Climate Smart Communities Certification Report

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silver Certified

This is the Climate Smart Communities Certification Report of Tompkins County. Tompkins County is a silver certified Climate Smart Community.

Tompkins County was certified on September 28, 2018 with 369 points earned from 44 completed actions. Listed below is information regarding Tompkins County’s Climate Smart Communities efforts and materials associated with its certified actions.

The certification for Tompkins County will expire on September 28, 2023.

Contact Information

The designated Climate Smart Communities contact for Tompkins County is:

Name:Megan McDonald
Title/Position:Deputy Commissioner / Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability
Address:121 East Court Street Ithaca, NY 14850
Ithaca, NY 14850-4210

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Tompkins County was approved for in 2018 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.

    1.1 Pass a Resolution Adopting the CSC Pledge

    4 Points

    Program Summary:

    PE1 Action: CSC Task Force

    20 Points
    Bronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory

    Program Summary: 1. Resolution of Tompkins County Legislature designating the Tompkins County Task Force as Climate Smart Communities Task Force - adopted 6/19/18. 2. The task force agendas include a list of members; attached is a recent agenda from 6/15/18. Members include the Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, as well as staff from the Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability, the local transportation agencies, Cornell Cooperative Extension, local developers, development agencies, energy contractors, and higher education researchers and staff. 3. The task force meets every other month, and the meeting minutes include member attendance. Attached are minutes from 2/8/18 and 4/20/18. Additional meeting minutes and meeting materials are available here: http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/planning/committees-etf

    PE1 Action: CSC Coordinator

    10 Points
    Bronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory

    Program Summary:

    PE1 Action: National/Regional Climate Program

    3 Points

    Program Summary:

    PE1 Action: Partnerships with Other Entities

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The Water Resources Council Cayuga Lake Monitoring Partnership is a presently active partnership between local government and various water-related entities – see the passage below from the county website: http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/planning/committees/wrc/wrcmonitoring-plan-committee "In addition to members of the Water Resources Council, the Cayuga Lake Monitoring Partnership includes representatives of Cornell University’s Lake Source Cooling monitoring team, Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Community Science Institute, Finger Lakes Institute, Floating Classroom, Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Plant, and several researchers from Cornell University." The most recent task had been the Cayuga Lake Modelling Project (see main web link above), and its completion in December 2016 is detailed in the link below: https://energyandsustainability.fs.cornell.edu/util/clmp/default.cfm

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

    PE2 Action: Government Operations GHG Inventory

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    PE2 Action: Community GHG Inventory

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    2.3 Establish a Government Operations Emissions Reduction Target

    4 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: http://tompkinscountyny.gov/files/planning/energyclimate/documents/GovernmentInventory_Report_with_Appendices.pdf

    2.4 Establish a Community Emissions Reduction Target

    4 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: http://tompkinscountyny.gov/files/planning/energyclimate/documents/Community%202014%20Final%20GHG%20Emissions%20Report.pdf

    PE2 Action: Government Operations Climate Action Plan

    8 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    PE2 Action: Community Climate Action Plan

    12 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

  • 3. Decrease energy use.

    PE3 Action: Green Building Standard for Government Buildings

    4 Points

    Program Summary:

    PE3 Action: Fleet Efficiency Policy

    2 Points

    Program Summary:

    PE3 Action: Advanced Vehicles

    4 Points

    Program Summary: Based on the list of County vehicles (and excluding the highway vehicles that include vehicles such as snow plows), the County has 135 vehicles, 21 of which are advanced vehicles, or 15.56% of the fleet.

    PE3 Action: Incentives for Employee Carpooling & Transit

    2 Points

    Program Summary: http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/countycorridors/its-did-you-know

  • 4. Shift to clean, renewable energy.

