Climate Smart Communities Certification Report

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bronze Certified

This is the Climate Smart Communities Certification Report of New Lebanon, Town (Columbia). New Lebanon, Town (Columbia) is a bronze certified Climate Smart Community.

New Lebanon, Town (Columbia) was certified on March 04, 2021 with 130 points earned from 22 completed actions. Listed below is information regarding New Lebanon, Town (Columbia)’s Climate Smart Communities efforts and materials associated with its certified actions.

The certification for New Lebanon, Town (Columbia) will expire on September 30, 2026.

Contact Information

The designated Climate Smart Communities contact for New Lebanon, Town (Columbia) is:

Name:Bruce Shenker
Title:Rep to County EMC

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which New Lebanon, Town (Columbia) was approved for in 2021 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: At its April 14, 2020 meeting the New Lebanon Town Board announced that the following people from the New Lebanon community will become part of the New Lebanon Climate Smart Taskforce. This resolution was revised in early 2021. Here's the Task Force members: Steve Powers - Chair CAC Member Deb Gordon - Town Board Member Bruce Shenker - CSC Coordinator New Lebanon Rep to County Environmental Management Council Jenna Barbary - CAC Member Bob Gilson - CAC Member Steven Dono Marc Frey Marsha Kessler Adelia Moore Elizabeth Poreba Carole Roseman Sarah Steadman Cathy Wilkerson A link to the minutes for the Town Board meeting approving this resolution is here: Link to town website area for Climate Smart task force

    PE1 Action: CSC Coordinator

    10 Points
    Bronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory

    Program Summary: Bruce Shenker the New Lebanon representative to the Columbia County Environmental Management Council has been appointed the Climate Smart Communities coordinator for New Lebanon In this role he will work with the task force to identify the actions which will provide the most benefit to the town and help plan how these actions will be accomplished. He will report progress to the town board and also manage the Climate Smart portal for the task force. The uploaded resolution indicates that Bruce Shenker has been appointed as Climate Smart Communities coordinator

    PE1 Action: National/Regional Climate Program

    3 Points

    Program Summary: New Lebanon became a Clean Energy Community in 2020.

    PE1 Action: Partnerships with Other Entities

    3 Points

    Program Summary: New Lebanon Climate Smart Communities Task Force has worked with Columbia County Environmental Management Council (EMC) and other towns to encourage Columbia County to join the climate smart community program. Columbia County voted to become a Climate Smart Community in December 2020. Through our continued involvement in the county EMC, New Lebanon will continue to play a leadership role in climate leadership initiatives.

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

    PE2 Action: Government Operations GHG Inventory

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: As one of our first actions, the New Lebanon CSC Task Force completed an inventory of greenhouse gases from government operations. We chose 2019 as a benchmark year as it predated our LED streetlight program and also predated the pandemic, which had a one-time impact on energy usage. As such, it should serve as a good baseline to measure our energy savings initiatives for the town. The full report was posted to the task Force Page on the Town website.

  • 3. Decrease energy use.

    PE3 Action: Benchmarking - Municipal Buildings

    4 Points

    Program Summary: On May 9, 2017, the New Lebanon Town Board passed a resolution to begin benchmarking greenhouse gas emissions for government buildings. Benchmark reports for 2016-2017 have been uploaded to the CSC Task Force page on the Town website (attached and posted at This action was recognized as sufficient for the Clean Energy Program.

    PE3 Action: Fleet Inventory

    4 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of New Lebanon Climate Smart Task Force, in partnership with the Highway Department, completed an inventory on all town vehicles. This will be maintained on a regular basis per the attached policy.

    PE3 Action: LED Street Lights

    10 Points

    Program Summary: New Lebanon replaced 100% of its street lights with LED lights in March 2020. Section IV of our Greenhouse Gas Inventory for Government Operations shows a chart from NYSEG demonstrating the rapid decrease in energy usage after that time.

    PE3 Action: Energy Code Enforcement Training

    5 Points

    Program Summary: New Lebanon completed this action as part of the Clean Energy Communities program. Screen shot of all four completed actions on the NYSERDA website is attached.

  • 5. Use climate-smart materials management.

    PE5 Action: Organic Waste Program for Government Buildings

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Following the successful creation of our food waste drop off program at the New Lebanon Community Gardens, the CSC Task Force expanded this program to include our government operations by setting up a composting bucket in our Town Hall. The Town Hall accounts for an estimate 47% of our government buildings. As a result we are requesting 2 points for this action. A more detailed description of the action is attached.

    PE5 Action: Reuse Programs

    6 Points

    Program Summary: The New Lebanon CSC Task Force created a Resource Recovery initiative in August 2020. Town board minutes approving the initiative are attached (pp 23-24). A designated team took over operation of the "Free Store" at the Town Hall where members of the community can donate and receive clothing and other small items. The team led a successful clothing and coat giveaway at our fire station in late fall 2020 (photos attached). The Resource Recovery team also led a bike recycling and repair initiative, which refurbished 30 donated bikes. These were provided free of charge to members of the community. The team also repaired 20 bikes for residents. This initiative is being submitted with a detailed description under PE11 : Innovative Approaches to Existing CSC Actions." The Resource Recovery team is evaluating options for a larger permanent location as well as future expansion possibilities. The town page for the Free store is here: Town Board minutes approving this project are attached below.

