Planning for a Sustainable Future
A Guide for Local Governments
                       Green Jobs Chapter


Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Sustainability Planning                                   4

      What isSustainability?                                                  4
      Climate Change: The Challenge of our Generation                           4
      Reasons to Plan                                                       5

2. Getting Started                                                         9

      Assess the Challenge                                                   9
      Climate Impacts: Identify Vulnerabilities and Prepare for Natural Disasters       10
      Work Through Existing Resources and Networks                            1 2
      Build Coalitions                                                       12
      Educate Colleagues and the Public                                       13
      Secure Funding, Reduce Costs                                           14
      Use a Planning Framework                                              16

3. Areas of Opportunity                                                   19

      Transportation                                                        19
      Land Use Planning                                                     23
      Biological Conservation and Open Space Preservation                       27
      Solid Waste Generation and Recycling                                    31
      Energy, Air Quality and Climate                                          37
      Protecting Water Quality and Ensuring Future Supply                        43
      Green Jobs                                                           49
      Green Building                                                        53
      Green Construction                                                    59
      Green Procurement                                                    65

4. Conclusion: Moving Beyond Planning to Action                          67

      Goal-Setting, Targets, and Performance Measurement Strategies               68
      Wrapping Up and Moving Forward                                       68

5. Preparing the Guide                                                    69

                  Introduction to Sustainability
                 What is Sustainability?

                 The   U.S.  Environmental  Protection
                 Agency  (EPA) defines Sustainability as
                 "meeting the needs of the present without
                 compromising  the  ability  of  future
                 generations to meet their own needs." In
                 other words, Sustainability attempts to
                 balance  the needs  of people today with
                 the future needs of our children and the
                 natural systems that sustain all life.

                 In  an   era  of  population   growth,
                 increasing economic competition,  and
                 environmental challenges  ranging from
                 climate  change to  air  pollution  and
                 decreasing water levels to rising energy
                 costs, planning is essential to our future
                 and the well-being of our communities.
                 Planning in  the face of these challenges
                 must  transcend traditional  zoning or
                 general land useconsiderations.ltcan also
                 promote Sustainability by  incorporating
                 the three "E's" - economy, environment
                 and equity - in plans for development.

                   Increasingly, many local governments,
                   ranging from towns and cities to counties
                   and regional partnerships,aretaking more
                   long-term,  comprehensive  approaches
                   to  economic  development, with the
                   goal of improving overall Sustainability.
                   They have  recognized that planning for
                   a sustainable future can bring real-world
                   present-day benefits to  our towns and

                   What are the best Sustainability practices
                   currently in use? How can a community
                   move from  an idea to a plan to successful
                   action? This handbook,  which includes
                   information gathered from  more than
                   two  dozen cities, towns and counties
                   across the  United States,  will answer
                   these questions and provide a roadmap
                   for  developing effective  plans  for  a
                   sustainable  future.
 Climate Change:

The challenge of our


 For  over  the  past  200  years,  the
 burning of fossil fuels, such as coal
 and oil, and deforestation have caused
 the  concentrations  of  heat-trapping
"greenhouse gases"  (GHGs) to increase
 significantly in our atmosphere. Human-
 induced climate change poses adverse,
 wide-ranging effects on a global  scale.
 All nations, states and local communities
 are  potentially  vulnerable  to   the
 consequences of climate change. Experts
 in the field of climate and earth sciences
 have projected that even if C02 emissions
 were to be halted immediately, adverse
 impacts, such as an  increase in extreme
 weather,  water  scarcity and  resulting
 heightened public health threats, would

extend to the world's largest city-centers and rural

Local governments have the power to strengthen
community-wide resilience in the face of changing
climate and reduce the effects of climate change by
lowering their greenhouse gas emissions. Changes
made by local  governments, no matter how small,
can  make a global difference.  Every day,  local
governments make  decisions that impact  energy
use, including those related to vehicle fuel, building
electricity use,  air quality, economic  development,
public health,  and  quality  of life.  Actions that
reduce greenhouse gas emissions can have positive
impacts on all of these factors. Sustainable, climate-
friendly actions can have positive benefits, including
reducing costs for residents and businesses, saving
energy and water, reducing waste, and preparing for
the future and  potential impacts of climate change.
Actions that improve sustainability for communities
can also bring green jobs to them.

Reasons  to Plan

1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Be  resilient in a changing climate.

3. Poise your community for green development.

ฉThis  guide  has been  updated to  address  cli-
mate change more explicitly in this edition. Climate
change is not only an air quality topic. Energy is used
to pump, treat  and heat water; using  recycled or re-
used materials  reduces the  amount of energy need-
ed to extract raw materials and  manufacture goods,
and  decreasing waste reduces  methane  emissions
from landfills. Therefore, saving water, recycling and
reducing waste also saves energy and reduces green-
house gas emissions.

      Look throughout the Areas of Opportunity for
      this globe-logo to learn about actions with a
climate benefit.
Taking Climate Action and Measuring Car-
 bon Footprint

This guide provides information that will not only in-
 crease your community's sustainability, but also help
 to  mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change.
 Because every community is different, the resources
 in this guide suggest specific actions to combat cli-
 mate change that fit your community. The first step
 in developing the most useful course  of action for a
 community is to create a community action group re-
 sponsible for climate change issues. The actions this
 group can take will also increase the sustainability of
 your municipality and are incorporated in more detail
 throughout this handbook.

 Most greenhouse gas emissions in communities are
 from buildings and transportation, and your commu-
 nity can begin to address these right away. For this
 reason, communities do not have to complete an in-
 ventory of greenhouse gas emissions to take action to
 prevent climate change. EPA programs can help you
 take these initial steps.
 Here are some examples of ways that local  govern-
 ments can make a difference:
• make smart land use choices that can  reduce vehicle
• provide access  to clean transportation, and multi-
 modal transportation (i.e., bus rapid transit, shuttles,
 bike lanes, and carpools)
• target schools and institutions for energy efficiency
• create more parks and green spaces, which absorb
• purchase renewable energy
• promote building retrofits and changes in local build-
 ing standards
• expand recycling and waste management system ca-
• change community values and behaviors

 While  not totally  necessary, an inventory  may help
 your community.  A municipal greenhouse gas inven-
 tory is a tool that measures the greenhouse gas emis-
 sions associated  with  local  government  operations.
 Once a municipal operations  are inventoried, many
 communities take the next step of completing a com-
 munity-wide inventory.  Tracing the "carbon footprint"
 of your community can  help planners to quantify and
 communicate the benefits of different actions, priori-
 tize future actions as well as justify costs for projects,


and make a strong case for grants and other external

Creating  a municipal or community-wide inventory
requires following a protocol for consistent quantifica-
tion and  categorization  of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Clean Air and Climate Protection Software (CACPS)
can help communities create inventories and analyze
impacts of actions on traditional air pollutants and
greenhouse gas emissions. This software and training
are available to members of ICLEI Local  Governments
for Sustainability and the National Association of Clean
Air Agencies  (NACAA).  However,  non-members can
also receive the software by contacting EPA directly.

Recommended Resources:

EPA's Climate Change Program

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability ฎ

Learn "Inventory 101" using EPA's online tutorial ฉ

EPA Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series
state-and-local/webcast.html ฉ

Northeast Report on  Climate Impacts - projected  re-
gional impacts of climate change ฉ
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency's Regional
Integrated Science and Assessment program (RISA)





Getting Started
Assess  the Challenge
The critical first step in developing a suc-
cessful sustainability plan is  an  assess-
ment of community strengths and weak-
nesses as well as current and future needs.
Every community is characterized by a set
of unique features - from its climate and
topography  to  local  development pat-
terns. The issues on which you focus will
determine the structure of your local sus-
tainability plan, but most of the municipal
plans discussed in this handbook cover
the following topics:
• land  use planning
•open space  protection
• energy, air quality and climate
• water supply, storm water and wastewa-
• solid waste and recycling
•climate change

Your final plan may include some or all of
these issues or other areas of concern, but
the overall goal is to be comprehensive
because many of these areas are intercon-

A look at the  best practices used by similar
communities can  provide a comprehen-
sive list of the opportunities and options
useful in  reaching sustainability  goals.
The following are some helpful questions
to ask in developing  community-specific
• What communities in your region or state
are facing similar challenges  in terms of
the environment,  climate change, popu-
lation growth and the local economy?
• What are the  similarities between your
community and others, and  what plans
have  been devised and/or implemented
to meet the challenges?
• Are there examples of "best practices," as
is  or  modified, to help your  community
reach its objectives?
 Environmental  threats,  economic pres-
 sures and  changing  regulations  often
 spur or drive planning efforts, so it's worth
 thinking through these related issues as
• What environmental, economic  or regu-
 latory impacts are the highest priorities?
 How were the priorities determined?
• What studies or projections (environmen-
 tal, land-use patterns, economic develop-
 ment) exist foryour community, region, or
 state for the next five, 10,20, or 50 years?
• What are  the regulatory requirements
 that currently apply or that may be devel-
 oped down the line?
• What is the potential for mitigating or pre-
 venting various threats and how difficult
 or easy will it be to implement change?
• QWhat are the potential synergies that
 might result from  tackling a range of is-
 sues at the same time?  For example, can
 improved  open  space  protection pre-
 serve biological resources and  reduce
 flood risks?  Can improvements to a gov-
 ernment's vehicle  fleet lower  its energy
 costs and reduce local air pollution?

 TIP: As your list grows longer, you may
 wish to employ a spreadsheet  or data-
 base of some kind.



 Start with a basic self-assessment. The
 National  Environmental  Services Center,
 funded  by  EPA, provides  a comprehen-
 sive checklist to jump start the process. Assmnt/

 Climate Impacts:

 Identify   Vulnerabilities

 and Prepare for Natural


 Protecting   against   natural   disasters
 should be a key planning  priority. Natu-
 ral  disasters will always pose  potential
 threats, but careful planning  can keep
 them from  becoming  management di-
 sasters. Certain  communities can  expect
 to see an increase in natural disasters due
 to climate change,  making  preparedness
 even more critical now. By assessing your
 community's vulnerabilities and  imple-
 menting  mitigation strategies, the poten-
 tial impacts can be reduced.

 Risk is determined  by evaluating the po-
 tential hazard  and  assessing the  vulner-
 ability to the impact. Although evaluating
 risk is often more qualitative than  quanti-
 tative, it can be useful to think about risk
 as a product of the hazard  multiplied by
 the vulnerability. Risk assessment  usually
 follows a three-step approach:
• understanding the nature, location, in-
 tensity and probability of the key threats
 in your area
• determining the degree of vulnerability
 to those threats
• identifying the resources available to
 manage or respond

 In evaluating vulnerabilities to  particular
 threats, it is common to consider:
• land use patterns, engineering of key
 infrastructure such as roads and bridges,
 and the architecture of the built environ-
• social factors related to the well-being of
 individuals, communities and society
• economic conditions, with  an under-
 standing  that distressed and low-income
 neighborhoods may have a more limited
 capacity to evacuate or recover
• environmental concerns, including how
 the degradation of natural areas such
 as wetlands can increase the damaging
 impacts of events
Particular care should be taken in evaluating
how risks associated with natural disasters
can be potentially compounded by the ex-
istence or condition of  human-made infra-
structure such as a flood  causing an over-
flow of a wastewater treatment plant. Your
emergency preparedness strategy  should
also  consider possible threats  such as the
potential for  an  accidental  or intentional
chemical release, explosion, outbreak of
disease, or even, depending on the area, ra-
diological release. Government agencies in
yourarea,such as police, fire and emergency
management, routinely  track and evaluate
these types of threats, so a multi-stakehold-
er approach that involves relevant local and
regional agencies is critical. In addition, it is
worth considering global threats such as cli-
mate change and population growth.



Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) Web site - preparing for disasters,
determining risks and planning for emer-

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Ad-
ministration (NOAA) - Community Vulner-
ability Assessment Tool

FEMA - HAZUS (Hazards US) software for
estimating potential losses from natural

The Climate Change Science Program   ฉ

NOAA - Regional Climate Modeling Tool
regional.php Q

International Council for  Local Environ-
mental Initiatives (ICLEI) Planning Locally
for  Climate Change, a climate change

EPA Regional Vulnerability  Assessment

Climate Risk Information by the New York
City Panel on Climate Change

EPA Events of National Significance
learning/national  response.htm

U.S. Forest Service book, Restorative Com-
mons:  Creating Health and Well-being
through Urban Landscapes
Center for Disease Control Natural Disas-
ters and Extreme Weather

ICLEI Global Platform for Disaster Risk Re-

UN World Conference on Disaster Reduc-

Portland Office  of Emergency  Manage-

The Sarasota County and City of Santa Bar-
bara Offices of Emergency Services

The NJ Natural Capital study

Work through  Existing Resources and


As you begin to create your sustainability plan, it's a good idea to take a look at related
work being done by other organizations in your area. Are there agencies conducting rele-
vant studies? Is there a local group involved in protecting open space, a business associa-
tion analyzing the impacts of growth, or a school program focusing on stream cleanups
or water quality?
Chances  are  that at least some plans,
studies and committees  have been cre-
ated over the years. Organize a meeting
with the coordinators of existing projects
to better coordinate your  planning.

Annual reports tracking water and energy
consumption  as well as wastewater and
solid waste generation should  be readily
available  from local and regional utilities.
Land  use planning  and  environmental
documents such as  open space preser-
vation  plans  and natural resource  pro-
tection plans, and environmental impact
statements and reports will also be useful
in identifying what has been done and
what needs to be done.  Anything older
than five  to 10 years may need to be up-
dated, but even  older efforts can provide
worthwhile guidance and data, which will
come in handy when targets are set and
progress is measured.

Once you've taken a survey of ongoing ef-
forts and historical data, the next step is to
look at the local  capacity  needed to man-
age the planning.

Build  Coalitions

Successful planning  efforts are typically
broad-based and encourage participation
by the whole community. By  partnering
with residents and existing groups, the
effects of your sustainability plan can be
amplified and staff workload can be mini-

Local volunteers are  a key group to con-
sider as part of  your partnerships, since
they directly benefit and  can  help make
the public  case  for your plan to  their
neighbors and friends. Organizing volun-
teer days and getting community mem-
bers involved in the planning process is
not only helpful, but required in some
areas such as land use planning.

Forming ad hoc committees or commis-
sions, overseen by government officials, is
another effective way to address  specific
environmental planning issues while al-
lowing interested  community members
to contribute their expertise. Inviting com-
munity members to participate in meet-
ings is a good way to recruit them to serve
on a committee. The Westchester County
Global  Warming Task Force in New York,
for example,  allows interested  commu-
nity members to work on specific issues
without being permanent members.

Local environmental groups are another
potential set of organizations with which
communities can partner during the plan-
ning process. Environmental groups often
bring specialized expertise in  areas such
as watershed protection or smart  growth
planning. Ensuring  that all local environ-
mental concerns are considered can help
create  broad-based support for the plan-
ning process. Some examples are  Denver,
Colorado, where the city has involved the
FrontRange Earth  Force in  its planning
process, and  Westchester County, New
York, which is working with the  Natural
Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and
Riverkeeper, among other groups.

Because environmental sustainability and
the long-term economic viability  of com-
munities are linked, businesses, business
associations and chambers of  commerce
are also important partners. Resource and
planning issues, such as the availability of

water, the price of energy and accessibil-
ity to transportation, are often of critical
importance to the local  business com-
munity. In addition, local businesses can
provide both  technical resources  and
funding for your sustainability planning

Along  with community members,  non-
profits  and business groups, other  gov-
ernment agencies are another key  con-
stituency to consider. For instance, a city
or town may want to, or in some cases, be
required to involve regional or state agen-
cies  in  their planning  process. Outside
agencies may be able to provide a wealth
of resources  and assistance,  including
grants, loans or other financing.

Academic organizations are also possible
partners. As members of the commu-
nity, universities, colleges and technical
schools may have a direct interest in the
local government sustainability planning
                                         process. In addition, these organizations
                                         can provide technical resources, research
                                         support and venues for public discussions.
                                         The  Montgomery County  Greenhouse
                                         Gas Task Force, for example, was devel-
                                         oped as the result of a project conducted
                                         by Pennsylvania State University graduate

                                         Faith  and service  organizations, transpor-
                                         tation advocacy groups and labor unions
                                         are also potential partners depending
                                         on the interests of local groups and the
                                         needs of the community.

                                         In creating workable coalitions, try to bal-
                                         ance  the desire for broad support from
                                         many sectors of the community and the
                                         need to keep the  groups from becoming
Educate  Colleagues

and the Public

Once you take your baseline, look at ap-
plicable planning approaches, and assess
potential partners, the next essential step
is to articulate the need for a plan to your
city, town or county government. As part
of your internal outreach, you may want
to create a project brief that outlines pos-
sible benefits, looks at costs and creates a
timeline for major milestones.

Based on an analysis of various sustain-
ability plans, the best ones  are concise,
discuss top-level  goals and  are not too
technical. They emphasize  the challenges
unique to  individual communities  and
the benefits of planning for  the commu-
nity. They also  make a combined appeal
to civic culture, area values and economic

Strong leadership is essential to the suc-
cess of your sustainability  plan. This role
can be taken on effectively by an elected
official, a planning or community devel-
opment department in the local govern-
ment, a community-based  commission, a
prominent local business or a hybrid ap-


 proach that combines all of these stake-
 holders. The  importance  of  leadership
 cannot be over estimated.
 In developing your plan, confirm that
 leaders in local government and  senior
 managers in implementing departments
 a re aware of:
• the implementation strategy and sched-
 ule for the programs
• the estimated labor commitment
 needed for program success
• when, how and what to communicate
 to employees on a regular basis
• how your prog rams align with current
 management plans and programs

 One of the most significant challenges
 in discussing  sustainability  is  creating
 greater public awareness of the interde-
 pendence between the environment, the
 economy  and community life,  and  the
 reasons they don't have to conflict with
 each other. Cooperation between  public
 agencies,  non-profit  organizations and
 the private sector can create compelling
 messages and materials to improve public
 understanding of the issues and  the plan-
 ning process. Effective outreach materials
 should be specific to your area and  based
 on the actual experiences of local people,
 organizations and the government.



 Place Matters

 Sustainable Communities Network
 html ฎ

 The Education for Sustainability web  site,
 created by the  Center for a  Sustainable

 The Green Chill Partnership
Secure  Funding,

 Reduce Costs

As initial planning is conducted and en-
vironmental objectives are being defined,
you will also need to consider how you
will fund the planning process and future
 projects. Just as each  municipality's sus-
tainability plan will vary, so will their ap-
 proach towards funding.

Some municipalities find supportthrough
government  grants   programs. Various
grants are available  from EPA, the U.S.
 Department  of Energy and state depart-
 ments of environmental  protection. For
example, the Burlington  Legacy  Project
 in Vermont  was funded  in part by an
 EPA Sustainable Development Challenge

TIP: Prepare your organization to apply
for grant  opportunities  by  registering
your  search  parameters  and  automati-
cally receive an e-mail notification of new
grant  opportunities.

 Public-private  partnerships are also po-
tentially valuable financing  tools. The
 United States Conference of Mayors pro-
vides  numerous examples of municipali-
ties teaming up with non-governmental
organizations, utilities, water boards, busi-
 nesses and other partners. Not only do
such efforts frequently result in funding
to help in reaching  sustainability goals,
they also help foster support for planning

Among the  most frequently cited and
successful sources of sustainability fund-
 ing are programs that result in cost sav-
 ings. In some cases,  upfront investment
 in long-lasting infrastructure — projects
that are amortized over decades  — can
 be offset by long-term savings.

According to the United  States  Confer-
ence of Mayors, typical cost savings come
• energy reduction strategies (e.g., on-site

 renewable energy or replacement of
 lighting with high-efficiency alternatives)
• purchase of low-energy appliances
•green building projects
• vehicle emissions reduction programs
 such as the replacement of leaking gas
• arbor projects that add shade and/or
 create natural stormwater buffers
• recycling programs
•education and training
• traffic-signal optimization

 Weighing the  benefits and costs of a
 given approach is  a  frequent first-step
 in the budgetary process, but it is rarely
 straightforward,  especially when  assess-
 ing environmental  benefits. How does
 one quantify the value of clean air, open
 space, a  pristine shoreline, quality of life,
 or, for that matter, human lives, especially
 those of future generations? One broad
 rule of thumb is that it is usually best to
 start  with the  most pressing problems
 and those that lend themselves to the
 most  direct and cost-effective solutions.
Then  use a systematic planning approach
 such  as an  environmental management
 system (EMS),  described in the next sec-
 tion of this handbook, to continue to  im-
 prove performance over time.

 It is also  important to consider the full
 cost and full benefits  of each approach
 to determine an accurate payback period.
 For example, preventing sewer overflows
 into rivers and seas can  improve drink-
 ing water, aquatic-based commerce and
 tourism.  Electricity  and  fuel-saving  pro-
 grams can reduce operating costs, and re-
 cycling materials, like aluminum  and cop-
 per, can be lucrative.The payback periods
 may be shorter than you think. In just one
 instance, the San Diego Refuse  Disposal
 Division saved  $868,000 in  heavy equip-
 ment and diesel charges by shutting  off
 equipment during breaks and lunch peri-

 opportunity calculator to estimate the
 payback period for  investments. ENERGY
 STAR  is a joint EPA, U.S. Department of
 Energy  program that  helps businesses


and individuals protect the environment
through superior energy efficiency.


EPA and other federal grant opportunities

The U.S. Department of Energy database
of incentives for  renewable energy and
efficiency ฎ
U.S. Department  of Energy Funding
Energy Efficiency
The U.S. Department of Housing and Ur-
ban  Development  -  Home  Ownership

EPA's Guidebook of Financial Tools: Pay-
ing for Sustainable Environmental Sys-

Center  for American Progress  Green
Recovery:  A Program to  Create  Good
Jobs and  Start  Building a  Low-Carbon
issues/2008/09/pdf/g reen_recovery.pdf

EPA-industry partnership to reduce green-
house gas  emissions from businesses
Use  a Planning


Even the most  successful sustainability
planning effort  needs a systematic ap-
proach for managing  and reducing  envi-
ronmental impacts. Environmental  Man-
agement Systems (EMS) provide a vetted
                       3 jr.
                     and iss
  Survey environmental impact
and issues Assess environmental
       activity plans
      Management review
        of operations
      Internal audits
      Corrective and
      framework that allows communities to
      address both specific and broad environ-
      mental issues in order to realize desired
      outcomes. By addressing root causes and
      integrating  environmental  approaches
      into everyday operations, environmental
      stewardship can become a priority across
      your entire organization.

      Every  EMS follows a basic four-step mod-
      • the Plan phase is used to analyze current
      environmental impacts and legal require-
      ments, and then to set appropriate envi-
      ronmental goals and objectives
      • the Do phase moves  to implementing
      specific programs and processes to meet
      objectives and targets. Tasks might in-
      clude  training employees and establish-
      ing operational controls. Being precise
      about assigning responsibilities to ensure
      accountability is a must
      • the Check phase includes internal audit-
      ing, monitoring progress, assessing suc-
      cesses and failures, identifying areas for
      improvement and benchmarking. Evalu-
      ating  employee  understanding of the
      system and retraining employees when
      necessary is  key to keeping the system
      current and useful
                        Imptement environ-
                        mental activities Biiild
                        implementation ana
                        operation systems
                        Educate employees

• the Act phase is for reviewing  progress,
performing management  reviews and
implementing improvements to the plan,
which  can start the  planning process

General information the EMS process can
also be found on EPA's Web site:

EPA has found that an EMS can  help mu-
• improve environmental performance
and enhance regulatory compliance
• prevent pollution and conserve  resourc-
• reduce environmental hazards
• attract new businesses and create new
• increase energy efficiency and reduce
• enhance employee morale and aware-
ness as well as recruiting
• enhance a community's image with the
public, regulators, lenders and investors

Communicating the successful results of
your EMS is a great way to demonstrate
cost  savings,  environmental   improve-
ments and leadership.