    PE4 Action: Green Power Procurement Policy

    4 Points

    Program Summary: Tompkins County Resolution 2016-53 (accessed on 09-20-2017), https://tompkinscountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?ID=6202&highlightTerms=gravity%20renewables Tompkins County Resolution 2012-241 (accessed on 09-20-2017), https://tompkinscountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?ID=3681&highlightTerms=integrys Tompkins County Resolution 2015-165 (accessed on 09-20-2017), https://tompkinscountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?ID=5744&highlightTerms=integrys Tompkins County has adopted several resolutions to increase the amount of energy coming from renewable sources, specifically from RECs, beginning in 2012 (see Resolution 2012-241). In 2016, Tompkins County entered into an agreement with Gravity Renewables, Inc., for remote net metering from a remote hydroelectric utility in New York State (see Resolution 2016-53). For evidence of purchase of RECs, see 4.4.

    PE4 Action: Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Tompkins County Energy Roadmap: Evaluating Our Energy Resources (accessed on 05-29-2018), http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/files2/planning/energyclimate/documents/Energy%20Roadmap%203-25-16.pdf The Tompkins County Energy Roadmap includes feasibility studies for wind, solar, micro-hydro, biomass, and deep geothermal energy in Tompkins County. It was published by the Tompkins County Planning Department.

    PE4 Action: Renewable Energy Credits

    7 Points

    Program Summary: 2014 Tompkins County Government Operations Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy Use Inventory (accessed 09-20-2017), http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/files2/planning/Energy-greenhouse/GovernmentInventory_Report_with_Appendices.pdf The 2014 government operations GHG inventory states that the County used 6,503,913 kWh in 2014. Based on the attached REC receipts, in 2016, the County purchased 713,000 kWh in RECs from Gravity Renewables, 1,825,000 kWh in RECs from Constellation Energy, and 4,000,000 kWh in RECs from Integrys Energy Services of New York, Inc. in 2016, amounting to 6,538,000 kWh worth of RECs for 2016, which exceeds the County's total energy usage in 2014 (which likely remained about the same in 2016).

    PE4 Action: Solar Energy Installation

    20 Points

    Program Summary: Tompkins County Resolution 2012-87 (accessed 09-20-2017), https://tompkinscountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?ID=3374&highlightTerms=solar%20pv Resolution 2012-87 authorized the County to enter into fifteen-year lease agreements with with Solar Liberty to install solar PV systems on seven County facilities. The installment agreement provides details on the County's installation at 128 E. Buffalo Street in Ithaca.

    PE4 Action: Power Purchase Agreement for Renewables

    9 Points

    Program Summary: In March 2016, Tompkins County entered into a 20-year PPA with Gravity Renewables, Inc., for hydroelectric power produced in Seneca County.

  • 5. Use climate-smart materials management.

    PE5 Action: Recycling Bins in Government Buildings

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The photos show recycling bins in County buildings next to employee desks, in common areas, and in public spaces.

    PE5 Action: Construction & Demolition Waste Policy

    4 Points

    Program Summary: TCRMM anticipates releasing a 10-year update to the 20-year Local Solid Waste Management Plan (LSWMP) in 2018. With recent news regarding a local C&D debris recycling facility (see attached), an updated C&D waste policy will be included in the LSWMP. TCRMM funds Finger Lakes ReUse, which offers a deconstruction program that features building disassembly for reuse, thus reducing the generation of C&D materials. This represents a tax-write-off for those who choose to contract for this service. Deconstruction (accessed 6/12/2018), http://ithacareuse.org/deconstruction/

    PE5 Action: Resource Recovery Center

    6 Points

    Program Summary: Tompkins County owns the Recycling and Solid Waste Center (RSWC), a NYS DEC permitted materials recovery facility, and contracts for its operation and marketing of recyclables. This facility accepts and diverts curbside and drop off residential single stream, commercial recycling, source separated organics, electronic waste, household hazardous waste, scrap metal, yard waste, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, and other materials from the landfill. Ithaca ReUse Center, About (accessed on 02-13-2018), http://ithacareuse.org/about/ Ithaca ReUse Center, Partners (accessed on 02-13-2018), http://ithacareuse.org/partners/ Recycling and Materials Management of Tompkins County, Tompkins County Partners (accessed on 02-13-2018), https://recycletompkins.org/site/view/1000041 Tompkins County helped establish the Ithaca ReUse Center as part of its 20-Year Solid Waste Management Plan (see Ithaca ReUse Center, About webpage, "Environment" tab, and Recycling and Materials Mangement of Tompkins County, Tompkins County Partners webpage). Additionally, the Ithaca ReUse Center lists Tompkins County Solid Waste as its first partner on its Partners webpage. The Ithaca ReUse Center About page also explains its programs and services.

