Climate blueprint warms up

SCEAC to ready green house gas data, energy recommendations

— In a few months, Schenectady County will have a better idea of its carbon footprint.

The Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Committee recently heard a presentation from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., on the County Energy and Climate Study, which is being conducted by VHB on behalf of SCEAC to help the County Legislature fulfill its Climate Smart Communities Pledge adopted in 2009.

The study will inventory greenhouse gas emissions and establish goals for the county and local municipalities to reduce carbon emissions. Federal stimulus funding was obtained by SCEAC to hire VHB to conduct the study.

Kim Lundgren, senior project manager at VHB, said the company has many connections already established in the state and will be able to provide avenues to pursue outside funding.

“We are thrilled to be working with Schenectady County and all of you on this exciting project,” said Lundgren. “My staff and my team have been working with local governments on climate change protection, green house gas inventories, sustainability … for over 10 years.”

Green house gasses started to be inventoried in July and the count is expected to be completed around the middle of December. Once the data is released to the public, at least two meetings are planned to be held to solicit input on the Climate Action Plan, which is scheduled to be completed in May of 2012. The Climate Action Plan has to be completed by that time in order to obtain NYSERDA funding awarded to the county.

The county’s timing to focus on green efforts is good, said Lundgren, because of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent push to have greener communities. She added being able to apply a regional approach could also help obtain funding from the state to pursue projects.

“I think the timing is great … because the state and Gov. Cuomo have really pushed forward this greener and cleaner communities program,” she said.

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