Please comment on Clallam County’s proposed new Greenhouse Gas ordinance

Dear OCA members with an interest in Clallam County climate planning:

See Item 7 of this past Monday’s County Commissioners’ Work Session, starting on p. 155 of the work session packet, which concerns a new draft ordinance on GHG reduction policy:

Please consider commenting on this draft policy as individuals. There probably is inadequate time for OCA to present formal comments of its own, unless one or more of you wants to prepare a document for consideration by OCA’s Executive Committee.

This policy is being considered in some hurry because lack of a GHG policy prevents the County from applying for certain Federal grants (such as for broadband expansion). For background, here are notes on Monday’s discussion of this item, taken by the League of Women Voters of Clallam County:

Item 7:County Greenhouse Gas Reduction Policy 358. Chelsey and Rich, County Staff, Elizabeth Stanley, County attorney, and Clea Rome WSU: An application for aBroadband access federal grant application requires this policy, as other federal grants will. Clea Rome is pulling together a cross-organizational team to set County priorities. (Climate Action Group) Commissioner Ozias regrets to take this step before that group, but it will give them a starting point.   Rich said this is not a complete policy but a starting point. It will need further refinement.

They discussed some wordsmithing to the policy. Elizabeth (County attorney) said that whatever they decide today is what will be published in the public hearing notice, so if anything needs to be taken out do so now. There have already been some comments from staff members and Clea.  Ozias invited Clea to speak. She said there is no problem with this being done before the Committee. They will have plenty to do. She has some language tweaking suggestions, and one employee said the policy should include consideration of work from home policy, which is now added. Ozias said Section 4.5 addresses work we will do, some but maybe not all will be done by Climate Action Group.

Ozias asked if anything is missing? Commissioner Peach said he is proud it relies on previous climate change work. He noted reliance on data, and previous public meetings. Commissioner Johnson had a few suggestions.  Ozias asked ClearRome to highlight the changes she suggests.  She put up a screen share which could not be seen on Zoom. One change was to strengthen the role of the County “commitment of action”. “will” instead of “has determined to.” Waste reduction strategy language was tightened up, added food waste.

Mark Lane said no one on County staff has the bandwidth to conduct an inventory: have we asked other Counties what is needed and what it costs? Rome answered that Port Angeles is currently conducting an inventory, has good consultant, and PA has an excellent cost free tool. It is not yet determined who will do it using the tool. The Climate Action Group (CAG) will identify what and who, and will update the EA tool. Ozias some investment will be required. He hopes the CAG could set goals and options. At some point there will be costs. Peach likes the EPA model, and referred to a data set of another board on which he sits. He would facilitate access to it. Rome said for a County our size there are many options for data collection. The CAG will analyze and recommend. She assumed the County will be in charge of community engagement. Johnson is concerned about including misinformation. Ozias said the language is “Support the public outreach effort.” Ozias said we have taken steps (for climate action) over the years, can communicate that. Rome said to be careful not to overcommit this CAG at this point. They are all people with full time jobs. Public engagement has to be a critical part of the plan, but tasking CAG alone for it is challenging.  All present agreed to the wording changes. Ozias thanked all three for hard work at short notice.

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