Amenia adopts Climate Action Plan

AMENIA — By unanimous vote, the Town Board adopted a local Government Operations Climate Smart action plan recommended by the Climate Smart Task Force at its regular meeting on Thursday, June 20.

The action followed a presentation by Michael Peek of the local task force serving also as a volunteer with the Dutchess Climate Action Planning Institute (CAPI). Peek reviewed the highlights of an extensive report developed from research conducted by the local volunteer Climate Smart Task Force to measure current emissions problem areas, and to develop goals and strategies to meet those goals.

“We’re interested in a sustainable future for Amenia,” councilman Paul Winters said, adding that he is a supporter of protecting the climate.

The final report was developed in cooperation with CAPI, as part of a process that may result in the town being named a Climate Smart Community.

Seeking to mitigate the effects of climate change, local governments are supporting programs that will reduce greenhouse gas emission levels (carbon dioxide) computed as a “carbon footprint.”

A local survey completed in 2023 identified three problem areas within the town that should be addressed. Solid waste emissions levels from the former town landfill were the most significant pollution factor in town operations, followed by town buildings and facilities, and then the town’s fleet of vehicles.

Winters urged the Conservation Advisory Council to confer with the Highway Department about any plans to shift to all-electric vehicles.

Councilwoman Nicole Ahearn noted that the Climate Smart Communities program carries built-in funding opportunities, an incentive for participating towns.

The report also looked to the future, setting out to reduce emissions from local government operations by one-third below 2019 measurements, and to achieve that goal by 2030, six years from today.

The plan may be viewed on the Town website under “Town News and Information.” Residents are encouraged to send comments to mpeek@ameniany.gov

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