Roanoke County Sets Aggressive Goals for GHG Reduction
Culminating nearly two years of planning and analysis, the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors approved three resolutions yesterday, paving the way for a multi-year campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are widely acknowledged to be a principal cause of global climate change. Prior to introducing the resolutions, Cave Spring District Supervisor Charlotte Moore acknowledged the work of county staff, local scientists who provided technical expertise, Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition and several of its affiliates, and Roanoke Cement, a Titan America Company that provided funding for expert assistance to the County in this project. All three resolutions passed by unanimous vote of the five members of the Board of Supervisors.
Following the Board action, Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition’s Diana Christopulos commented, “We’re so grateful to Charlotte Moore, without whose efforts this great achievement might not have been possible. We are very excited to be a part of this landmark decision, and we look forward to working with the new citizens’ committee, the Board of Supervisors, and county staff, as they sustain their quest to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and strive toward a smart, clean energy future for our community.”
The first resolution was to accept the report of the ICLEI Planning Group, a task force of county officials and staff, academic consultants, and volunteers. This report detailed the measurement of the carbon footprint of the entire Roanoke County Community, with separate statistics for county government operations. The carbon footprint is a calculation of the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel combustion and other activities. Funding for expert assistance with this project was provided by Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition through a special grant from Roanoke Cement, an affiliate of the coalition.
The second resolution was to set a goal for reduction of the community’s carbon footprint by 3% each year for the years 2010 to 2020. The goal for the county government operation is to stabilize the level of emissions by 2012, then reduce it 3% per year for the years 2013 to 2020. Roanoke County is the second municipality in the Roanoke Valley to pass such a resolution. Last September, the City of Roanoke announced a goal of annual emissions reductions over a five-year period of 2.5% for city government operations and 2% for the community as a whole.
The third resolution was to authorize the establishment of and approve the bylaws for an action-oriented citizen’s committee to identify ways to reduce emissions and energy costs by developing strategies for improved energy efficiency and conservation in the community. This committee will be known as Roanoke County Community Leaders Environmental Action Roundtable (RC-CLEAR) and will consist of two citizens from each of the five magisterial districts, to be appointed by their respective Supervisor, plus one senior county staff member. The Board pledged quick action on appointment of members of the new committee.
In her comments, Ms. Moore recognized the following individuals and organizations who helped make these actions possible:
- County Staff – Dan O’Donnell, Assistant Administrator; Anne Marie Green, Director of General Services; Jim Vodnik, Assistant Director of General Services; Lindsey Hudson, Intern
- Consultants – Dr. Sean McGinnis, Senior Research Scientist, Green Engineering Program, Virginia Tech; Dr. Renee Godard, Professor of Biology, Director of Environmental Education, & Environmental Advisory Board Chair, Hollins University
- Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition – Diana Christopulos, Board Chair and Coordinator; Mark McClain, Director.
- Roanoke Cement – Don Ingerson, Vice President Sales & Marketing; Robert Marek, Sales Representative
- Breakell Inc. General Contractors – Nell Boyle, Director of Sustainable Business Practices