Climate Smart Communities Certification ReportDownload PDF Version
This is the Climate Smart Communities Certification Report of Ulster County. Ulster County is a silver certified Climate Smart Community.
Ulster County was certified on June 01, 2021 with
343 points earned from 53 completed actions. Listed below is information regarding
Ulster County’s Climate Smart Communities efforts and materials associated with its certified actions.
The certification for Ulster County will expire on September 30, 2026.
The designated Climate Smart Communities contact for Ulster County is:
|Title/Position:||Director / Department of the Environment|
|Address:||17 Pearl Street
PO Box 1800|
Kingston, NY 12401
Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Ulster County 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.
1.1 Pass a Resolution Adopting the CSC Pledge4 Points
PE1 Action: CSC Task Force20 PointsBronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory
Program Summary: Background & Documentation: • Ulster County CSC webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-smart • Climate Smart Committee: o Resolution No. 185, August 16, 2011: Dissolving The Global Warming Committee And Creating A Climate Smart Committee o The Climate Smart Committee promotes and supports climate action, mitigation, and adaptation in the community. The Committee is designed to act as an advisory board or steering committee that advises and collaborates with the local government to accomplish plans, programs, and activities that are part of the Climate Smart Communities certification program. The Committee consists of community members and municipal representatives, and public meetings are held on fourth Mondays monthly at 7:00 PM. o *Climate Smart Committee resolution, list of members, and November 2020 through January 2021 Climate Smart Committee meeting agendas and minutes enclosed • Climate Smart Municipal Task Force: o The Municipal Task Force was created as an ad hoc subcommitee by the Climate Smart Committee on November 23, 2020 via Motion No. 2, to be "chaired by the Coordinator of the Department of Environment or designee for the purpose of discussion and implementation of the Climate Smart Communities program within Ulster County". The Task Force will focus on supporting both the County and local municipalities in completing CSC Program actions specifically, and in accessing available resources through facilitated trainings; presentations; and other local and regional collaborations. The Task Force Facebook page(link is external) posts information on relevant local municipal events and funding opportunities. o *Climate Smart Municipal Task Force description enclosed
PE1 Action: CSC Coordinator10 PointsBronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory
Program Summary: Background & documentation: • Ulster County CSC webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-smart • CSC Coordinator: Executive Order No. 1-2019: Regarding the County’s Use of Renewable Energy for the Years 2019 and 2020 o “It shall be the responsibility of the Department of the Environment Coordinator to act as the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Coordinator for government operations” o Amanda LaValle, as the Department of the Coordinator (this position title as of 2021 is “Director”), is the CSC Coordinator for County government operations. Visit the Department of the Environment "Contact Us" webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/contact-us for contact information
PE1 Action: National/Regional Climate Program3 Points
Program Summary: 3 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County continues to actively engage in various national, regional, and local programs and initiatives focused on adapting to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The County included participation in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership Program as documentation for this action as part of the County's initial CSC certification application in 2016. In addition to continued participation in that national program, the County is now actively participating in several other relevant national and regional programs. These include: ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability membership and TEMPERATE software license purchase (to support local climate adaptation planning); Climate Reality Project's County Climate Coalition and 100% Committed campaign; and NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program. Documentation: *Items with asterisk are included in documentation packet • EPA Green Power Partnership o Map: https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-partner-map o *Ulster County report: https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-partner-list#UlsterCountyNY • ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability o *Local Government Members & Regional and Higher Education Affiliates: https://icleiusa.org/ membership/ o *ICLEI Annual Membership Dues invoicedated March 13, 2020 • Climate Reality Project o County Climate Coalition: Ulster County was the first County in New York State and the twentieth in the U.S. to formally commit to upholding the goals of the 2015 United Nations Paris Climate Accord in March 2019 About: https://climaterealityproject.org/climatecoalition *Press Release o 100% Committed campaign: Ulster County signed the 100% Committed Pledge in March 2018 About: https://climaterealityproject.org/initiative/100-committed *100% Committed letter to Ulster County, dated March 2018 • NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities (CEC) Program o Ulster County achieved CEC designation in February 2017 by completing four High Impact Action items: Energize NY Finance, CSC certification, Clean Fleets, and Benchmarking – Municipal Buildings o The County completed a fifth High Impact Action item - Clean Energy Upgrades - in November 2020 o *CEC designation map: https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy- Communities/CEC-Map
PE1 Action: Partnerships with Other Entities3 Points
