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City Adopts Sustainability Plan

sustainability clip art generalOn June 19, City Council adopted a Sustainability Plan for operating the City in a clean, efficient, and environmentally friendly way. This was listed under the Top Ten City Council Priorities for FY 2017-2018. The Plan is organized around areas under the direct control of our local government and identifies actions to improve efficiencies, reduce energy and water use, increase renewable and resilient energy supply, decrease the amount of landfilled waste, enhance environmental quality, and provide superior service to the community. The Plan is divided into the primary resource areas - Energy, Water, Waste, Transportation and Green Space - and the operations of the City’s utilities - Water Utility, Wastewater, and Stormwater. Many of the strategies are guided by California’s ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals, first established under Senator Pavley’s 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act and expanded in 2016 to require emission reductions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. This legislation has led to a suite of State programs over the past decade to reduce GHG emissions from the energy, waste, and transportation sectors. In addition to climate goals, the State has strong environmental protection policies, which align with the high priority that the City places on preserving a clean and healthy environment for our community.

Some specific Plan recommendations include:

  • Upgrades and technology integration at City facilities, water distribution and wastewater treatment systems to reduce energy use and costs.
  • Analysis of potential for distributed energy resources, such as solar and battery energy storage, at City sites.
  • Measures to improve water conservation and reduce losses, improve customer information and engagement, and prepare for water allocations that will be part of the State’s “Making Water Conservation a Way of Life” program.
  • Expanded solid waste recycling programs, with an emphasis on organics (food and green waste) collection and processing.
  • Additional measures to protect local streams from pollution through the installation of trash full-capture devices to avoid trash entering the stormwater system in high priority land use areas.

The Plan recommends actions that will establish Thousand Oaks as a sustainability leader while incorporating new advances in technology, assisting the State in meeting its ambitious sustainability goals, and preparing for anticipated future legislation. A community Climate Action Plan, which will identify the ways in which the community can work together to further Citywide sustainability goals will be developed beginning next year. Look out for more news on that!

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