    PE5 Action: Waste Reduction Education Campaign

    2 Points

    Program Summary: The New Lebanon CSC Task Force set up a subcommittee to focus on a Waste Reduction Education Campaign. The attached write-up describes the wide range of educational efforts made to encourage waste reduction, including a promotional booth at the Farmers Market, training video for residential composting, Facebook postings, flyers for our clothing collection and giveaway, and our bike recycling program. A link to our promotional video and posters in on the Town website here:

    PE5 Action: Residential Organic Waste Program

    4 Points

    Program Summary: Following the creation of an organics management strategic plan, the CSC Task Force Composting Team created a partnership with our local Community Garden to accept food waste from residents in the community. We then created a promotional video which is posted to our web page on the town website and informational flyers. We also started a booth at the farmers market to promote the program. Promotional video is here: Town Board minutes approving this project are here:

  • 6. Implement climate-smart land use.

    PE6 Action: Unified Solar Permit

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Action completed as part of Clean Energy Community program. Map showing 4 actions completed attached. The action was completed on July 11, 2017.

    PE6 Action: Infrastructure for Biking and Walking

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The Corkscrew Rail Trail is part of the Capital District Regional Trail plan to connect communities with multi-use trails. The Corkscrew trail connects Stephentown to New Lebanon and, once completed, will provide a safe, natural path through the heart of New Lebanon. As part of its efforts to support the trail plan, the town of New Lebanon paid for a dumpster to support the cleanup of a new section of the Corkscrew Rail Trail . Minutes from board meeting (pp. 19-20) indicating the town supported the cleanup and dumpster receipt are attached.

    PE6 Action: Natural Resources Inventory

    10 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: In 2017/18 the New Lebanon Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) with a grant from New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the Hudson River Estuary Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and help from nonpfrofits Hudsonia and Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program prepared a Natural Resources Conservation plan which was adopted by the town board. Text of the report is in the 6 files uploaded or on the CAC webpage Attached is town board resolution authorizing NRI called Natural Resources conservation plan

  • 7. Enhance community resilience to climate change.

    PE7 Action: Climate Vulnerability Assessment

    8 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The New Lebanon Climate Smart Task Force has conducted an initial vulnerability assessment focused on seasonal drought. This hazard was selected for our first hazard vulnerability assessment given the potential for drought to emerge as a significant stress on the community along with other known hazards such as storms and flooding. This action was performed by analyzing climate projections from state, federal, and other academic sources and extrapolating down to the community level. The overall assessment is that seasonal drought is likely to increase gradually, with the longer number of dry days in late summer posing a threat to wells, agriculture, and the local ecosystem. A secondary risk could be increased wildfire. The analysis was shared with the community via town meeting and outreach to the Conservation Advisory Council. Combined with other hazard assessments, the intent is for this analysis to help inform the town's resilience planning and participation in the next county hazard mitigation plan. The report has been posted to the New Lebanon CSC web page at: We are applying for this category: Vulnerability assessment with a moderate scope, covering one to three climate hazards for the entire geographic area of the community

    PE7 Action: Climate-resilient Hazard Mitigation Plan

    4 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of New Lebanon, along with the other towns in Columbia County, has participated in and signed on to Columbia County Hazard Mitigation plan which is posted at The latest plan from 2018 is also attached. Section 4.7 of the HMP address Climate Change specifically. Climate change is also highlighted throughout the analysis as a new hazard. Minutes from town board meeting (October 2018) adopting the plan has been uploaded.

  • 8. Support a green innovation economy.

    PE8 Action: Farmers’ Markets

    3 Points

    Program Summary: New Lebanon enjoys a vibrant Farmers' Market that brings together the entire community every Sunday from June-November. The Town Board has offered town property to be used by the Farmers' Market during the winter months as documented in the Oct 13, 2020 minutes below. In addition, the Town Board has authorized the CSC to work with the Farmers' Market to promote a Buy Local/Buy Green program as indicated in the attached minutes for the Dec 8, 2020 meeting. A letter from the head of the Farmers' Market is attached to verify that they held 24 markets in 2020.

    PE8 Action: Buy Local/Buy Green Campaign

    2 Points

    Program Summary: New Lebanon has a Farmers' Market that is in person from May- Nov and is virtual during the winter months. The Town Board has approved the CSC (see attached minutes) working with the Farmers' Market on a Buy Local/Buy Green program branded Local is Green (see logo below.) This includes over 15 local vendors (see link below for the list.) Also, to promote local businesses the town has produced a business directory of all companies which has been distributed to every resident in hard copy and is available online on the town website (see link.) and attached documents

  • 9. Inform and inspire the public.

    PE9 Action: Local Climate Action Website

    3 Points

    Program Summary: New Lebanon's Climate Smart Communities Task Force has a page on the town website providing up to date information on our activities. This includes our GHG benchmarking and Climate Vulnerability Assessment as well as meeting minutes etc. This website was created in 2020 therefore everything has been added in the past year.

    PE9 Action: Social Media

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The New Lebanon Climate Smart Task Force has a Facebook account where we post actions and events related to our work to support New Lebanon as a climate smart community. Url is Attached below please find the Town of New Lebanon's Social Media policy as well as the minutes from the meeting where the CSC Facebook group was approved.