Program Summary: Background & Documentation: The causes and impacts of climate change do not stop at jurisdictional borders, and Ulster County continues to facilitate various collaborations with broad cross-sections of stakeholders, including local and regional municipalities, NGOs, residents, and other relevant partners. These partnerships include: • The Ulster County Water Quality Coordinating Committee o Background: Under New York Consolidated Laws, County Law CNT § 220-A, Ulster County Legislature has the power to designate a Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC). This entity is responsible for providing oversight of all water quality programs and related activities in the county, including assessment of the impact of point and non-point source pollution and the appropriateness of monitoring and administrative activities. The WQCC has the responsibility to review and coordinate all county activities which have a substantial impact on water quality management. Resolution No. 445* of 2017 designated the Ulster County Department of the Environment as the County's Water Quality Management Agency. Additionally, the WQCC partners with various local entities working on water quality, including nonprofits, watershed alliances, municipalities, and others. These local partnerships are accomplished through open meetings, presentations, and events. This leads to increased networking, support for our local waters, and information sharing. Of the six annual WQCC meetings, three are open to the public. In March of 2020 the WQCC hosted its first Watershed Roundtable event, which was wellattended and included representatives from many regional partner organizations and stakeholder groups. o Participating Agencies and County Departments: Ulster County Department of Environment Ulster County Department of Health and Mental Health Ulster County Department of Public Works Ulster County Planning Department Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District Ulster County Environmental Management Council Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County o Webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/ulster-county-water-quality-coordinatingcommittee • The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program o About the Program: The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (AWSMP) is a joint effort between Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The three agencies work collaboratively to maintain the health of streams in the Ashokan Reservoir Watershed. The program aims to improve stream stability and reduce erosion threats to water quality and infrastructure, mitigate potential damage from flooding, and enhance aquatic and riparian habitat. AWSMP works to educate and inform the community about stream stewardship best management practices and coordinates stream management activities in the watershed. Stream management plans — comprehensive evaluations of stream characteristics with recommendations and strategies for improvement — provide the basis for the program’s activities. o Program History: In 1997, the New York City Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was reached between New York State, New York City, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, watershed communities and counties, and several non-profit environmental organizations. The MOA established programs to maintain and enhance water quality for New York State residents, while at the same time protecting the economic vitality and character of the Catskills region. o Roles: Each participating agency has different roles and responsibilities described below: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District (UCSWCD) New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) The Ulster County Department of Environment works with the AWSMP under contract with CCEUC and stations an Environmental Planner in the watershed (*Cooperative Agreement between Ulster County and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County attached, for Local Flood Hazard Mitigation and Flood Response for AWSMP). o The Environmental Planner position: This was established on the heels of multiple flood events to work hand-in-hand with our component municipalities to provide technical assistance and training, to offer a variety of educational and flood mitigation planning opportunities, to assist in identifying and obtaining funding for projects to mitigate against future flooding, and to be an additional resource available both pre- and post-flood to the most rural portions of the County, in particular. o Webpage: https://ashokanstreams.org/about-the-program/ • The Ulster County Climate Smart Committee and Climate Smart Municipal Task Force o The Committee and the Task Force serve to support local municipalities in Ulster County with general information-sharing, hosting events, local capacity building, and accessing resources related to the New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Program. Ulster County Department of the Environment staff provide presentations and technical support to local municipalities in support of CSC Program initiatives, maintain a county-wide map of participating communities and a Facebook page, and chair the Task Force which provides CSC action-specific support to municipalities. o Task Force projects include: 2020: Several targeted CSC presentations to local municipalities were given, in support of adoption of the CSC Pledge (*Town of Rochester presentation attached). 2021: Projects include the Bard College/Climate Smart Resiliency Planning Tool project which will support the Towns of Rochester and Ulster (*proposal attached) & hosting a Green Concrete Forum (*flyer attached). Example of outcomes: The Town of Rochester adopted the CSC Pledge; this first step enabled the Town to then subsequently be awarded funding for a CSC coordinator position via the Boatbuilders program. Additionally, the Town will be working Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County to complete a CSC certification assessment and will be also completing a Climate Smart Resiliency Planning Tool (CSRPT) via the Task Force’s partnership with Bard College. o Webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-smart *included in documentation