The Public  Entity EMS Resource Center

Clean Air Climate Protection (CACP) soft-
ware  by Local Governments for Sustain-

Climate and Air Pollution  Planning Assis-
tant (CAPPA)

The International Organization  for  Stan-
dardization (ISO)
cata ogue/
iso  14000/iso 14000 essentials.htm

Sustainability Reporting  Framework  and

The U.S. Green Building Council  -  new
LEEDฎ (Leadership in Energy and Environ-
mental Design) system for neighborhood
design. ayPage.


Areas of  Opportunity

 In 2005, according to the U.S. Department
 of Transportation, traffic congestion re-
 sulted in 4.2 billion hours of travel delay,
2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel, and a
 net urban congestion cost of nearly $80
 billion. The social and environmental im-
 pacts of congestion, such as the value of
 lost time and extra air pollution  created
 by idling, are no less important. Propos-
 ing more and wider roads only tempo-
 rarily  mitigates congestion and results in
 lasting  consequences - more air pollu-
 tion from increased  vehicle traffic, more
 stormwater  run-off due to increases in
 impervious surfaces, and threats to open
 spaces and wildlife corridors.

 What are called for are innovative  ap-
 proaches that add more options  for pub-
 lic transportation and reduce  the need
 for driving. The good news is  that com-
 munities that  have successfully added
 public  transportation  and  revitalized
 downtown areas have often reaped big
 rewards, including  reduced   commute
 times, improved air  quality and a reduc-
 tion in greenhouse gas  emissions. Other
 less quantifiable benefits include reduced
 asthma rates,  improved integration of
 disparate  neighborhoods, especially  for
 communities with environmental justice
 concerns, and  increased  safety  for  pe-
 destrians, cyclists and drivers alike. Com-
 muters who have public transportation
 options are often able to save money, es-
 pecially as fuel prices continue to increase.
 Promoting walking and bicycling  can pro-
 mote physical fitness and reduce health
 care expenses.
 Best Practices and


 Planning approaches range from simple
 changes of existing infrastructure to com-
 prehensive efforts to rethink how a region
 travels.  Although  the creation of major
 new projects, such as the introduction of
 light rail, can take time and require ma-
jor capital spending, these efforts can be
 linked with other large-scale projects to
 revitalize downtowns and reshape devel-
 opment patterns.

There are a  range of feasible  and cost-
 effective transportation  approaches that
 are worth considering, including:
•ฉcar-pooling programs
• creation or upgrade of bike lanes and
 paths, sidewalks and walking paths to en-
 courage non-motorized transportation
• installation of clean diesel technologies
 on municipal  vehicles,  equipment and
•ฉupgrade and expansion of publictrans-
 portation services such as bus rapid tran-
 sit, trolleys, ferries, trains and light rail
• optimization of transportation routes and
•  agreements with  local  businesses  to
 stagger delivery and commute times, and
 encourage telecommuting
•ฉ incentives to use public transportation
 by providing park and ride spaces
•ฉpromotion of car sharing services such
 as providing  on-street  parking for car
 sharing  businesses in your community
•ฉsupport of walking and biking by pro-
 viding bike route maps, bike parking and
 street beautification programs
• development of "transportation corridors"
 between communities by linking existing
 public transportation services with neigh-


 boring communities
• creation of public transportation along or
 parallel to  existing highway/arterial  cor-

 To  develop a  strategic action  plan for
 sustainable  transportation,  communi-
 ties may need to establish a dedicated
 planning group to work jointly with local,
 state and federal agencies. Reducing con-
 gestion and improving access to  public
 transport requires the integration of land
 use planning for new residential develop-
 ment and  major employment and enter-
 tainment attractions with the creation of
 accessible transit hubs.

 Measuring  Success

 Communities may evaluate their progress
 by  measuring  operational  effectiveness
 and efficiency, environmental  impacts,
 behavioral  changes in public  transporta-
 tion choices and  infrastructure security.
 Some specific indicators could include:
• fossil fuel consumption, by mean annual
 gallons of fuel savings
• greenhouse gas emissions, in annual tons
 of carbon equivalents
• traffic congestion, in total hours  saved
 each year
• commute times, by average length
• miles of bike lanes
• public transit  ridership and system  rev-
• miles of public transit routes
• distance traveled to public transportation
• results of rider or driver satisfaction  sur-
• plans to modify public transportation sys-
 tems such as retrofitting  buses or  invest-
 ing in electric-powered systems
• the number of people traveling by car-


EPA, HUD and DOT Partnership Agreement pa-
pa rtnership-agreement.pdf

EPA, HUD and DOT Livability Principles

EPA State and Local Transportation Resources

EPA Transportation Conformity Resources

The U.S. Department of Transportation - Transpor-
tation Toolbox for Rural Areas and Small Commu-
nities and Urban Partnership Agreements.

The U.S. Department of Transportation - "Trans-
portation Vision for 2030"
www.websl -400/resources/
Addressing%20sustainbi  itv%20in%20

The U.S. Department of Transportation - how to
get funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

                      Transportation Case Study:
                       Gadsden, Alabama
                       Municipal Biodiesel  Production
 One renewable fuel alternative to conventional
 petroleum-based diesel fuel is  biodiesel, which
 can be made using vegetable oils or animal fats.
 Because  biodiesel can be  produced on a rela-
 tively small scale, municipalities have begun  to
 collect used cooking oil and waste vegetable  oil
 to convert into biodiesel fuel for use in munici-
 pal vehicle fleets.  In order for a municipality to
 determine whether biodiesel production is an ap-
 propriate and feasible option, the following must
 be considered:
• availability of used cooking oil and waste veg-
 etable oil in the community
• ways to develop a recycling program and to
 process the oil into biodiesel
• testing procedures for the finished fuel product,
•methods for storing and dispensing the fuel

 Recycling waste products by converting it to fuel
 will reduce the demands on landfills and waste-
 water treatment facilities.  Following established
 procedures to convert waste  vegetable oil en-
 sures that municipalities are creating a safe, clean
 fuel  product that complies with federal regula-
 tions for fuel quality.

 The  city of Gadsden, Alabama  has successfully
 implemented  a waste  vegetable  oil  recycling
 and  biodiesel production program since the fall
 of 2007. Soaring fuel costs, along with extremely
 high maintenance costs for its wastewater treat-
 ment system resulting from grease introduced
 by households and restaurants, encouraged the
 city to initiate this waste vegetable oil  recycling
 and  biodiesel production program. The city mini-
 mized fuel expenditures while reducing wastewa-
 ter treatment system maintenance by converting
 the used cooking oil from  local restaurants and
 households into biodiesel that is used to fuel the
 vehicles in the municipal fleet.

 The city's municipal fleet staff worked in partner-
 ship with personnel from Auburn University and
 the Alabama Cooperative  Excursion System  to
 develop and establish the system  for  biodiesel
 production.  Steel drums and  plastic jugs were
used for restaurant and residential waste vegeta-
ble oil collection. The oil was poured or pumped
into chemical storage totes; excess water was re-
moved before pumping the oil into a biodiesel
processor where the transesterification process
occured.  After the reaction was completed, the
biodiesel was separated from the byproduct glyc-
erin, which is commonly used to manufacture
soaps, and allowed to cool. The finished biodie-
sel was then  blended with conventional diesel
fuel to create B10 (a mix of 10% biodisel and 90%
ultra low sulfur diesel) and B20  (a mix of 20% bio-
disel and 80% ultra low sulfur diesel) blends for a
variety of diesel fleet vehicles and equipment.

To educate the public about the program and to
gain community support, a media event was held
at the city's  fleet facility during which political
leaders, representatives from fleet management,
and  other key players explained  the program
goals and shared basic information on biodiesel
production.  The city's fleet management also
reached out to the local  restaurants to notify
them about the new program to  recycle waste
vegetable  oil.  Gadsden collects approximately
80% of the waste vegetable oil from restaurants
and 20% from homes.

Overall, this  program has provided the city  of
Gadsden, Alabama  with cost  and  fuel savings,
improved  air quality and reduced sewer  main-
tenance costs. Since the program began, there
have not been any reports of fleet vehicle main-
tenance problems and the fleet manager, along
with the mayor and the city council, are pleased
with the results of the program and committed
to continuing and expanding it.

For additional information on the waste vegeta-
ble oil  recycling  and biodiesel production pro-
gram in Gadsden, Alabama:

For more information on producing biodiesel for
municipal vehicle fleets:




 Land Use  Planning
Land use planning is a critical element in
developing vibrant and livable communi-
ties, increasing property values, ensuring
economic vitality, addressing potential
human  health issues, promoting trans-
portation efficiency,  ensuring affordable
housing, and improving environmental
sustainability. Compact,  efficient  urban
development improves the health  and
quality-of-life of  area residents,  revital-
izes the local economy and increases
environmental  sustainability.  Develop-
ment  of compact areas, even  in small
downtown areas, can reduce travel times,
help preserve open space and reduce the
commercial  pressure to sprawl.  Neigh-
borhoods with walkable  areas stimulate
a strong sense of place,  encourage a
healthier environment  where  individu-
als get  more daily activity and breathe
cleaner air and enhance an area's overall
livability, while encouraging the develop-
ment of strong, vibrant communities with
a reduced carbon footprint. Open green
spaces not only contribute to emissions
absorption  and cleaner air but also pro-
mote recreational activity

Zoning is the main tool in land use plan-
ning and can be  used to direct develop-
ment and redevelopment in urban areas
to ensure that municipalities grow  in a
sustainable manner.  Innovative land use
planning policies and smart growth tech-
niques are central in creating comprehen-
sive municipal sustainability plans.

Larger municipalities  may find it benefi-
cial to create a new office for sustainabil-
ity to  work in cooperation  with existing
planning. Smaller municipalities may not
have this option. In such cases, it may be
effective to  recruit local  residents, com-
munity  leaders,  business  owners  and
environmental groups  to  advise  local
government on land use decisions  and
development goals.
 Best Practices and
         Growth is a principle-based ap-
 proach to development that values the
 residents, environment, and uniqueness
 of communities. Some  of  the  general
 smart growth  principles include: distinc-
 tive attractive communities with a strong
 sense of  place, walkable communities, di-
 recting developing towards existing com-
 munities, preserving natural beauty and
 critical environmental  areas, stakeholder
 collaboration,  and  offering a range  of
 housing opportunities.

 Smart growth  principles can be applied
 to a range of  critical planning  issues  in-
 cluding community quality of life, urban
 design, economic development, environ-
 mental issues,  human health, affordable
 and  accessible  housing, and transporta-
 tion. Smart growth principles usually en-
 compass the following:
• a range of housing choices and price-
 points based around compact, walkable
• mixed land use in the form of combined
 retail and residential development
• community and stakeholder collabora-
 tion  in development decisions
• support  for distinctive, attractive com-
 munities  with a strong sense of place
• predictable development decisions that
 are fair and cost effective
• preservation of open space, farmland,
 natural beauty and critical environmental
• a variety of transportation choices
• development directed towards existing
 communities and transportation cor-
• compact building design
• appropriate remediation and redevelop-
 ment of brownfields
• formal parks and plazas in proximity to
 residential areas

 Large cities such as Denver, Seattle and
 Portland offer excellent  insight into sus-
 tainable  land  use planning  practices.
 While smart growth principles offer an
 excellent theoretical framework for taking
 steps towards sustainable growth, these
 city  planning departments have demon-
 strated how such principles can be used
 on the ground.

 Measuring Success

 Some specific indicators of successful land
 use planning are:
• population density and distribution
• percent of green space per neighbor-
• vehicle miles traveled per capita and
 average commute times
•frequency of walking or bike trips per
• results of surveys of neighborhood
 safety and  livability
•energy use per capita
• number of energy efficient buildings in
 the municipality



 EPA's Smart Growth techniques

 Smart Growth Principles

 EPA Brownfields Assessment Grants can
 be used for community planning

 The  City of Portland's  Sustainable Devel-
 opment Commission guide for  identify-
 ing  indicators and measuring progress
 to determine the success of sustainable
 planning and development strategies
Seattle Department of Planning and De-
velopment pd/

Green Print Denver

City of Portland Bureau of Planning

Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas
Emissions through Materials and Land
Management Practices

Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront

Anticipated  impacts of sea level rise on
the Eastern Seaboard
effects/coastal/sap4-1 .html

Sierra Club Cool Cities program

Dept of Commerce's Sustainable Manu-
facturing Initiative

                      Land Use Planning Case Study:
                      Portland, Oregon
                      Land Use Planning Evolves
Recognized among American cities as one of the most dedicated to planning, Portland is frequently
progressive transportation and land  use policies, downtown redevelopment and success in conta
sprawl. Building on this success, Portland's Bureau of Planning initiated a comprehensive plan to guide
development within the city over the next 30 years. The "Portland Plan" identifies a number of goals i
regional development policies that encourage walking, access to public transit and the preservation of
                                                                                     cited for its
                                                                                     ning urban
                                                                                     growth and
                                                                                     nd outlines
                                                                                     open space,
   ile allowing for population growt
                                      nomic development
The goals of the plan include:
• creating a rich and enjoyable environment for pedestrians throughout the central city
• striving for excellence in the design of new buildings
• encouraging construction to enhance the human scale of buildings, streets and open spaces
• promoting districts with distinct characters and a diverse and rich mixture of uses
• identifying and protecting significant public views
• locating the highest density populations downtown and along potential and existing transit corridors

Through careful planning and a holistic approach to land use decisions, Portland's Bureau of Planning
for substantial increases in new jobs, housing units and commercial spaces, without increasing the nurr
occupied by the central city.

Further information is available online:
                                                                                    las allowed
                                                                                    ber of acres

 Land-use planning should protect
ecosystems and open space as these
areas often provide critical natural

Biological Conserva-

tion and

Open  Space  Preserva-

As our nation's population continues to
grow and as development of open space
continues,  preserving  special   natural
places  and prime agricultural land  be-
comes ever more important. Open space
can be a soggy wetland, a verdant forest
or a breezy grassland. ฎThese  ecosys-
tems provide habitat for an abundance of
wildlife, critical protections such as flood
control, and add to aesthetic appeal, C02
absorption and a general sense of well-

Preserving open  space  is a  frequently
used strategy in comprehensive  munici-
pal sustainability planning and  garners
high levels of public support because of
the attractiveness of  open spaces and
their value to local residents both socially
and economically. Open  space preserva-
tion  can  provide aesthetic appeal and
recreation  opportunities, while  enhanc-
ing local  real  estate values and  making
communities  more  livable.   Burlington,
Vermont; Westchester County; Sarasota
County, Florida; Brownsville, Texas; and
Davis, California all  provide excellent ex-
amples. Lake  Champlain  Bikeways,  for
example, a public-private partnership in
Burlington,  Vermont  connects  various
practical as well as  historic sites around
the city, appealing to both residents and
visitors alike.

Best Practices  and


Techniques to safeguard  environmentally
sensitive areas vary across communities
and  types  of surrounding ecosystems.
 EPA identifies three of the most common
• protecting wetlands
• establishing buffers along rivers and
• creating greenbelts and conservation
 Plan Smart New Jersey identifies three
 key open  space  protection tactics. First,
 it  promotes conservation easements, re-
 strictions requiring a property to be main-
 tained forever  in an underdeveloped or
 natural  state. Second, it encourages de-
 veloper set-asides, which  are  voluntary
 protections created  when  projects  are
 planned. The Plan Smart guide suggests
 that for maximum effect, "the jurisdiction
 should encourage developers to set aside
 land in  stream corridors, mature forests,
 and other key  environmental areas iden-
 tified  during the planning process, or  it
 should  use the in-lieu contributions to
 purchase this land." And third, it includes
 outright purchase, which, "provided  the
 jurisdiction is committed to maintaining
 the land in a natural state, is the best way
 to ensure that land remains preserved."
 Measuring Success

 Some  specific indicators  for biological
 conservation  and  open space preserva-
 tion are:
• acres of land in easement
• acres of protected wetland areas
• number of bike paths in proximity to
 popular sites
• completing an assessment of ecosystem
 services in your community



EPA - Community Based Environmental

New Jersey's Plan Smart Full Guide

The Defenders of Wildlife Incentives for
Conservation and
policy/habitat conservation/private
lands/landowner incentives

New Jersey Natural Capital Study
naturalcap/nat-cap-1 .pdf

                         Open  Space Preservation  Case Study:
                         Burlington, Vermont
                         Engaging Community to Protect Wildlife
As the area around Burlington grows, wildlife and people have been coming into greater contact. As part of the
city's open space preservation efforts, volunteers are gathering data on where animals live and the routes they
travel to help them make informed decisions about ecosystem protection, land use planning and development.

The volunteers are trained by a local non-profit organization, Keeping Track, which encourages community partici-
pation in the long-term stewardship of wildlife habitat. This mission is achieved through monitoring, cooperation,
data  management, conservation planning and education.

Volunteers must complete six full-day training workshops in the field plus two classroom sessions. Participants are
taught scientifically-based data collection methods and then help with field work, monitoring and other facets of
the program. Keeping Track has trained nearly 1,300 volunteers, representing almost 100 communities, and has
gathered valuable data to help shape  local land use preservation efforts.
Further information is available online:



Solid Waste Generation and Recycling
According to EPA statistics for 2006, the
average person in the U.S. generated 4.6
pounds of waste per day and recycled 1.5
pounds. The energy saved by recycling
is the equivalent  of more than 10 billion
gallons of gasoline per year. Yet, the two
most  common  management  strategies
for municipal garbage are to construct lo-
cal landfills to dispose of solid waste or to
transport the waste to other communities.

As populations increase, landfills reach ca-
pacity and newer facilities remain difficult
to site. If municipalities choose to remote-
ly dispose of their waste, they incur the
added cost of transporting it. These costs
include depreciation of vehicles, person-
nel  hours to transport trash, fuel for the
vehicles,  long-term costs of environmen-
tal degradation, as well as administrative
costs  and uncertainty  associated with
contract negotiations.

Wherever your trash goes, a comprehen-
sive sustainability plan should have the
goal of reducing the amount of trash that
enters the waste stream. Solutions include
programs to encourage  recycling and re-
using materials, increasing composting of
organic waste and turning waste into us-
able energy. More and more communities
are  looking at their waste stream as a po-
tential source  of energy. The term waste-
to-energy is used for many different types
of projects, including capturing landfill
methane for electricity generation or fuel
use, diverting  organics for processing in
anaerobic digesters, or converting waste
vegetable oil into biodiesel.

As we  reduce  our waste stream,  more
land can  be used for other services, and
less money needs to be spent to man-
age waste. A community sustainability
plan should address the 3 R's of the waste
stream — reduce, reuse and recycle.

In addition, many items placed in house-
hold trash are hazardous  materials that
should be disposed of properly. These
include  paints  and  chemicals,  batter-
 ies, electronics (E-waste) and light bulbs.
 Construction  debris and materials (C&D)
 come from waste  that results from the
 construction,  renovation and demolition
 of buildings,  roads and  bridges.  While
 C&D is  not accounted for in municipal
 solid waste, the municipal waste stream
 includes building demolition  and renova-
 tion materials from construction.

 Best Practices  and


 A waste audit is a crucial first step  in reduc-
 ing the flow of garbage. It can identify op-
 portunitiesforwaste diversion, prevention
 and  reduction, and increasing recycling.
 Review  historic data to  determine how
 much is being thrown out, how  much is
 being recycled (if a program exists), and
 any other programs that your community
 may have in place. It's also important to
 document the costs associated with dis-
 posal and reduction programs.

 Once a basic inventory is complete and
 a  baseline  is defined, you  can  identify
 targets. Your initial target could  be as
 simple as starting  a recycling program (if
 one doesn't exist) or expanding  an exist-
 ing program. Using the  baseline  inven-
 tory, you can monitor and compare future
 waste generation to see if your program
 is a success.
 Reducing Waste:
• implement a "Pay as you Throw" system
 that charges residents for what they actu-
 ally throw out to encourage them to dis-
 card less to save money
• use full cost accounting, which  identifies
 and  assesses the costs  associated  with
 managing a solid waste facility to account
 for the real costs of solid waste manage-
 ment. It  also assists  with short and  long-
 term planning by local policy makers to
 identify opportunities to streamline and
 improve operations


•  implement or expand a compost pro-
gram.   Organize   short-term  seasonal
events specifically for grass clippings, fall-
en leaves or Christmas trees. Later, transi-
tion to a long-term municipal-run food
waste  program for  residents,  farmer's
markets, local restaurants/businesses or
schools and hospitals
• make better purchases. Buying products
that are  longer lasting or recyclable, con-
tain less  packaging materials, and are less
harmful  to the environment is  a proac-
tive step to reducing your municipal solid
waste. Refer to the green procurement
section for more information

Reuse and Recycling:
• improve information on how to recycle
properly and create  incentives  for recy-
cling programs in your community
• provide opportunities  for second life or
reuse of soft used items, such as a materi-
als and waste exchange

Safe Disposal of Hazardous Waste:
Both commercial  and residential hazard-
ous wastes  are harmful to the environ-
mentand to human health if notdisposed
of in the appropriate manner. Whether it's
an annual or year-round program, house-
hold and commercial  hazardous waste
should be a part of your municipal solid
waste reduction program to ensure these
materials are disposed of appropriately.

Electronics waste is an increasing com-
ponent of local waste  streams  and the
new frontier in solid waste management.
Many municipalities and facilities have in-
stituted  programs to address hazardous
materials in the waste  stream. E-waste
programs are still  relatively  young, and
often experimental. As a result, E-waste
is generally handled through special col-
lection events ratherthan as a continuous
collection program.

According  to  EPA,  approximately 1.9
to 2.2  million tons of used or unwanted
electronics was disposed of in 2005. The
majority, 1.5 to 1.9 million tons, was dis-
posed  of in landfills,  while only 345,000
to 379,000 tons were recycled. It is clear
  Municipal Solid Waste, Materials Generated in 2007

  (254 Million Tons before Recycling)
                                 Food scraps 12.5%
          Yard trimmings 12.8%
Rubber, leather & textiles
  that there is still considerable room for
  improvement,  and  e-waste  strategies
  should be an integral component of any
  local sustainability planning effort.

