The Energy, Environment and Natural Resources (EENR) Steering Committee took several steps toward addressing this year’s work plan at its fall meeting in Aurora, Colo. With a full agenda, the committee, led by Chair Claude Mattox, councilmember from Phoenix, focused on: sustainability and climate change; water infrastructure and supply; and product stewardship and waste reduction.
In addition to approving two existing resolutions on climate change, the committee approved new policy language relating to renewable energy and infrastructure siting.
Several speakers informed the discussion. Corey Buffo from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spoke about a green building code initiative to provide local governments with building code information. Joe Goffman from the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee provided an update on the status of climate change legislation in the Senate. Finally, Anders Riel Muller from Baltic Sea Solutions in Palo Alto, Calif., spoke about a new partnership to visually map local climate change initiatives.
After hearing from two speakers on different legislative proposals for funding the nation’s water infrastructure needs, the committee amended and approved an existing resolution on water infrastructure. Mark Pifher, director of Aurora Water, also spoke to the committee about Colorado water law, the Colorado River compact and the Aurora Water reuse plan.
Additionally, the committee approved new policy language on electronic waste and a new resolution relating to product stewardship.
Finally, the committee heard from Mike McHugh from Aurora Water about the impact of the mountain pine beetle on Colorado and western forests. Bark beetles were a priority policy issue for the committee in 2008. The committee approved new policy language relating to invasive species.
The committee voted to update and renew current NLC resolutions on water infrastructure, sustainability initiatives, climate change, climate change adaptation, bark beetles and environmentally friendly shoreline systems. Additionally, the committee voted to incorporate a recurring resolution on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program into existing policy.
Aurora Councilmember Brad Pierce hosted the EENR meeting. A number of related field visits were held throughout the meeting, including a visit to the city’s new municipal center, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Plains Conservation Center and the Peter D. Binney Water Purification Plant.
The EENR Policy and Advocacy Committee will meet at the Congress of Cities in San Antonio to review policy recommendations. The committee will meet on Wednesday, November 11, and welcomes conference attendees at the meeting.