2. Inventory emissions, set goals, and plan for climate action.
PE2 Action: Government Operations GHG Inventory16 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority
Program Summary: 16 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County completed its first GHG inventory in 2012. In 2018, it updated the inventory for inclusion in the County’s 2019 Government Operations Climate Action plan. Documentation: · 2018 GHG Inventory, Ulster County Government Operations Climate Action Plan:o Section III, pages 33-38 o Appendix A, pages 78-86 County webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/ghg-inventory
PE2 Action: Community GHG Inventory16 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority
Program Summary: Background: The Mid-Hudson Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory (2012) results were included as part of Ulster County’s initial Climate Smart Communities (CSC) certification materials submitted in 2016. In 2020-21, the County Department of the Environment completed a new community Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGI) inventory using the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability ClearPath software. The initial GHGI used 2010 as the baseline year, with the new GHGI using 2018. Although the methodology used to estimate community-scale greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was not exactly the same across the two inventories, both GHGIs are intended to be compliant with available protocols (such as the New York State GHG Protocol and the US Community Protocol), and are therefore comparable to the greatest extent possible. The 2018 community GHGI estimates community GHG emissions of 1,823,672 MT C02e, representing about an 11.2% reduction from the 2010 baseline of 2,052,894 MT C02e. However it is not clear to what extent the differences in accounting and calculations across the various sectors may have contributed to the results. Ulster County will use these GHGIs as part of its ongoing climate mitigation planning and initiatives, including development of a community-scale Climate Action Plan as a next step. The County is also participating in the 2020-21 ICLEI Integrated Climate Action Planning cohort with a group of municipalities country-wide, which will support integration of the County’s climate adaption and mitigation efforts for both government operations and the broader community. Documentation: • Ulster County Community Climate Action webpage (GHGI available here): https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-action • 2010 Community GHGI: Mid-Hudson Region Community GHG Inventory - Executive Summary for Ulster County • Ulster County 2018 Inventory of Community-wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions • Included as separate documents: o Appendix A: The detailed inventory report dataset from ICLEI’s ClearPath software is attached as an excel file o Appendix B: The emissions factors and activity dataset from ICLEI’s ClearPath software is attached as an excel file o Appendix C: Summary Report GHG Inventory for Forests and Trees Outside Forests, 2004 to 2013 - Ulster County, New York
PE2 Action: Government Operations Climate Action Plan16 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority
Program Summary: 16 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County released its Government Operations Climate Action Plan in 2019. It was adopted/implemented via executive order on June 18, 2019. As the plan is focused on Ulster County government operations, public review and participation in this plan was completed through outreach and discussion with two specific groups: 1) the Ulster County Environmental Management Council (EMC) and 2) the Ulster County Climate Smart Committee (CSC). The draft plan was presented to these groups for public comment in the early spring of 2019 and comments/feedback were integrated into the final version of the plan. See Page 14 of the plan for more detail on public outreach. Documentation: · Ulster County Government Operations Climate Action Plan, publicly available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-action-plan · Executive Order 1 of 2019 directing adoption/implementation, Pages 4-5 of plan · CSC meeting notes, February 25, 2019 · Memo to the EMC, February 7, 2019 · EMC minutes February 27, 2019