    PE5 Action: Recycling Program for Public Places & Events

    3 Points

    Program Summary: Tompkins County Department of Recycling & Materials Management offers 3 programs for public & event recycling. TompkinsCRT provides staffing, coordination, and education for compost, recycling, and trash at a minimum of 5 events each year, notably Ithaca Festival, Apple Harvest Festival, and GrassRoots Festival. About Tompkins CRT (accessed 10-26-2017), https://recycletompkins.org/festivalwastereduction TCRMM has partnered with local parks, bus stops, and public service buildings to provide 8 public space recycling bins throughout the county, with plans to expand the program further in the next budget year. Attached: PSR Photos Public events in Tompkins County may borrow up to 20 event recycling bins to allow organizers to collect recycling at their events. With an average of 16 events to year, requests range from 2 recyclers for an evening, to 20 recyclers plus transportation cart for a weekend. Borrow-A-Bin Program (accessed 10-26-2017), https://recycletompkins.org/Recycling/Borrow-A-Bin Attached: Estimates from annual events

    PE5 Action: Waste Reduction Education Campaign

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Food Waste Prevention: https://recycletompkins.org/other-programs-and-services/food-rescue-and-waste-prevention/ The Tompkins County Department of Recycling and Materials Management received a grant from New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) in support of the Save the Food project. Here is a link to a press release from 2015 regarding the grant from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute: http://tompkinscountyny.gov/news/tompkins-county-receives-food-waste-prevention-grant-nys Through this grant, the Department developed a comprehensive program for residential food waste prevention, featuring a community film screening, social media campaign, school presentations, and a food waste prevention challenge. To help communities and organizations that are interested in developing a food waste prevention program in their own area, the Save The Food manual was created, highlighting project summaries, tips, and lessons learned. Outreach (accessed 10-26-2017), https://recycletompkins.org/Outreach The County does several different outreach activities to promote waste reduction and recycling, including tours of the Solid Waste and Recycling Center, participating in community events, and sharing a video about rural waste reduction and recycling.

    PE5 Action: Compost Bins for Residents

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Food Scraps Recycling Drop Spots (accessed 10-26-2017), https://recycletompkins.org/Recycling/Food-Scraps-Recycling Permits and Fees (accessed 10-26-2017), https://recycletompkins.org/Garbage/Permits-and-Fees_ Residents of Tompkins County can pick up a food scraps kitchen caddy, transportation container, compostable bin liners, and educational decals, free of charge at any of the 14 food scraps recycling drops spots throughout Tompkins County. Residents also have the option to purchase an Earth Machine or GeoBin composting system from the Tompkins County Department of Recycling and Materials Management to compost in their backyard.

    PE5 Action: Residential Organic Waste Program

    6 Points

    Program Summary: Residents of Tompkins County have access to 14 food scraps recycling drop spots throughout Tompkins County. Tompkins County Department of Recycling and Materials Management (TCRMM) outline plans to expand this to 20 drop spots by 2020. At these drops spots, residents may sign out a food scraps recycling toolkit free of charge, obtain replacement compostable bins liners, and drop off their food scraps, free of charge. In 2017, these drop spots diverted 323 tons of food scraps & paper towels. Residents of Tompkins County may drop off yard waste at no charge at the Recycling and Solid Waste Center (RSWC). Select municipalities offer yard waste hauling via a bag & tag system. Food scraps and yard waste collected through these programs are sent to Cayuga Compost in Tompkins County for processing. TCRMM pays for the processing of this material via contract, subsidizing organics waste diversion in the county. Food Scraps Recycling Drop Spots (accessed 6-11-2018), https://recycletompkins.org/Recycling/Food-Scraps-Recycling

    5.4 Implement a Pay-as-you-throw or Similar Unit Pricing Program

    5 Points

    Program Summary: https://recycletompkins.org/Garbage/Trash-Tags http://ecode360.com/8412367

  • 6. Implement climate-smart land use.