  Construction and Demolition  (C&D) dis-
  Keeping this material out of the waste
  stream can conserve landfill space. C&D
  waste  reduction can also be addressed
  through green  building practices and by
  setting  up recycling centers for building
  Measuring Success

  Some specific indicators  for solid waste
  generation and recycling are:
 • reduction of the waste stream reaching
  local landfills or being exported
 • increased percentage  of recycled  mate-
  rials (e.g., metal, plastic, glass, paper, yard
  trimmings and E-waste)
 • reduction in the amount of recycled ma-
  terials found during a secondary sort
                                                     •r and paperboard 32.7%
                                          Source: EPA, 2007

• creation of a waste stream baseline via an

TIP: EPA has developed a voluntary, stan-
dard methodology for measuring recy-
cling rates. This Web site helps state and
local government  officials  learn more
about the standard methodology:



EPA's Waste web site

EPA Waste Assessment Web site

Decision Makers' Guide to  Solid Waste

The EPA WasteWise partnership program

EPA's Pay As You Throw (PAYT)  program

EPA Full Cost Accounting Resource

The Florida  State Department of Environ-
mental Protection  - full cost accounting
software & report, "The  Fundamentals of

EPA  - composting, local legislation, envi-
ronmental benefits, publications and links &
Maryland  annual 40% waste reduction

EPA  Report "Opportunities  to  Reduce
Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Ma-
terials and Land Management Practices"

EPA's In Your Community Web site

EPA tools to reduce local consumption

Communicating the Benefits of Recycling

EPA  guidelines for procuring  recycled-
content products
procure/index.htm  ฎ

Recycling Market Exchange

San Francisco  EcofindeRRR - allows resi-
dents to look  up what can be recycled,
reused or disposed of, how to do it, and
where to bring it O

EPA's Recycle on the Go initiative

Earth 911

San Francisco's Zero Waste Program programs/

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA) on-line program

Proper  disposal  of  paints,  pesticides,
cleaners, oils and other types of house-
hold hazardous waste

EPA e-cycling resources and tips

Goodwill Industries  and Dell Computers
partnership to reuse and recycle

Waste-to-energy information

EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program



                  Energy, Air Quality and Climate

                  Communities need reliable sources of affordable energy. With rising fuel prices and
                  growing concerns about the impacts of fossil-fuel power generation, sustainable en-
                  ergy solutions have never been more important,especially atthe municipal level. Energy
                  based on fossil fuels, whether for electricity, heating or transportation, results in air pol-
                  lution. OFossil fuel  consumption causes both chemical and particulate air  pollution,
                  better known as smog. Ozone and acid  rain can be problems too, depending on local
                  conditions. The burning of fossil fuels contributes more than 80 percent of total annual
                  U.S. greenhouse gases.
                  Improving energy efficiency and adding
                  renewable energy sources can help com-
                  munities reduce air pollution while re-
                  ducing the output of greenhouse gases.
                  In turn, reduced air pollution can improve
                  public health and  lower energy costs. By
                  integrating energy efficiency strategies
                  into your community planning process,
                  the cost of improvements can be kept to
                  a minimum. Renewable energy develop-
                  ment, biofuel production and retrofits or
                  upgrades of existing infrastructure often
                  create new opportunities for green collar
                  jobs. Combining these approaches with
                  transportation  efficiency improvements
                  discussed earlier  make  an even bigger
                          Best  Practices and


                          Save Energy

                          Energy efficiency is often the best place
                          for localities to start when trying to make
                          more effective use of resources. Although
                          efficiency upgrades can require initial in-
                          vestment, by  increasing the level of effi-
                          ciency, these upgrades frequently pay for
                          themselves in nine months to three years
                          as shown by the Portland case study.

                          Strategies to promote energy efficiency
                          •conducting an energy audit of city
                          buildings to identify the most cost-effec-
                          tive projects. Utilities and energy service
                          providers often offer them
                          • joining Portfolio Manager and save

                Source: US EPA 2009

 money and energy by tracking building
 energy use
• bringing the ENERGY STAR challenge to
 your community
• encouraging and supporting private au-
 dits  in both  businesses and residences
 through  the  provision  of  information,
 technical support or even economic in-
 centives or awards
• starting a weatherization program in lo-
 cal neighborhoods with old housing stock
• promoting the ENERGY STAR "Change-A-
 Light" program to local  businesses. By re-
 placing older lighting systems with higher
 efficiency lighting, communities can reap
 significant gains in both energy use and,
 in many cases, operation and  mainte-
 nance spending as well
• supporting energy efficiency upgrades
 by local industry to Improve the efficiency
 of appliances; heating, ventilation and air
 conditioning systems; and industrial pro-
 cess equipment
• purchasing energy  efficient  equipment,
 appliances - see the Green Procurement
 Use Renewable Energy

 Local governments  can  buy renewable
 energy, and promote consumer option
 programs. Building  and  maintaining re-
 newable energy installations can  be a
 source of new "green collar" jobs for com-
 munities. Three great examples are de-
 scribed online at:
 energy/prog rams/clean power-choice-

 Communities can also promote distrib-
 uted generation or, the use of small-scale
 power generation technologies located
 close to where energy is used. Examples
 of distributed generation power can be
 sourced by fuel cells, microturbines, pho-
 tovoltaic panels and small scale wind.This
 strategy avoids the loss of energy during
 transmission and can boost local econo-
 mies  through new development and lo-

 cally earned profits. More importantly, it
 can give facilities energy reliability during
 extreme storms. Renewable energy can
 potentially offer more stable costs  in a
 market of rising energy costs. Local strate-
 gies to promote clean energy include:
• micro-generation
•on-site solar
• combined heat and power
• wind
• landfill methane capture

 TIP: To find out how energy is produced
 in your community, type in your zip code

 Measuring Success

 Measurements of success for energy can
• dollars saved on energy costs
• units of energy consumption reduced
 (e.g., Btu's)
• amount of local energy supply from
 renewable sources
• amount of pollutant emissions reduced
 (e.g.,C02,SOx, NOx)
•jobs created to meet energy efficiency
 and renewable energy demands



 ENERGY STAR, the EPA/U.S. Department
 of Energy program that goes beyond la-
 beling energy efficient appliances to as-
 sist building and utility owners and opera-
 tors and local governments in conserving
 local Q

 ENERGY STAR Challenge for Communities
showlntroduction @

EPA Green Power Partnership program ฎ

EPA's Combined Heat and Power Program
html Q>

The U.S. Department of Energy's Technical
Assistance Program for local governments

The U.S.  Department  of  Energy  Solar
America Cities program          Q

The California Distributed Energy Resourc-
es Guide

Alliance to Save Energy (ASE)

American Council for an Energy Efficient
Economy (ACES)

Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE),

PGE online calculator of potential energy
and economic savings for homeowners

NYC energy cost-saving ideas

New York State's Energy Smart Communi-
ties Program

EPA's  Clean  Energy-Environment State
and Local Program

                       Energy Case Study No. 1:  Portland, Oregon
                       Energy Challenge Saves City Millions
In 1991, Portland, Oregon established the "City Energy Efficiency Challenge/'This bold initiative started with energy
audits at eight city bureaus that each contributed one percent of their energy bills to help fund the efforts. The city
then obtained a small low interest loan of $777,000 to help fund energy efficiency measures.

The $2.6 million spent on energy efficiency improvements during the first three years generated average internal
rate returns of 25.7 percent, with a pay-off time of 3.8 years. By the late 1990s, the energy savings reached $1 million
per year, with total savings of $9.46 million between 1991 and 2001. Current annual energy savings are $2 million
per year, or 15 percent of the city's energy bills.
In addition to dramatic energy efficiency improvements and considerable savings to local taxpayers, Portland has
also turned its energy sources "green."  In 1995, the city entered into an agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric to
receive five percent of its electricity from renewable sources. As of 2007, Portland receives 10 percent of its electric-
ity from renewable sources, and is looking to increase its use of renewable power.

Further information is available online at: enerqv.shtml
                        Energy Case Study  No.  2: Fresno, California
                       "Cow Power" Powers up the Grid
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has teamed up with BioEnergy Solutions on a biogas-to-pipeline injection
project. It produces renewable gas from animal waste, and is the first project in California to deliver pipeline-quality,
renewable natural gas to a utility. It delivers up to three billion cubic feet of renewable natural gas a year to PG&E.

This system reduces methane emissions by 70 percent at Vintage Diary, a 5,000-cow dairy in the town of Riverdale.
Since methane has a global warming potential  21 times more potent than C02, this approach could be an effec-
tive climate change fighter. Manure from the cows is  flushed into an almost  300,000 square-foot covered lagoon,
which traps the methane gas released during manure decomposition. The methane is scrubbed to meet PG&E's
standards for power plants and then delivered to the  utility through the pipeline. The utility uses the methane to
create electricity for its central and northern California customers.

BioEnergy Solutions, founded by David Albers, a third-generation dairyman and owner of Vintage Dairy, pays for
and installs the infrastructure needed to process the manure and pump the methane into the PG&E pipeline. Pro-
ceeds from gas  sales and emissions credits are used to help reduce the greenhouse gas  emissions of other dairy



Protecting Water Quality and Ensuring
Future Supply
Community prosperity relies on continu-
ous access to clean water, from  reliable
drinking water supplies to clean waters
that support recreation and viable com-
mercial and sport fishing  industries. Wa-
ter is becoming more scarce around the
world,  as populations increase,  surface
waters and our aquifers are drained faster
than nature can recharge them.
Many local  governments,  particularly in
the arid West and Southwest, including
Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, have been
aware of the importance of water  resourc-
es for some time now. Other communities
with rapid population growth and  vari-
able rainfall are just beginning to come to
terms with the harsh reality that water is a
precious and scarce resource, which must
be used wisely and conserved whenever

The physical scarcity of water is not the
only concern. Local fisheries are very sen-
sitive to watershed health too. Protection
of local watersheds helps  to ensure the
long-term health and profitability of rec-
reational and commercial industries for all
communities. The "dead zone" in the Gulf
of Mexico, expected to grow to the  size
of New Jersey, threatens to permanently
cripple Gulf fisheries.

Often,  municipal water   management
strategies must be shared across regional
borders because watersheds overlap mul-
tiple jurisdictions and water treatment
facilities serve multiple communities. Mu-
nicipalities are also influenced by a myriad
of federal, regional and local standards for
water treatment, quality and conservation.
The most common approach is to address
the need for water resource sustainability
through a targeted water  strategy. How-
ever, many communities also address wa-
ter resource concerns through land  use
planning and other smart growth policies
with a goal of conserving valuable water

What is common to all localities is the on-
going potential for improvements in local
water use  efficiency and water resource
protection. Water  resources  can  be  pro-
tected and conserved through a variety
of strategies involving:  efficient  use of
municipal  supplies; on-site collection, wa-
ter recycling and treatment; wastewater
treatment  system improvements; and the
reduction  of non-point  source pollution
of local watersheds and aquifers.
Best  Practices and


Promote Water Conservation

Using water efficiently is the key to  pro-
moting  water  conservation and saving
money.  EPA estimates that the average
household spends as much as $500 per
year on  its water and sewer bill. Conserv-
ing water also reduces energy use, which
translates into additional savings.

EPA's WaterSense program  helps protect
the future of our nation's water supply by
promoting water efficiency and enhanc-
ing the  market for water-efficient prod-
ucts, programs and practices:

Greenscaping  encourages  conservation
of water resources and decreases reliance
on  polluting fertilizers and  pesticides.


Landscaping  with   beautiful,  drought-
resistant plants in arid climates enhances
the local aesthetic  and helps  to  retain
much-needed moisture.

TIP: For more information, look to EPA's
Greenscapes Website:

Landscaping with native plants is a cre-
ative way to conserve water and beautify
communities, especially in communities
with desert-like climates. The  Southern
Nevada Water  Authority program on
landscapes  provides  recommendations
for arid areas.

The U.S. Department of Energy, within its
Department  of Energy Efficiency and Re-
newable Energy, has a program that spe-
cifically addresses water efficiency. ฉ

Green  building practices promote water
conservation and wastewater reduction.
Some green buildings and  facilities use
water catchment systems and gray water
recycling and treatment to capture rain
water and reuse wastewater. Green  roofs
provide stormwater control in addition to
reducing the heat island effect of urban-
ized  areas. Green buildings  often incor-
porate water efficient technology  such
as aerators,  low-volume toilets, low-flow
showerheads and  water-efficient  land-
scaping and/or irrigation systems.   estimates   that
many commercial buildings could reduce
water use by 30 percent or more through
efficiency measures.  More  information
and practical examples can be found at
feat u re/2008/01/3 0/using-wate r-
b log/200 8/05/08/s mart-water-
ma nagement-a-low-risk-green-initiative-
Protect Local Watersheds from
Point Source Pollution

Point source water pollution is pollution
that can be traced back to a specific dis-
charge source, like a factory or wastewater
treatment plant.  Discharges from these
sources  are  usually  controlled through
government permits that set limits on the
amount they are permitted to release into
the environment.