3. Decrease energy use.
PE3 Action: Government Building Energy Audits10 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority
Program Summary: 10 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: In the past 7 years, Ulster County has completed energy audits at two County-owned facilities consisting of 39% of all conditioned floor area. · Ulster County Office Building: Heating and Cooling Master Plan: An energy audit was paired with feasibility studies of available heating and cooling technologies to develop a heating and cooling master plan. The subsequent Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge energy audit and geothermal design provided additional energy audit detail. · Ulster County Law Enforcement Center (UCLEC): Heating and Cooling Master Plan: An energy audit was paired with feasibility studies of available heating and cooling technologies to develop a heating and cooling master plan. Documentation: · Listing of total conditioned floor area · Summary calculations of floor area audited · Heating and Cooling Master Plans at the Ulster County Office Building and UCLEC Available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/sustainability-energy/building-energy-benchmarking · Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge study at the Ulster County Office Building Available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/sustainability-energy/building-energy-
PE3 Action: Interior Lighting Upgrades5 Points
Program Summary: 5 points documented Background: Ulster County completed LED lighting upgrades in most of its larger buildings in 2015 through a contract with Greenleaf Energy Solutions in 2015. Additional lighting upgrade work was completed in 2018 at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center, Family Court and Restorative Justice Center. Total conditioned floor area upgraded to LED lighting: 73.1% Documentation: · Building Area list with lighting retrofits identified · Total calculation · Greenleaf Contract and lighting specifications · Lime Energy contract (amendment #1) and lighting specifications · Invoice and submittal for Family Court renovation – Kasselman Electric · Invoice and submittal for Restorative Justice Center renovation – JJ Sass Electric
PE3 Action: Building Energy Management System3 Points
Program Summary: 3 Points Documented Background: Ulster County operates building energy management systems in 75.7% of its conditioned building floor area. HVAC control only: 68.4% of building floor area HVAC and lighting control: 7.3% of building floor area Documentation: · Table of Ulster County buildings including active BEMS types · Calculations of percentages · Screenshots of BEMS interfaces · Service contracts for BEMS
PE3 Action: Benchmarking - Municipal Buildings4 Points
Program Summary: 4 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: On October 18, 2016, the Ulster County legislature adopted Resolution #447 of 2016, titled: Establishing A Policy To Require Annual Public Reporting Of Building Energy Consumption And Benchmarking Information For County Owned Buildings. Annual reports are made publicly available by September 1st of each year at the following link: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/sustainability-energy/building-energy-benchmarking Documentation: • Resolution 447 of 2016 • 2019 Building Energy Benchmarking Report • Screenshots from NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities program showing the Benchmarking High Impact Action: https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/ Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities/CEC-Map
PE3 Action: Clean Energy Upgrades10 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County first received designation as a NYSERDA Clean Energy Community in 2016. To date, Ulster County has completed five (5) high impact actions. The designated Clean Energy Communities Map is available at: https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities/CEC-Map. Documentation: · Clean Energy Communities Program Clean Energy Upgrades High Impact Action approval notice from NYSERDA dated 11/13/2020
PE3 Action: Green Building Standard for Government Buildings2 Points
Program Summary: Background: On November 8, 2006, Ulster County adopted Resolution No. 383 of 2006: Establishing High Performance Green Building Standards for County of Ulster New Construction Projects. The resolution establishes a policy that all Ulster County funded new construction of public buildings be designed and built to a minimum rating of LEED Silver. Documentation: · Resolution No. 383, November 8, 2006: Establishing High Performance Green Building Standards for County of Ulster New Construction Projects Available here:https://legislature.ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/383-06.pdf
PE3 Action: Fleet Inventory4 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County completed the attached fleet inventory in February 2021 to meet Green Fleet law reporting requirements. Ulster County’s Green Fleet Policy (Local Law No. 9 of 2015) details procedures and responsibilities for maintaining and updating the vehicle inventory in Section 3 (pages 3-4). Documentation: · Ulster County Green Fleet Initiative webpage: https:// ulstercountyny.gov/environment/sustainability-energy/green-fleetinitiative · Ulster County 2020 Fleet Inventory · Ulster County’s Green Fleet Policy · 2020 Green Fleet Report