    PE6 Action: Comprehensive Plan with Sustainability Elements

    21 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Tompkins County Legislature's approval of the comprehensive plan is on page 7 of the meeting minutes document

    PE6 Action: Planning & Infrastructure for Bicycling & Walking

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Bicycle Map: Ithaca & Tompkins County (2016) (accessed 07-07-2017), http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/files2/itctc/BikeSuitability/BikeSuitabilityMap2016web.pdf Complete Streets Network (March 2015) (accessed 07-07-2017), http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/files2/itctc/projects/Complete_Streets_Network_5_13_15_C_Size.pdf The Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council, which is part of the Tompkins County government, developed a bicycle map for the area. The same council also developed a Complete Streets Network map that includes proposals for more trails, expansion of the bicycle boulevard network, and new complete streets (streets that are bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly).

  • 7. Enhance community resilience to climate change.

    PE7 Action: Climate Vulnerability Assessment

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    PE7 Action: Climate Resilience Vision

    3 Points

    Program Summary:

    PE7 Action: Climate Adaptation Plan

    8 Points

    Program Summary:

    7.5 Incorporate Climate Resiliency Vision, Goals, and Strategies into Local Plans and Projects

    3 Points

    Program Summary:

    PE7 Action: Hazard Mitigation Plan

    3 Points

    Program Summary:

    PE7 Action: Conserve Natural Areas

    4 Points

    Program Summary:

  • 8. Support a green innovation economy.

    PE8 Action: Green Jobs Training

    3 Points

    Program Summary: Tompkins County funds Finger Lakes ReUse, which offers ReSET, a free job training program. This program offers customer service & retail training in a reuse setting, as well as skills in computer technology & refurbishment. Training(ReSET) (accessed 6/11/2018), http://ithacareuse.org/reset/

    PE8 Action: Buy Local/Buy Green Campaign

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Get Your GreenBack Tompkins is a community-initiated and community-supported campaign that works collaboratively to help people and organizations take key steps in the areas of food, transportation, waste and building energy that simultaneously reduce our community’s carbon emissions, save money and create a socially just local economy. About (accessed 6/11/2018), http://www.getyourgreenbacktompkins.org/about/

    PE8 Action: Incentives for Green Businesses

    4 Points

    Program Summary: The Tompkins County Department of Recycling & Materials Management (TCRMM) offers the ReBusiness Partners Program to businesses and organizations in Tompkins County. This program offers free resources such as recycling bins, decals & a tailored ReBusiness report highlighting increased waste diversion opportunities. Partners that undergo the program, recycle mandatory recyclables, and demonstrate at least one example of each of the 4Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle, rebuy), receive public recognition & promotion through TCRMM’s website & partner organizations. ReBusiness Partners (accessed 6/11/2018), https://recycletompkins.org/Outreach/ReBusiness-Partners

    PE8 Action: Financing Program for Building Energy Efficiency

    7 Points

    Program Summary: Resolution No. 2015-79 established Tompkins County's PACE Financing program. The Municipal Agreement established the County's connection with the Energy Improvement Corporation to provide PACE Financing, and the letter confirms Tompkins County's membership with the Energy Improvement Corporation.

  • 9. Inform and inspire the public.

    PE9 Action: Energy Reduction Campaign

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Campaign web link: http://www.solartompkins.org/ HeatSmart Tompkins is an energy reduction campaign by Solar Tompkins to reduce energy usage through heating, which Tompkins County actively supports as its key partner and fiscal sponsor (see "About": http://www.solartompkins.org/about.html).

  • 12. Performance

    Performance: Reduce GHGs from Government Facilities

    45 Points

    Program Summary:

    Performance: Reduce GHGs from Government Vehicles

    30 Points

    Program Summary:

    12.7 Reduce Community-wide GHG Emissions from Buildings

    25 Points

    Program Summary: