Clallam County to discuss Climate Plan

ClallamCounty has a Climate Action Plan for its own governmental operations which sets the following carbon-emissions reduction targets:

  • 10% by 2012
  • 20% by 2015
  • 50% by 2030
  • 80% by 2050

At this coming Monday’s County Commissioner work session (Courthouse, Board meeting room 160, 9 a.m.), the Commissioners will hear an update on progress related to this plan.

This will not be a long report, but it’s important that the County has taken a position on reducing its carbon footprint and will now be accounting for its progress, and it’s equally important for citizens to hear that accounting.

A bit of history:

In 2008, the Commissioners established an ad hoc Climate Action Group (CAG) tasked with:

  • Conducting a baseline inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for County operations
  • Adapting and refining a plan for operations using the targets identified from the baseline inventory
  • Initiating a pilot intra-county office recycling program
  • Conducting a survey of commuters and commuting methods of all County staff
  • Collaborating with Clallam Transit and other local governments, tribes, businesses, organizations, and residents to strategize ways to further reduce vehicle miles

County employees from various departments participated in monthly meetings and teams were formed for:

  • Green House Gas Inventory
  • Commuter Solutions
  • Education/Public Relations
  • Material Matters  (recycling at Courthouse)
  • Energy

The Group prepared a Climate Action Plan that was adopted by the Board on April 21, 2009 by Resolution 35.  It included a recommendation for a dedicated employee to coordinate energy efficiency efforts across departments.  In 2010, Clallam County received a grant and initiated a Shared Resource Conservation Management program.  Interlocal agreements were entered into with the City of Port Angeles, Olympic Medical Center, City of Sequim, and Clallam Transit including technical support from the Washington Department of Commerce and Washington State University Extension Energy Program.  The County took the lead hiring a Resource Conservation Manager, who drafted a Facilities Resource Management Plan to define a framework to facilitate the long-term stewardship of natural and fiscal resources by

  • Optimizing energy and water usage
  • Seeking less costly alternatives to energy and water use
  • Utilizing purchasing strategies and electronic infrastructure
  • Exercising influence to promote sustainability

This draft plan was presented to the Board on June 18, 2012 with several recommendations, including creating a Facilities Resource Management Policy for Daily Operations and a resolution establishing the policy.  No action has been taken on these recommendations, and the Resource Conservation Manager’s position terminated at the end of June 2012.

The County Facilities Department has taken a number of measures in recent years to reduce energy usage, summarized in a recent memo.