Climate Smart Communities Certification Report

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bronze Certified

This is the Climate Smart Communities Certification Report of Monroe County. Monroe County is a bronze certified Climate Smart Community.

Monroe County was certified on April 21, 2023 with 157 points earned from 21 completed actions. Listed below is information regarding Monroe County’s Climate Smart Communities efforts and materials associated with its certified actions.

The certification for Monroe County will expire on September 30, 2028.

Contact Information

The designated Climate Smart Communities contact for Monroe County is:

Name:Clement Chung
Title/Position:Deputy Director / Department of Environmental Services
Address:7100 CityPlace 50 W Main St
Rochester, NY 14614

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Monroe County was approved for in 2023 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action.

  • 1. Build a climate-smart community.

    PE1 Action: CSC Task Force

    20 Points
    Bronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory

    Program Summary: 1) Appointment by the County Executive designating the Monroe County Legislature Climate Action Plan Advisory Committee as the Climate Smart Communities Task Force (March 5, 2021) 2) Resolution confirming appointments for the Climate Action Plan Advisory Committee (May 12, 2020) whose members also serve as the Climate Smart Communities Task Force 3) The Task Force meets once a month-attached are meeting minutes from June 2021 and July 2021. Additional meeting minutes and meeting materials can be found here:

    PE1 Action: CSC Coordinator

    10 Points
    Bronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory

    Program Summary:

    PE1 Action: National/Regional Climate Program

    3 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County has a current membership with ICLEI. Please see attached the ICLEI membership invoice for April 2021-March 2022. Monroe County is also participating in the Clean Energy Communities Program-see attached the Clean Energy Communities Map.

    PE1 Action: Partnerships with Other Entities

    3 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County is a member of the Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County, established in 2000 with 29 municipal members. Staff from the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services coordinate and support Coalition programs. The work of the Coalition is advanced by several task groups including Education, Construction, and Illicit Discharges/Pollution Prevention. Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County website: Please find attached the 2019-2020 annual report for the Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County. One educational project that Monroe County and the Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County are a part of is the H20 Hero program. The H20 Hero program is designed to promote awareness and educate the public on stormwater pollution. H20 Hero website: Also find attached an example informational brochure on lawn care and landscaping to preserve water quality.

  • 2. Inventory emissions, set goals, and plan for climate action.

    PE2 Action: Government Operations GHG Inventory

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Monroe County completed a government operations GHG emissions inventory as a component of its Climate Action Plan Phase I. The Inventory was developed using the ICLEI ClearPath tool. The Phase I Plan was adopted by the Monroe County Legislature on September 13, 2022, and signed into law by County Executive Adam Bello on September 15, 2022. The Phase I Plan report consists of 3 parts, an Executive Summary, Full Report, and Appendices. A description of the inventory development process is included in the Appendices, pages 1-16. The report is available online via the county's website:

    PE2 Action: Government Operations Climate Action Plan

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Monroe County has completed its Climate Action Plan Phase I. The Phase I Plan was adopted by the Monroe County Legislature on September 13, 2022, and signed into law by County Executive Adam Bello on September 15, 2022. The development of the plan was overseen by a Climate Action Plan Advisory Committee created by the Legislature on March, 10 2020, whose members include citizen appointees and whose meetings are open to the public. Since the plan was submitted to the Legislature for adoption, the public was able to comment through the legislative process. The plan report (Executive Summary, Full Report, and Appendices) and Committee notices, agendas, and meeting minutes are available on the Monroe County website at:

  • 3. Decrease energy use.

    PE3 Action: HVAC Upgrades

    4 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County has upgraded 52% of its buildings HVAC (by square footage) in the past ten years. Please see the attached Word doc for more information. Please see attached Excel file for the list of buildings the County owns and the associated total square footage as well as the associated HVAC upgrades square footage.