PE3 Action: Fleet Efficiency Policy2 Points
Program Summary: 2 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: The Ulster County Sustainable Green Fleet Policy was adopted by the Ulster County Legislature in August of 2015 and approved by the County Executive in September of 2015. The Green Fleet Policy recognizes the environmental and economic impact of County government fleet operations and details ways in which to reduce these costs and impacts. The law sets forward requirements to inventory the fleet, monitor fleet fuel usage and optimize the usage application of existing vehicles. It also requires the purchase of new green fleet vehicles to meet a green fleet goal; ensuring that a minimum of 5% of the fleet by 2020 are Green vehicles, and 20% of passenger vehicles purchased, leased or otherwise obtained thereafter will be Green. Documentation: • Ulster County Local Law #9 of 2015, Establishing a Sustainable Green Fleet Policy: https://ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/Local%20Law%20No.%209%20of%202015%20- %20Sustainable%20Green%20Fleet_0_0.pdf (included in documentation packet) • Ulster County Green Fleet Initiative webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/ sustainability-energy/green-fleet-initiative o GREEN FLEET ANNUAL REPORT: The Green Fleet Policy requires an annual report to be filed on or before March 1st with the County Executive and the Ulster County Legislative Standing Committee assigned with the Department of the Environment and any other Committee as determined by the Clerk of the Legislature. Annual reports are available on the webpage dating back to 2015. • 2019 Green Fleet Report (included in documentation packet)
PE3 Action: Advanced Vehicles2 Points
Program Summary: 2 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County purchased its first advanced vehicle in 2016 and currently operates 21 advanced vehicles, consisting of 4.5% of the County’s fleet of 467 vehicles (2020 Fleet Inventory). Documentation: · Advanced vehicle list
PE3 Action: LED Traffic Signals4 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County operates one traffic signal. This signal was upgraded to LED on 4/10/2018. Based on the historical average of the 8 years prior, the upgrade resulted in a 28% reduction in annual electricity use and 9% reduction in annual cost. Documentation: • Ulster County traffic signal inventory • Invoice and correspondence showing proof of installation • Portfolio Manager report showing annual electricity usage and cost before and after the upgrade. • Central Hudson report showing meter information and recent account data.
PE3 Action: Incentives for Employee Carpooling & Transit2 Points
Program Summary: 2 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County offers reduced fares for County employees on its Ulster County Area Transit service. The reduced fare amount is $0.30 per ride and is valid on any UCAT route. Ulster County promotes greener commuting options using a link on its Intranet page which is available to all County employees. The link leads to a 511NYRideShare page that lists commuting options, including the UCAT reduced fare benefit. The reduced fare benefit is also listed on UCAT’s website under fare information. Documentation: · Screenshots of Ulster County Intranet page · Reduced transit fares on UCAT’s website: https://ulstercountyny.gov/ucat/rider-information · 511NYRideShare page: https://511nyrideshare.org/web/ulster-county-greener-commuting/transit · Correspondence from UCAT indicating reduced fare usage by County employees in 2019
4. Shift to clean, renewable energy.
PE4 Action: Green Power Procurement Policy4 Points
Program Summary: 4 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County has maintained a policy of using 100% green power since June 4, 2014 when the County Executive signed Executive Order 1 of 2014. This executive order has been updated every two years and will be updated in 2021 for calendar years 2021 and 2022. As mandated by executive order, the County purchases 100% of its electricity for government operations through a combination of Green-e renewable energy credits (RECs), ESCO green power products and on-site/remote distributed generation projects. To reinforce this commitment, in 2019, the County legislature adopted Resolution 315 of 2019 that resolved the following: “that 100% of Ulster County’s electricity utilized in 2019 and 2020 shall be purchased directly from local renewable energy sources, or as an interim solution only, by obtaining Green-e Energy certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).” Purchasing strategy: Ulster County’s purchasing strategy is detailed in the 2019 Ulster County Climate Action Plan – Section II: Carbon Neutral Government Operations Strategy. The Ulster County Department of Purchasing is the lead department for green power procurement with direct support from the Department of the Environment. Additionally, through executive order and legislative resolution, the County is committed to supplying 100% of its annual building and fleet electricity usage from locally generated renewable energy sources by the year 2030. The County defines "locally generated" as power generated in both the same utility territory and NYISO load zone as the metered point of usage. As an additional driver for local green power procurement, the legislature adopted Resolution 419 of 2019, a policy “For Consideration Of Solar Arrays On All New Or Renovated/Replaced Roofs On Ulster County Buildings.” Documentation: • Link: County web address for public information and access https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/sustainability-energy/renewable-energy • Link: Ulster County Climate Action Plan (reference Pages 23-31) https://ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/Ulster%20County%20Government%20Operations%20Climate%20 Action%20Plan%202019_web.pdf • Executive Order 1 of 2019 • Resolution 315 of 2019 • Resolution 416 of 2019
PE4 Action: Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies5 Points
Program Summary: 5 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County has completed several feasibility studies at County-owned sites in the past 5 years. · EPA Solar Screening Study at the Ulster County Quarryville site: Renewable technologies assessed: Study Level: Solar PV Screening study* *Ulster County considers this study to be a feasibility study for solar PV as this site is currently in development. Additionally, a prior EPA screening study at multiple Ulster County landfills in 2014 led directly to development of one of the sites, which is currently operational. The only other feasibility work completed on that project was done by the developer prior to bidding on the project and by the County in the SEQR process. · Heating and Cooling Master Plan at the Ulster County Office Building: An energy audit was paired with feasibility studies of available heating and cooling technologies to develop a heating and cooling master plan. Renewable technologies assessed: Study Level: Solar thermal DHW Pre-feasibility study Air source heat pumps Pre-feasibility study Cooling energy thermal storage Pre-feasibility study Biomass boiler Feasibility study · Heating and Cooling Master Plan at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center (UCLEC): An energy audit was paired with feasibility studies of available heating and cooling technologies to develop a heating and cooling master plan. Renewable technologies assessed: Study Level: Solar thermal DHW Pre-feasibility study CHP Pre-feasibility model Cooling energy thermal storage Pre-feasibility study Biomass boiler Feasibility study · Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge study at the Ulster County Office Building: Renewable technologies assessed: Study Level: Geothermal heating and cooling Feasibility study Documentation: · EPA Solar Screening Study at the Ulster County Quarryville site · Heating and Cooling Master Plans at the Ulster County Office Building and UCLEC Available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/sustainability-energy/building-energy-benchmarking · RFP for FlexTech Study at UC Office Building and UC Law Enforcement Center · Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge study at the Ulster County Office Building Available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/sustainability-energy/building-energy-benchmarking
PE4 Action: Solar Energy Installation14 Points
Program Summary: 14 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County installed a 30.3KW solar PV array at its Public Works Highway Substation in New Paltz, NY in 2010. The facility is located at the Ulster County Fairgrounds property at 241 Libertyville Road, New Paltz, NY. The system generates approximately 37,600 kWh/year on average and offsets electricity use at the facility through net metering. The facility serves operational needs of the Ulster County Public Works department and is not generally publicly accessible. The site does not host educational signage; however, the installation was announced via press release when completed. Documentation: · Photograph of facility · Ulster County press release (available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/news/executive/ulster-countyexecutive- mike-hein-announces-solar-project-ulster-county-fairgrounds-operational) · Department of Energy article (available here: https://www.energy.gov/articles/solar-projects-provide-energycounty- fairgrounds) · Generation report · Installation contract · Ulster County RFP-UC09-111
PE4 Action: Power Purchase Agreement for Renewables9 Points
Program Summary: 9 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County executed a PPA with Solar City on 5/14/2015 for development of a solar array at the Town of Ulster landfill site. Access to the site was secured through a permanent easement from the site owner, the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency. The site was commissioned in May of 2018 and is currently operating. Production data can be viewed at the following link: http://s44709.mini.alsoenergy.com/Dashboard/2a566973496547374143454b772b71413d Documentation: · PPA with Solar City · Permission to Operate Letter from Central Hudson
