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2008 Media Releases


Date:
April 21, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 525-1520


MAYOR ANNOUNCES ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES AT EARTH DAY CELEBRATION

As part of today’s Earth Day celebration at Antelope Park, Mayor Chris Beutler announced that local government will be taking several steps to further improve Lincoln’s environment. They include a commitment to enact fiscally sound policies and programs to reduce emissions associated with climate change; a contest to solicit ideas from City and County employees; and a reduction in City’s use of bottled water.

“We are very fortunate to live in a City with clean air and clean water, but there is still much more we can do to improve our environment,” said Mayor Beutler. “I’m a strong believer that City government needs to lead the way in setting a good example for families and businesses.”

Beutler asked the Mayor’s Environmental Task Force to identify projects the City can undertake to better manage its environmental resources and reduce its carbon footprint in a fiscally sound manner. As a result of its initial work, the Mayor signed an executive order reaffirming the City’s commitment to foster sustainability and the health of the physical environment. The action is a follow-up to the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement signed by Mayor Coleen Seng.

“I have directed City Departments to assess City operations and to develop action plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Beutler. “I’ve also asked our Public Works and Utilities Department to investigate a landfill gas utilization project. If it is technically and fiscally feasible, it will be implemented.”

Departments also are being asked to use energy efficient appliances and lighting, fuel efficient vehicles and landscaping that conserves water. Sustainable building practices will be used for all new City facility construction and for the renovation of existing buildings. City employees are encouraged to conserve water, reduce waste and recycle whenever possible.

The Mayor said the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners is joining him in a campaign called “Lincoln Lancaster Goes Green.” City and County employees are being asked to suggest ways to reduce consumption of energy, water and materials. The winner will receive a year of free curbside recycling.

The ideas will be judged by a panel of experts from the Lincoln Electric System, the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research and the University of Nebraska’s Department of Natural Resources. The Mayor thanked Midwest Refuse and Recycling Services, Recycling Enterprises, Star City Recycling and the Lincoln Journal Star for donating prizes.

Mayor Beutler also signed an executive order prohibiting City funds from being used to provide bottled water for departments unless specifically approved by the Mayor. An exception would be a workplace where City water is not readily available.

“We are here today because we understand that all of us have a role to play in protecting our planet,” said Beutler. “Let’s make every day Earth Day and help our community become an environmental leader in the State and nation.”


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