    PE3 Action: Green Building Standard for Government Buildings

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County's Green Building Policy was adopted in 2008 and requires all internal County new construction and major renovation projects of more than 5,000 square feet to incorporate sustainable design and evaluate the potential for the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Monroe County currently has 9 LEED Certified Buildings.

    PE3 Action: Advanced Vehicles

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County purchased two electric vehicles in 2016 that are currently active-the Chevrolet Bolt and Chevrolet Volt. Please see attached "Monroe County EV Information" document listing details on the EVs. Please also find attached pictures of the two vehicles.

  • 4. Shift to clean, renewable energy.

    PE4 Action: Solar Energy Installation

    20 Points

    Program Summary: In 2014, the County issued an RFP for the development of solar energy and several large arrays were constructed at the former Gloria Drive Landfill site and at the Northwest Quadrant Water Resource Recovery Facility. The proposal was awarded to Solar Liberty (now AES). Please see attached the Standardized Contracts detailing location addresses. The presentation attached details estimates of energy cost savings, project specifications, and nameplate capacity. The nameplate capacity for all the arrays installed totals 13.4 MW, which translates to 13,400 KW. Total savings over the 20-year PPA were estimated at $7.3M. The presentation also serves as educational outreach to the public, with press releases attached announcing the installations. Also attached are the September 2021 invoices from AES, showing the solar panels are actively in use.

    PE4 Action: Power Purchase Agreement for Renewables

    9 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County entered into a PPA for the solar panel installations on Gloria Drive and NWQ in 2015. See attached the copy of the PPA with Solar Liberty. Also attached are the Lease Parcel Maps and recent (September 2021) invoices from AES-Monroe Solar for the two sites at Gloria Drive and three at NWQ showing that the solar installations are currently in use.

  • 5. Use climate-smart materials management.

    PE5 Action: Recycling Bins in Government Buildings

    3 Points

    Program Summary: In 2019, Monroe County rolled out its Refresh Recycling program which included an update to existing recycling initiatives within County buildings. The program updated and increased locations of recycling bins with updated signage. See the attached for more information.

    PE5 Action: Reuse Programs

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County's ecopark provides residential recycling for items not typically accepted for curbside recycling. A variety of items are accepted during regular operating hours and household hazardous wastes are accepted by appointment. Please see attached for justification of the County's large scale reuse program. Rules and regulations for center use are outlined in the recylopedia. Promotional/educational materials are also attached (ecopark brochure, poster, magnet). Operating hours are Wednesdays 1 pm-6:30 pm and Saturdays 7:30 am-1 pm year-round. More information can be found on the ecopark website:

    PE5 Action: Waste Reduction Education Campaign

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County started its Refresh Recycling education campaign in 2018 that is still ongoing. Educational outreach is done through local schools and social media, and includes a magnet with information on curbside recycling and the County's ecopark. More information is described in the attached Waste Reduction Education Description. Also attached are Recycling Signage in English and Spanish. More educational materials including an ecopark brochure, magnet, FAQs and more are attached in Waste Red Education Public Materials.

    PE5 Action: Residential Organic Waste Program

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County has an established partnership with the City of Rochester for the collection and composting of community yard waste. The City of Rochester is responsible for collecting yard waste through curbside pick-up every November; this includes loose-leaf and refuse collection. Some of the yard waste collected is then taken to County facilities to be composted. The County owns and operates two yard waste composting facilities, located at our ecopark and Frank E. Van Lare Wastewater Treatment Plant. The compost is made available to Monroe County residents for free to pick-up at the ecopark during regular operating hours. Screenshots detailing the program are included from the county website: and ecopark website:

  • 6. Implement climate-smart land use.

