Rocky Mountain Institute’s report, The Economics of Electrifying Buildings (Billimoria et al. 2018).

Finally, tree canopy expansion is mentioned in the sustainability report, and with the current limitations on City spending this might not be on your radar. However, tree-planting programs have proven to contribute to cooling down cities and reduce energy use.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Dr. Elisabeth N. Moolenaar
(Ward I; Steering Committee Member Sustainable Eiber and active on Clean Energy Lakewood)

09/20/2020 11:00 am
Elisabeth Nicole Moolenaar
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