Placer County approves first sustainability plan
Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the first-ever sustainability plan geared to combat greenhouse gas emissions.
“Climate change to me is very real and I want us to do everything that we can possibly do,” said Supervisor Cindy Gustafson, who represents eastern Placer County on the board.
The plan aims to reduce emissions that result from county operations including emissions from buildings, land use, transportation, water consumption and waste generation. While it doesn’t create or change any code it seeks to provide incentives in order to implement 68 strategies that will reduce carbon emissions.
“It’s really an issue that needs to be addressed,” said Supervisor Jim Holmes. “Maybe it’s not bold enough but it’s a start at a plan that we can adapt to.”
In addition to reducing emissions the plan will help lower energy costs, reduce air and water pollution, support local economic development, and improve public health and quality of life within the county, according to a staff report.
The unincorporated areas of the county reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 16% between 2005 and 2015 and met the state’s 2020 emission goals, according to Angel Green, Placer County Community Development Resource Agency senior planner. However, if nothing is done community wide emissions are projected to increase 87% from emission levels recorded in 2015 by 2050.
“This forecast shows what the emissions might look like in the future if no action is taken at the federal state or local level,” said Green.
In a separate effort to improve air quality in the Tahoe basin the county approved a two-year program that offers free fares for Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit bus routes in eastern Placer County in November.
According to a press release from the county, ridership has increased by 32% since free fares have been offered.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com or 530-550-2652.