Communities that have centralized waste-
water collection and treatment systems
are already part of the National Pollution
Discharge Elimination  System (NPDES),
the federal regulatory program that sets
limits on pollution.

For areas that don't have existing public
wastewater treatment systems, switching
to centralized ones may or may not be re-
alistic, or even the preferred option. This
depends on  local characteristics such as
population density, climate, topography,
geology and how close drinking water
sources are to housing. If you are from a
smaller community, see:

Municipal  storm sewer systems are con-
sidered  point  source   pollution under
many circumstances and are regulated
under the federal NPDES program.

The  use of green design principles  can
naturally filter stormwater run-off, divert-
ing it from wastewater systems and storm
drains. Green infrastructure reduces de-
mands on local  wastewater treatment
plants, lowers costs and energy use, and
protects natural water bodies from pollu-
NPS/ id/costs07/docu ments/

 Protect Local Watersheds from
 Non-point Source Pollution

 Non-point source pollution is water pollu-
 tion from urban  run-off and unregulated
 non-industrial  or agricultural  sources. It
 affects local watersheds, coastal habitats
 and degrades water quality posing threat
 to long-term water security and environ-
 mental health.

 Some  strategies  to address  non-point
 source pollution are:
• collection and treatment of runoff prior
 to its entry into waterways
 MSC ID/118/C ID/3084
• preservation  and construction of local
 wetlands as buffers for aquatic  natural
 www.e pa .g ov/0 WO W/wet I a n d s/re sto re/
• on-site runoff retention and/or treatment
 of run-off and provisions for surfaces that
 are not impervious
• partnerships with local industry for efflu-
 ent  reductions through  green industrial
 practices and  water conservation  mea-
•  education of the general public about
the  specific non-point sources in their
communities and  the  options for mini-
mizing impacts box/
• watershed monitoring with local non-
profits, schools and other community
groups to identify problem areas
 Measuring Success

 Indicators of successful  water  efficiency
 strategies might include:
• reductions  in community water con-
 sumption, set benchmarks  related to lo-
 calities  with  similar  characteristics (e.g.,
 population, climate, topography)
• participation in both private sector part-
 nerships and residential  water  efficiency
• number of new construction (munici-
 pal buildings and/or  general public) and
 renovation projects with water  efficiency

 Watershed  health  can   be monitored
• annual rates of local compliance with fed-
 eral and state water quality regulations
• chemical and  physical  water quality in-
 dicators  (e.g.,  pH, temperature, nutrient
 levels, water clarity, the presence of toxins
 and harmful bacteria)
• the  level of treatment  required to  pro-
 duce  safe drinking water and any changes
 to treatment regimes
• population  levels and  health of local
 plants and animals (water and land)
• surface water flows and  aquifer recharge
• the relative amount of each local stream
 or river that  is "day I it,"  or  not diverted
 through  underground  pipes  beneath
 buildings and roads, and  has  a  natural
 buffer around it
•the ratio of water-permeable surfaces and
 green spaces to paved surfaces  or spaces
 occupied by buildings with  conventional
• the percentage of tree canopy cover for
 new construction  projects



 EPA funding for local water infrastructure
 development, as well  as watershed  pro-
 tection and conservation programs
 guide dwsrf funding  infrastructure.pdf
 dwsrf swp-funding-matrix.pdf

 National Environmental Service Center's
 National Environmental Training Center
 for Small Communities
 regulations chart.pdf

 EPA's Consumer Confidence Reports

 EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drink-
 ing Water

 EPA Regulations of total maximum daily
 loads (TMDLs)

 Georgia Pollution Prevention Assistance
 Division - "Successful  Water  Efficiency
 Programs for Non-Residential Water  Cus-
 tomers" presentation.
 Documents/WaterConservation Drought

"Benchmarking  Performance  Indicators
 for Water and Wastewater Utilities: 2007
 Annual Survey Data and Analyses Report,"
 produced by the American Water Works
 Association and Water Environment  Fed-

EPA Information and Resources on Non-point
Source Pollution

Water Environment Research  Foundation re-
port has information and case study links.

EPA State and Individual Watershed Trading

Conservation Technology Information Center
Water Quality Training Guide

EPA's Water Quality Trading Scenario: Multiple
Facility Point Source Trading Publication

Water Case Study:
  ^dona, Arizona is "Water Wise'


 Green  Jobs

This chapter is an introduction to what is meant by "green jobs" and how actions to promote green jobs
 can support your local workforce, the environment, and the economy.
"Green jobs" is often cited as an essential part of
 solving environmental and economic troubles.
 Yet, to many, it is  not clear  what a green job
 is or what a green economy would  look like.
 There are several working definitions and a few
 are provided below.

 EPA  Administrator  Lisa  Jackson describes
 green jobs as a solution to the economic and
 environmental  challenges  our  communities
 face:  "What  we have is an energy and jobs
 agenda with an environmental benefit - one
 solution  for two  generational  challenges.  I
 have  worked  in  environmental  protection
 for more than  20 years. In that time,  I've seen
 countless situations where environmental pri-
 orities have  been  put on hold out of fear for
 how they might affect economic growth. But
 we know better. We  know that the choice be-
 tween our economy  and our environment is a
 false choice."

 The Environmental Protection Agency has a
 working  definition, "jobs that devote a  sub-
 stantial  portion of their work to improving
 energy efficiency,  increasing the supply  of re-
 newable energy, and/or preventing, reducing,
 or cleaning up  pollution."

 According to the US Department of Labor, "A
 changing job market and the emerging clean
 energy economy  are creating new jobs  and
 greening old jobs." Green jobs are both a re-
 sponse to a changing global economy and an
 opportunity  to achieve environmental and so-
 cial goals. The  hope  of green jobs is that the
 individuals trained in these areas will reduce
 a community's energy consumption, increase
 energy independence and a host of other en-
 vironmental  outcomes while contributing to
 our local economy.  For individuals,  this can
 result in bettering their own lives by enhanc-
 ing their job skills and earning higher wages
 for expertise in specialty areas.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
 of 2009 places a  large focus on greening the
 American economy and provides funding for
 green jobs. In fact, $500 million is dedicated to
 job training programs that prepare workers for
 careers in energy efficiency and renewable en-
 ergy. Resources for grant seekers are listed in
 this chapter below.

 Examples  of Green  Jobs

• Urban Tree Canopy crews who maintain
 urban forests
• Next generation  of waste water and drinking
 water treatment plant operators and engi-
• Energy efficiency auditors and retro-fitters
• Certifications for plumbers who install purple
 pipes, for water recycling
• Manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines
 and other renewable energy technology
• Installation of solar panels, wind turbines and
 other renewable energy technology
• Establishing and expanding  recycling  pro-

         Best Practices

         Across  the  country,  communities are  de-
         veloping new and different ways to gener-
         ate green jobs. Some successful green jobs
         programs are partnerships between  gov-
         ernment agencies and local organizations
         already engaged  with the target trainees.
         These  green jobs programs combine tradi-
         tional  job training programs with specific
         modules on the environment and sustain-
         ability topics. Organizations already engaged
         in job  training programs and community
         colleges can add an additional  green-job
         course to their program, such as  a building
         retrofit certificate program, or teach green
         techniques in existing courses.

         The success of a green jobs training program
         depends on the placement of participants in
         employment after completion of the train-
         ing. Organizations engaged  in  green job
         training should begin building partnerships
         with local organizations in need  of employ-
         ees with these skills before program imple-
         mentation so that curricula can be tailored
         to employer hiring needs. Community lead-
         ers can convene local organizations to forge
         partnerships and raise the profile  of a green
         jobs agenda. Examples of key organizations
         that could be included: job training insti-
         tutions, high  schools, summer  education
         programs, community colleges, universities,
         research facilities,  union education  profes-
         sionals, professional  accreditation organi-
         zations, and prominent businesses in your

         EPA offers free training curricula on lead
         abatement,  occupational health &  safety,
         and water quality. The U.S.  Department of
         Labor  has job training centers through out
         the country and offers online training pro-
         grams. These can easily be added to an ex-
         isting training program.
Actions for Local


•  Communities can  implement job training
programs through community based organi-
zations, employment organizations, and other
local partners.
•  Local governments can acknowledge busi-
nesses that are successfully doing pollution
prevention as leaders in the community. TIP:
For larger communities,  it  can be easier to
look at one sector at a time to compare per-
• Local governments can be an engine for gen-
erating green jobs through the procurement
of renewable energy, cool roofs, and energy-
efficient  products and working with  green
contractors,  and service providers  for  city-
owned buildings and property.
• Community leaders can raise the profile of
their location for new green employers
• State  level public utility boards can encour-
age home retrofits and  use of energy-efficient
products by providing free audits and  sub-
sidizing or giving tax credits for using  green
products. New Jersey  has  had a  successful
incentive program for  residential energy effi-
ciency; information can be found here: http://
• Local  governments can also prioritize  green
job growth in  land  use development  policy
when  dealing with developers and  grant re-



Brownfields Job Training Grants  info/

Green Jobs Training Catalogue green-
jobs febQ9.pdf

   U.S. Department of Labor Job Corps
EPA Brownfields: Job Training Grants
   Advisory for State and Local Government Labor
   Commissioners and Grant Seekers  doc.

   GreenPrint: Green Jobs Guide

   List of grant opportunities compiled by Center for
   Environmental Policy & Administration

   American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Grants
   Grants .aspx

   EPA Brownfields Program Activities Under the
   Recovery Act
Green Jobs Case Study: Syracuse, NY
Bringing Green Jobs to Communities
Theardis Martino is a green construction consultant training to become a LEED Green Associate in Syracuse, New
York, who felt inspired to share the skills of his field with members of the community. Through his own initiative,
he started Matawon Group, which offers a 30-day training program to inner-city residents, who graduate with
certificates in lead encapsulation and Occupational Safety & Health. This month-long curriculum places a heavy
focus on life skills, with a work-simulated schedule that requires strict  promptness and compliance with a dress
code. Training in interview and resume crafting skills is also provided. Trainees learn the carbon impacts of their
individual behavior, as well as methods for reducing waste and pollution on the job.

Matawon has had outstanding success with limited resources. Seventy-four percent of its graduates find work and
63% are still on the job after 90 days. Many of the participants are beneficiaries of other social services, job support
programs, and were previously incarcerated. Local construction is the  biggest industry for graduates to work in;
others include manufacturing, retail, and warehouses. This training program gives individuals with a high school
or GED level education the skills to find good work and help their communities.

Theardis has been working with average class sizes of 10 each. The program recently won a Pathways Out of Pov-
erty Grant from the state of New York, which Theardis hopes will allow the program to expand in size and to have
more hands-on-training added to the  curriculum. Matawon is an example of how a community's need for envi-
ronmental improvements can be met while also bringing individuals out of poverty and into a meaningful career.

                                                                                                                                          -i   V


Green Building
Environmentally sound building is central to local sustainability. Each building material
has its own history of energy and water use, raw material extraction and possibly even
environmental pollution. The selection of environmentally sound recycled and raw ma-
terials can substantially reduce both on-site and off-site environmental impacts of con-
The U.S. Green Building Council estimates
that the construction of buildings  cur-
rently accounts for 30 percent of all  raw
materials used in the U.S. A 1996 study,
found that disposal of used  building ma-
terials comprises 60 percent of non-indus-
trial U.S. waste. It also found that 20 to 30
percent of building debris was already be-
ing recovered for recycling yet  more op-
portunities exist to divert C&D waste from

A  recent  boom in  green  building  has
brought with it a wealth of new resources.
Green building  products, services and in-
formation are more  accessible than ever
before. The cost of green building has be-
come cheaper too. The cost gap between
green and  conventional building is clos-
ing. Long-term cost savings far outweigh
any additional upfront costs; relative cost
is  actually related to project design and
management, and  not necessarily be-
cause of green building practice.

