Last week County Executive Director Onorato announced the creation of a Sustainability Manager and a Green Action Team to conduct a top-to-bottom analysis of government operations and “to identify ways to reduce the County’s ecological footprint”. This will mean looking at actions such as “adopting environmentally preferable procurement policies, expanding recycling in County-owned facilities, providing sustainability training to employees, and expanding use of hybrid vehicles”. This is a welcome adjunct to the City of Pittsburgh’s Climate Initiative as approved by City Council on August 5.
The initiative announced by Dan Onorato will also have a bearing on the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Although this plan has been a long time in coming, it may now actually benefit from incorporating forward looking ‘green’ practices. According to the press release last week, the comprehensive plan recommends
- Expanding the region’s parks and trails system
- Protecting and enhancing the environment and public health by promoting energy conservation and continuing to improve the County’s air quality
- Eliminating urban, agricultural and industrial pollution runoff to protect streams and watersheds
- Promoting transit-oriented development at key transit stations and along major transit corridors
- Promoting the use of green building techniques and energy-efficient housing design
- Encouraging developments that will minimize impacts on greenfields
- Providing incentives to develop certified green buildings
Comments on the plan are welcome and may be submitted on-line, or in writing c/o Kay Pierce, Manager, Planning Division, Allegheny County Economic Development. All comments must be received no later than 4 pm, October 23, 2008.