    PE6 Action: Infrastructure for Biking and Walking

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County DOT has expanded and improved bike/walking paths, bike lanes, and sidewalks: -Attachment 1 (Parma Townline Road DOT Project) shows an example of rehabilitating/replacing bridge decks with wider shoulders for pedestrians and bicyclists. -Attachment 2 (Whitney Road DOT Project) shows an example of concrete sidewalk installation to improve pedestrian accessibility. Monroe County DOT has also worked on projects to improve bike and pedestrian signage: -Attachment 3 (County Road 32 DOT Project) shows an example of improved bike signage with the installation of "Bicycles in Lane" sign and pavement "sharrow" symbol. -Attachment 4 (County Road 99 DOT Project) shows an example of improved pedestrian signage with the installation of Countdown Pedestrian Signal Devices.

    PE6 Action: Alternative-fuel Infrastructure

    8 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Monroe County installed three EV Charging Stations for County use in 2018. Please find attached "Monroe County EV Charging Stations Information" listing details. Also attached are the EV Charging Station Drawings and Invoices for materials and labor for the installations.

  • 7. Enhance community resilience to climate change.

    PE7 Action: Green Infrastructure

    10 Points

    Program Summary: 13 Points Documented. The community-wide plan for green infrastructure is attached as: GI Planning Design Guidelines Monroe County. Monroe County also partnered with the City of Rochester to create a community-wide plan for green infrastructure retrofitting, it is attached as: COR MC Green Infrastructure Retrofit Manual. Monroe County adopted a policy to consider green infrastructure in all projects attached as: Monroe County Construction_Post Construction Policies. Monroe County also adopted a green building policy in 2007, which can be found here: Regular training programs are provided to municipal staff, elected officials, engineers, and code officers. They include the following: WNY Stormwater Training Series: 4-5 day long courses are offered in the spring of every year. The classes cover a variety of topics including, hydrology, hydraulics, Erosion & Sediment Control, SWPPP Review, Green Infrastructure. The classes are targeted at professional engineers, landscape architects, and municipal staff. Continuing education credits are offered. The description of the course for Spring 2022 is attached as WNY Stormwater Training Brochure 2022. Land Use for Decision Makers Series: Offered through the Monroe County Planning Department for planning board members. Often including a two hour course on Green Infrastructure. Stormwater Coalition Continuing Education: Every other month the Stormwater Coalition holds a training class on various aspects of stormwater. One class a year covers post construction practices including green infrastructure. Annual Pesticide Applicators Recertification Course: Offered Annually through Cornell Cooperative Extension. The typical audience is municipal staff and landscapers. One course every year is taught by County Staff on stormwater and Green Infrastructure. Monroe County staff that attended all classes from 2020 and 2021: Andrew Sansone, Industrial Waste Engineer; Will Emblidge, Industrial Waste Assistant. The feasibility study for the MCC Green Roofs project is attached as: MCC Downtown Green Roofs-Feasibility Study. The implementation of a green infrastructure project-the MCC Green Roofs was >5,000 cubic feet, documentation with descriptions and before and after photos are attached as: MCC Downtown Campus Green Roof.

    PE7 Action: Nature-based Shorelines

    8 Points

    Program Summary:

  • 8. Support a green innovation economy.

    PE8 Action: PACE Financing

    7 Points

    Program Summary: The Open C-PACE program was authorized in Monroe County in July 2021. Please see attached NYSERDA Approval of Monroe County's C-PACE Program, an updated EIC list including Monroe County, and press release.

  • 9. Inform and inspire the public.

    PE9 Action: Energy Reduction Campaign

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Monroe County has been a partner on the AMPED Campaign since 2019. The campaign's goal is to mitigate the impacts of climate change by reducing carbon pollution caused by burning fossil fuels within the Genesee/Finger Lakes Region. Because the majority of local emissions come from building heating systems and on-road vehicles, the focus of the campaign will be to encourage and support the transition of area organizations’ vehicles and buildings to technologies that are powered by carbon-free electricity, instead of fossil fuels. You can visit the campaign website at: Please find attached the AMPED Campaign press release from September 21. Also attached is one of the AMPED Success Stories-showcasing Monroe County's fleet electrification. The AMPED presentation attached shows the campaign strategy and timeline. AMPED Campaign FAQs are also attached.