The U.S. Green Building Council lists gov-
ernment initiatives  as  the  primary  fac-
tor driving recent green building sector
growth,  and anticipates a   62  percent
growth  in  public sector green building
projects. Larger  cities such  as Boston ,
Chicago, Dallas, New York, Portland (OR),
San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Seattle, and
Washington,  DC have   already  created
mandatory green building  requirements
for all municipal buildings, as have smaller
cities such as Chula Vista (CA), Greensburg
(KS), Pleasanton (CA), Scottsdale (AZ), and
West Hollywood (CA).
 Best Practices and


 EPA and partners such as the U.S. Green
 Building Council  developed extensive
 guidance and resources for green build-
 ing and locating green building materi-
 als that are accessible through Web sites
 and  publications. EPA outlined major ele-
 ments of green building:
• energy efficiency and renewable energy
•water stewardship
• environmentally preferable building ma-
 terials and specifications
•waste reduction
• toxics
• indoor environment
• smart  growth and sustainable develop-

 While there are  multiple rating  systems,
 the U.S. Green Building Council's Leader-
 ship in Energy and Environmental Design
 (LEED) Green Building Rating System has
 become the  most commonly used stan-
 dard for green building.

 Strategies to increase green building in
your community:
• consider mandating all city-owned or fi-
 nanced buildings meet LEED criteria
• offer expedited review for permits and
zoning applications for buildings meeting
 green building criteria, such as LEED
• offer incentives  (FAR or other) for green
 building components such as green roofs,
 bike racks and electric car recharging ar-
• establish a building material reuse facil-
 ity for wood, windows, doors and paint
• offer green building training to construc-
 tion industry members and building op-

• develop a local directory of green build-
ing businesses and services
• designate a district with tax incentives to
encourage the development of local busi-
nesses that specialize in green building
materials and supplies

TIP: Shop for ideas from other cities for
green building ordinances:

Measuring  Success

Success is measured in numerous ways in
the field of green building, although the
most typical measures focus on efficiency
savings for energy and water or  renew-
able energy generated.  Indicators  of suc-
cess might include:
• usage of green materials  in  local new
construction and renovations
• local availability of green building  materi-
• number of local LEED certified buildings
and accredited professionals
• number of people employed and  overall
economic growth of local green construc-
tion-related industries
• amount of construction waste being di-
verted, or measureable decreases  in con-
struction-related waste production
•attendance ratings at green buildings like
schools or businesses
• employee satisfaction and retention rates
compared to industry standards
• amount of renewable energy generated
by green buildings
• cost  per square foot  of public  green
building projects and savings in annual
operations costs

Harder  to  measure, but equally  impor-
tant, are  more  subjective  indicators of
success, such  as perceived local quality of
life, health and well-being of building oc-
cupants, aesthetic contributions of green
buildings and community pride.

The  sustainability  of  building materials,
and even whole buildings,  can also be
quantitatively  measured  through  "life-
cycle assessment."  Life-cycle assessment
is an analytical process through which a
product, in this case a building material, is
evaluated throughout its entire life for its
environmental impact. This includes the
natural resources used, pollution  gener-
ated and any environmental degradation
involved in its production, shipment, use
and eventual disposal.

Fortunately,   simplified   models  and
computer-based  systems  have  been
developed to assist in this process, and
life-cycle assessments have already been
completed for many  construction prod-
ucts. Similar tools  exist for calculating
specific impacts, such  as greenhouse gas
contributions, and can easily be located
through Web sites such as the U.S. Green
Building Council's "Resources" page.



EPA information on green building

U.S. Green Building Council  ayPaqe.

A Green Playbook for Local Governments

California Sustainable Building Toolkit

A Sourcebook for Green and Sustainable

Field Guide for Sustainable Construction

Building  Design  and Construction Net-

Green Building Forum



F = w • •
11 "•
            r -

  i -•

Greener Buildings

Materials and Products
EPA  Comprehensive Buildings  and Con-
struction Resources Page

GreenSpecฎ-listed  green  building prod-

Building Materials  Reuse Association Na-
tional Directory

EPA  Comprehensive  Procurement Guide-
lines material supplier database m/user/cpg_

Green Building Pages, an online resources
and green product locator

Forest  Stewardship  Council sustainable
forest products/green building Web site

The  ENERGY  STAR  qualified  products
directory lists energy efficient building
technologies (e.g., heating,  cooling, elec-
trical, insulation and windows).
www.e n e rgysta r.g ov

Greenguard   Environmental   Institute's
Greenguard Product Guide

Green Seal's lists of environmentally certi-
fied products (windows and doors)

EPA's WaterSense Program Web site has a
directory of water efficient products.
The South Coast Air Quality Management
District's green solvent database  has in-
formation on non-toxic substances (e.g.,
solvents and adhesives).

EPA offers life-cycle assessment resources,
including the Life-Cycle Assessment 101

                         Green Building Case Study:
                         Portland, Oregon
                         Green Building Campaign Reaps  Rewards
Portland has established itself as a national leader in green building. With 36 LEED certified buildings, Portland cur-
rently ranks with cities such as Chicago and Seattle, which are known for their leadership in green building and distin-
guished by the large numbers of green buildings they contain.

In 2001, Portland adopted  a resolution mandating LEED certification for all city-funded construction and major reno-
vation projects. This policy also formalized the efforts of Portland's newly formed Office of Sustainable Development,
prescribing proactive engagement with the public and green building stewardship. Also developed was the "Green
Investment Fund," to provide grants for green building projects.

In 2005, Portland adopted  another resolution to strengthen the previous policy, increasing the requirement for new
city construction projects to  LEED Gold certification, and also requiring existing city buildings to be brought up to
LEED Silver certification.

Portland has a comprehensive outreach program, and offers free technical assistance to those interested in participat-
ing in its booming green building  economy. Through its Office of Sustainable Development and its Web site, the city
offers an abundance of information and organizes regular outreach efforts.

Green building owners have reported lower energy bills and, in many cases, reduced operation and maintenance
costs. Portland is now reaping the fruits of its bustling green construction economy, with the infrastructure firmly in
place for continued success in efforts toward sustainable development.

For further information on  Portland's green building program, go to:
LEED Projects:


 Green Construction
 Clean construction practices and strategies are essential to creating healthier, more sus-
 tainable communities.  Construction is integral in the development, improvement, and
 restoration of homes and buildings, as well as the maintenance and  expansion of the
 country's infrastructure.
Air  and  water  are  two  environmental
resources  affected   by   construction.
Impacts to air from construction are due
mainly  to diesel-powered  equipment,
which  is responsible for  large amounts
of diesel  emissions and  contributes  to
unhealthy  levels  of particulate  matter
(PM), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and other
toxic air pollutants. Additional pollutants
resulting  from  construction  activities,
such as  dust and  noise,  also  have the
potential to pose environmental health
risks to residents within the communities
that surround construction sites, and  to
contribute to climate change.

Exposure  to diesel particulate  matter is
associated  with increased risk of several
respiratory ailments including  asthma,
emphysema and bronchitis,  in addition
to  other  adverse  health effects. Long-
term exposure  has been  linked to heart
problems,  lung cancer and premature
death.      Children  are   particularly
susceptible to the harmful effects of diesel
air pollution.

The  construction  sector  utilizes  more
diesel  engines  than any other  sector
across   the nation, including  freight,
transit, municipal, and ports. Construction
equipment is  notorious  for staying  in
commission for very long periods, in some
cases as long as three decades.  Of the
two million diesel engines currently being
used for construction equipment  in the
United States,  31% were manufactured
prior  to  the   introduction  of  diesel
emissions regulations.  These  pieces  of
equipment are responsible for 32% of the
NOx and  37% of the particulate matter
emissions from  all vehicles and engines
annually. Whether a community owns its
construction equipment or hires outside
vendors for construction projects, it can
mitigate the  environmental impact  of
those projects.
 In addition to air pollution, construction
 sites are among the  largest contributors
 of  pollutants  to  streams,  lakes,  and
 other surface waters. Effects on  those
 waters  arise  from  two  separate  but
 interrelated processes called "erosion and
 sedimentation."  Erosion is the  process
 by which  the  land surface, including
 soils, rocks, and other materials, is worn
 away.  Erosion  from construction  sites
 can  be between seven and  500 times
 greater than erosion from undisturbed
 natural  areas. Along with sediment, as
 water flows  over a  site it can  pick up
 debris,  chemicals, fertilizers,  pesticides,
 oil, concrete products, sealers, paints, and
 other pollutants. Sedimentation occurs
 when particles are deposited  elsewhere,
 whether on the land or in ponds, lakes,
 wetlands, and  reservoirs.  Erosion  and
 sedimentation can have several negative
 impacts, including:
• blocking light needed by aquatic plants
 and smothering or choking aquatic
• contributing to the accumulation of
• clogging ditches, culverts, and storm
 sewers, increasing flooding
• dirtying clear waterways, decreasing
 recreational value; and
• filling in ponds, lakes, and reservoirs
 with sediment, which can reduce the
 life of dams that provide flood control,
 recreation, or municipal drinking water
 Best Practices and


 Communities  can  use  the following
 strategies  to  minimize  the  harmful
 impacts  of  diesel  emissions  and other

 forms of pollution. Local governments can
 apply these strategies in their own fleets
 or  by including them in specifications
 for construction contracts with  outside

• replace older equipment with newer,
 cleaner models
• repower older engines with newer,
 cleaner models
• retrofit equipment with emissions
 reduction technologies such as
 particulate filters and oxidation catalysts
 verified by the EPA
• implement an idling-reduction policy
• keep equipment running efficiently
 though preventative maintenance and
• use cleaner fuels such as ultra low sulfur
 diesel, biodiesel and compressed  natural
• control dust pollution by spraying down
 equipment entering and departing
 construction sites
• keep stockpiles of materials covered
 with  plastic tarps to prevent dust
• hang noise dampening blankets  around
 construction sites
• when possible, avoid using loud
 equipment (pile drivers, jackhammers,
 etc.) during noise sensitive hours  (10 p.m.

 A    common,   easily    implemented
 strategy used   at  the   local  level to
 mitigate  the  effects  of construction
 activities  is  to  require  diesel emission
 controls in construction project contract
 specifications. Specifications can  require:

• the highest level of emission controls
• idling-reduction and engine shut-off
• the use of ultra low sulfur or alternative
 Erosion and Sedimentation

The Clean Water Act specifically addresses
 the   permitting  of  non-point  source
 stormwater discharges (see p. 42-43 for a
 description of non-point source pollution),
 including   construction   site   runoff.
 Although  construction  managers   are
 required to institute "best  management
 practices" for any site that disturbs one
 acre or more of  land, communities can
 go beyond  requirements  and institute
 additional safeguards.

 For example, local governments can use
 ordinances to require green construction
 in their communities.  Ordinances  are
 only  effective if  they are implemented
 and   enforced,  so   local   governments
 should  support  regular inspections and
 clearly  specify  penalties  for  violations.
 In particular, ordinances  can mandate
 that  developers write  control   plans
 prior to construction that describe how
 a  developer will address  erosion  and

 Careful  scheduling can be one of the most
 effective  safeguards  against  sediment
 pollution; it  minimizes  the amount  of
 time  land  is exposed, and can ensure
 that   land-disturbing   activities   align
 properly with erosion and sedimentation
 controls,  which  range  from  sediment
 traps and  barriers  to dikes  and  runoff
 diversions.  A  range  of   erosion  and
 sedimentation  controls can be  found
 in  EPA's  Menu of Stormwater  Best
 Management Practices (http://cfpub.epa.
 gov/npdes/storm water/men uofbmps/
 index.cfm?action=min measure&min
 measure id=4).

