Truckee considering greenhouse gas policies
July 30, 2008
The Town of Truckee could limit greenhouse gas emissions as the state passes legislation on global warming.
Tentatively called the Truckee Climate Action Plan, a series of codes and ordinances would limit greenhouse gas emissions through building standards and land use.
“We may be able to get a little ahead of the state and also identify what we as a community want to do ” not just what we are required to do by [Assembly Bill 32],” said Town Planner Duane Hall.
Assembly Bill 32 was signed into law in 2006 was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020, according to the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board.
Truckee already has a history of exceeding state standards, Hall said, citing the town’s recycling program, which removes about 70 percent of recyclables from the waste stream ” compared to the 50 percent state requirement.
“We would be looking at policies and regulations in regards to energy efficiency, alternative energy like solar or geothermal, site design encouraging clustered development, and improving transit ” how do we get people out of their cars?” Hall said.
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John Eaton, president of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, said he is in favor of the plan.
“I think that’s a really good idea, it’s a global problem along with energy and fuel, and we have to attack both fronts,” Eaton said. “Conservation is the best way to do it.”
While no timeline for implementing such a plan has been identified, Hall said the first step will be getting the public involved.
Planning Commissioner Jeff Bender said while he is in favor of reducing energy consumption and using green building techniques, the town will have to be careful about the standards they require during the downturn in the economy.
“I say just do the right thing. If we reduce energy we spend less and get less green house gasses, whether or not they’re real,” Bender said.
Other cities and counties have already created climate action plans, Hall said, with Marin County starting a notably aggressive one.
In the meantime the town will require greenhouse gasses to be analyzed and mitigated in new developments like Hilltop, the Railyard, and the two planned communities in Coldstream and Joerger Ranch, Hall said.