 Additionally, communities can:
• preserve natural vegetation and install
 additional plants, especially around the
 perimeter of sites
• minimize clearing and grading of soil
• build concrete washouts, which are used
 to contain and consolidate concrete and
 liquid waste when concrete equipment

 is rinsed, to avoid disposal down storm
• disconnect any drains from any other
 processing areas that lead to storm
• minimize the application and generation
 of pollutants, including chemicals
• properly dispose of building materials
 and other construction wastes, while
 preventing spills and recycling when
• provide education and training
 opportunities for construction personnel
 Measuring  Success

 A community's progress can be evaluated
 in several ways  when  examining  clean
 construction.    For  air,  EPA's  Diesel
 Emissions  Quantifier   (http://cfpub.epa.
 gov/quantifier/) can be used to quantify
 emission  reductions  from  retrofitting,
 replacing    and    repowering    older
 equipment as well as switching to cleaner
 fuels.  To  track success, a  community

•quantify the tons of emissions reduced
• calculate the  cost per ton of emissions
• document community satisfaction with
 pollution reduction, including noise
• count the number of local projects using
 emission control devices/alternative fuels
 at active construction sites
• document the number of local  projects
 with   clean   diesel   specifications   in
 construction contracts.

 The   "Protecting   Water  Quality  and
 Ensuring Future  Supply" chapter in this
 guide  lists several measures of a healthy
 watershed (p. 43) - such as chemical and
 physical water quality - that also apply to
 green  construction. In addition to those,
 other measures include the amount of:
• construction projects that develop a pre-
 construction erosion  and sedimentation
 reduction plan
• sediment kept on-site, as opposed to the
amount eroded  by poorer construction
• chemicals and other hazardous products
eliminated from use at a site
• materials recycled during waste disposal


 EPA's "Breathing Clean by Building
 Green: Clean Diesel Construction." Free
 DVD copies of this video are available
 from the National Service Center for
 Environmental Publications (NSCEP) or at
 1-800-490-9198. Please use item number
 EPA902V07001 for ordering. The video
 can also be viewed at the following web

 Information on the EPA's National Clean
 Diesel Campaign

 EPA information on clean construction

 EPA's Diesel Emissions Quantifier

 Verified retrofitting construction
 equipment list
 Sample contract specifications for
 inclusion of clean construction strategies

Retrofitting diesel engines in the
construction sector

Low-cost ways to clean construction

Low-cost ways to reduce emissions from
construction equipment

lEPA's   National  Pollutant   Discharge
Elimination System - permit requirements,
as  well  as  example  E&S   municipal
ordinances and best practices.

Examples  of  Stormwater   Pollution
Prevention  Plans and  view a  guide for
creating one

The  Construction  Industry  Compliance
Assistance Center

Extensive guidance on ways to reduce
non-point source  pollution, including a
guide for construction

EPA's   Menu   of   Stormwater   Best
Management Practices
measure&min measure id=4

Clean Construction Case Study:
Westchester County, New York
Clean Construction Contract Specifications
The county's Department of Public Works' bid solicitation includes several provisions to ensure compliance with the
county law. Contractors must equip all 2003 and older model year pieces of equipment with an EPA verified clean die-
sel technology. Also vehicles performing county work must be powered by ultra-low sulfur diesel, containing 15 parts
per million of sulfur or less. The contractors are required to log and submit reports regarding the quality and vendor of
Other provisions include dust control, stormwater management, and other water quality regulations. A violation of the
contract could result in a fine of $20,000 or more.  In taking these steps, Westchester County has greatly reduced the
impact of all county construction activities on both the environment and the surrounding communities.
hurtner mtormation is availaPle online:


 Green  Procurement

The U.S. has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with
 a per capita GDP of $46,000. The ability for local governments to influence the economy
 through purchasing decisions is enormous.
 Green procurement - buying environ-
 mentally friendly products whenever
 possible - is one of the easiest strate-
 gies to implement at the local  level. It
 can  be  done incrementally  as equip-
 ment or supplies are purchased and
 contracts are renewed.  A key advan-
 tage of green procurement is that the
 principles are applicable at almost ev-
 ery level of commercial activity, from a
 single-person household to the largest
 organization in the world. In 1993, EPA
 introduced the Environmentally Prefer-
 able Purchasing (EPP) Program, helping
 federal  agencies to "use  sustainable
 practices when buying  products and
 services." Procurement choices happen
 at almost every aspect of an organiza-
 tion: transportation, energy supply, wa-
 ter use, packaging, office materials and
 waste management to name but a few.

 Green procurement is a sound strategy
 and  a good initial step toward  sustain-
 ability. It is:
• easy to initiate and grow over time
• relatively inexpensive and can often
 lead to net savings
• a market stimulus for environmentally
 preferable products
• a way to improve employee health
 and  performance
• a method to reduce existing and po-
 tential liabilities
 Measuring Success

 Some specific  indicators of  successful
 green procurement are:
• amount of post-consumer recycled
 products used (e.g., office supplies, bags
 supplied by vendors, etc.)
• number and volume of cleaning prod-
 ucts purchased from an approved green
• use of non-toxic carpets, paints and
• percentage of energy-efficient lighting,
 equipment and heating/air condition-
 ing systems
• percentage of water-efficient fixtures
• services rendered for green events and
 purchases from green food suppliers


 EPA's EPP Web site

 EPA's  Comprehensive   Procurement
 Guidelines Supplier Database

 EPA's "EPP Assistant"

The GSA's "General Services Administra-
 tion's SmartPayฎ Purchase Card Training"

The "Federal Green Construction Guide
for Specifiers"

The U.S. Department of Energy - tool to
educate consumers about fuel economy

U.S. Department of Energy Alternative
Fuels and Advanced Vehicles  Data Cen-

The Paper Calculator


 Regardless of budget, population or de-
 mographics, the development of plans for
 a sustainable future, or the update of ex-
 isting plans, is just the first step in a much
 larger  process. Your success  will rely on
 your ability to follow through.

 The implementation of the elements in
 any sustainability plan will rely on  the
 education, commitment  and action  of
 not only the government, but residents,
 businesses and civic organizations alike.
 Strong cross  communication will create
 feedback  loops, best practices and help
 to ensure increased buy-in, participation
 and, ultimately, the success of your  sus-
 tainability plan. This  is not a surprising
 finding, but it emphasizes the importance
 of outreach  and  community education
 throughout the process of plan  develop-
 ment and through implementation.

 Change can be difficult to sell, so it's im-
 portant to identify the interests  and con-
 cerns that will drive support for your local
 plan.  Plans for change may be driven by
 the community, the government or start
 one  way  and end up another, but  the
 most important ingredient for success is
 engagement. The following are  some ac-
 tual examples of actions or activities that
 drove  support for sustainability plans in
 various locations:

ซ concerns about climate change, air pol-
 lution  and a host of other environmental
 issues  spurred community members In
 Westchester  County, New York to push
 for a  more comprehensive approach to
• community interest in greening the town
 on a  small scale led  to a conference in
 Chequamegon, Wisconsin that created
 much  broader local interest. Town Hall
 meetings  proved to be an effective venue
 for raising and  discussing  issues in Burl-
 ington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas
• in Cleveland, Ohio, key players working
 together in the government  water de-
 partment started  thinking about  how
 they could make improvements
• Lancaster, Pennsylvania took a top-down
 approach to priority setting, demonstrat-
 ing that decisions can be made by the
 mayor or city council to make  sustain-
 ability a priority, hire consultants, look at
 energy efficiency, conduct cost-benefit
 analyses of programming options or to
 establish a task force
• Ann  Arbor, Michigan started with a pilot
 project approach, tackling energy  effi-
 ciency, which generally pays for itself, and
 realized other ways to save money
• Ann Arbor was successful in hiring a new
 energy policy staff member despite over-
 all cuts, when it demonstrated that the
 person's activities could save them one
 percent of its annual  energy costs and
 fully cover the salary for that position. The
 savings were  easily accomplished and ex-
 ceeded in the first year.
• the interest in sustainability on the part
 of one member of the local government
 in Ann Arbor ultimately  expanded into
 a whole new  department. The strategic
 planning department has members from
 all  sectors, and  although it might  not
 brand itself as such, it has become the
"policy center" for the government
• Bowling Green,  Ohio found  an intern
 from  a local university to look at current
 practices and make recommendations.
• Brownsville,  Texas  surveyed its primary
 businesses  and  performed a  needs  as-
 sessment. When businesses believe their
 needs will be addressed by a sustainabil-
 ity plan, they may be more likely to partici-
 pate and support the endeavor.

Goal   Setting,   Targets

and Performance



The old adage, "If you can't measure it,
you can't manage it"  holds true for sus-
tainability planning. Once your plan  be-
gins  implementation,  it is  important to
gauge whether  or not efficient and ef-
fective progress  is being made towards
its goals. This can be  achieved through

Each section of this guide provides met-
rics to emphasize that careful tracking is
essential to the success of any program.
Metrics and goals should not only be es-
tablished for each element of your plan,
but taking a holistic approach  is recom-
mended to link all governmental activities
to the goal of sustainability. Once some
overarching goals have been set, a series
of measurement tools can be employed
to establish baselines (e.g., a greenhouse
gas inventory) and future  assessments
can ensure that targets are being met.
From  the baseline metric, all governmen-
tal and community programs and sectors
can and should be active participants in
the sustainability process.

Targets are more difficult to establish, so
in some cases it is important to begin by
tracking data. In Ann Arbor,  Michigan, its
annual "State of Our Environment Report"
highlights the direction in which the city's
indicators  are heading. Burlington, Ver-
mont started its planning process in 2000,
setting a 10 percent greenhouse gas re-
duction by 2005, and established goals
based on this over-arching  target. It's a
good  idea to record targets in a matrix for
easy  reference. Ultimately, goals, targets
and indicators are important to creating
accountability and public support.
Wrapping Up and

Moving  Forward

The challenges you face at the local lev-
el - from ensuring that daily critical ser-
vices are provided to anticipating future
threats - are  substantial. We  hope this
guide has shown that ideas, approaches
and  resources that foster sustainability
are plentiful. There is no magic bullet or
single solution for how to best plan for a
sustainable future, but  there are a grow-
ing array of approaches that have worked
for communities of every size and shape.

Although the approaches are diverse, the
best plans take comprehensive views that
aim to simultaneously improve efficiency,
lower costs, protect the environment and
provide a healthy future for generations
to come.

Every city, town and county faces its own
set of challenges and opportunities. Every
community has a unique mix of resources,
talent and ideas with which to create so-
lutions. By learning from good examples,
you can create and implement  a plan
unique to your community that will lead
to a sustainable future.

Preparing the Guide

This planning guide is based on reports
prepared for EPA by the Columbia Univer-
sity School of International and Public Af-
fairs. One report compared and analyzed
information  from fourteen  sustainability
plans developed by municipalities around
the country, and  a second assessed infor-
mation  obtained from interviews with
planners and officials from sixteen local
governments that had no prepared sus-
tainability plans. The researchers selected
localities in all 10 EPA regions as well as
places  ranging in population from small
towns to large cities.

Special thanks to the Columbia University
School of International and  Public Affairs
and Faculty Advisor Dr. Steven Cohen.

Kelsey Bennett
Nicholas Cain
Radulph Hart-George
Jeremy Newman
Paige Olmsted
Keith Parsons
Plinio Ribeiro
Celine Ruben-Salama
Kyle Smith
Glenn Sonntag
Sofia Treviho Heres
Jill Weyer

Produced by:
U.S. EPA Region 2
Office  of Policy  and Management  and
Public Affairs Division

EPA Contributors:
Irene Boland
Patricia Carr
Cecily David
Jennifer May

Check  this Web  site for updates to this