5. Use climate-smart materials management.
PE5 Action: Organic Waste Program for Government Buildings2 Points
Program Summary: 2 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County is implementing a food waste diversion program at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center (UCLEC), installing a Ecovim Eco-66 food dehydrating/compost machine in August 2019. UCLEC represents 32.5% of all County facilities with conditioned space, by gross floor area (GFA). The dehydrator handles all kitchen and food scraps for the County Jail (which has a capacity of 426 inmates). The finished product is self-hauled to the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency for onsite composting. In 2019 the dehydrator produced 2.25 tons of finished product. As the dehydrator achieves an 83-93% reduction in waste, by weight, this represents over 9.5 tons of food waste diverted from the waste stream. This diversion results in a significant amount of avoided greenhouse gas emissions, which were previously associated with the transporting and landfilling of this organic waste (which would otherwise have been transported to the Seneca Meadows landfill for disposal). Documentation: • Eco-66™ Spec Sheet & User Manual • Pictures of installed dehydrator and finish product • Tables: o Ulster County facilities with conditioned space & GFAs o Summary showing UCLEC is 32.5% of County GFA • Ulster County 2020 Annual Waste and Recycling Report data
PE5 Action: Recycling Program for Public Places & Events2 Points
Program Summary: 2 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: The Ulster County Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Law, Local Law Number 4 of 2010, establishes regulated recyclables materials and requires all persons in Ulster County (individuals, organizations, commercial businesses, institutions, haulers, etc.) to source-separate those materials for recycling. It is considered an unlawful act for any person to discard or fail to separate regulated recyclable materials. The Law establishes the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency as the solid waste planning unit for Ulster County, and gives UCRRA delegated authority to enforce the law, and gives UCRRA responsibility to manage the solid waste stream and implement reporting procedures to measure progress in achieving recycling goals. Ulster County government ensures source-separation of all regulated recyclables at County owned and operated facilities, including at all staff work stations and public areas. Documentation: • Ulster County Waste Reduction webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/waste-reduction • Ulster County Annual Solid Waste & Recycling Report data (submitted annually to UCCRA): As reflected in the notes, the County self-hauls a portion of its waste and source-separated recycling to UCCRA directly, and also contracts with a hauler for waste and single-stream recycling (with weekly pickup) at certain facilities. • Pictures documenting implementation of the recycling program - including recycling bins in public areas: o Courthouse o County Office Building
PE5 Action: Waste Reduction Education Campaign2 Points
Program Summary: 2 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County has enacted several laws focused on reducing waste through mandatory recycling; a plastic bag ban (prior to New York State’s Bag Waste Reduction law) and adoption of a five-cent paper carry-out bag reduction fee; food service waste reduction via a polystyrene ban; “Skip the Straw”, a law requiring restaurants and fast food service establishments to only provide plastic beverage straws, stirrers, utensils and condiment packets to customers upon request; and food waste prevention and recovery by large food waste generators. The County actively promoted the County bag ban in 2019 with the “Bring Your Own Bag” (BYOB) campaign and the “Skip the Straw” law via a campaign that ran from late 2019-early 2020. The associated documentation is included for these two waste reduction education campaigns, as well as related materials and hyperlinks. Documentation: • Ulster County hyperlinks: o Waste Reduction: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/waste-reduction o Ulster County Bring Your Own Bag Act: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/waste-reduction/bring-your-own-bag-act o Ulster County Skip the Straw Law: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/waste-reduction/skip-the-straw-law o Ulster County Food Waste Prevention and Recovery Act: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/food-waste-prevention-and-recovery-act o Food Service Waste Reduction Act flyer (included in documentation packet) https://ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/health/Polystyrene%20Broch%20Rev%20%2008.19.pdf • Ulster County Bring Your Own Bag Act (BYOB Act): o Communications Report: Prepared by ReAgency: June 2020. Ulster County contracted with ReAgency, a public relations and communications firm, to manage the BYOB Campaign. o Campaign brochure (included in documentation packet): https://ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/environment/UCDoE_Bag%20Ban_Brochure_Final_PR.pdf • Skip the Straw Law: o Campaign summary report o Poster: (included in documentation packet): https://ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/UC_Skip%20the%20Straw%20Poster_Final.pdf o Tent Card
6. Implement climate-smart land use.
PE6 Action: Smart Growth Policies8 Points
Program Summary: 8 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background & Documentation: • The Ulster County Land Use Referral Guide contains policies and procedures that should be utilized at the earliest stages of the land use approval process. It is available in both PDF and web/online format. The updated Referral Guide is complemented by the Community Design Manual. The Guide helps applicants navigate the approval process for those land use actions where the Ulster County Planning Board (UCPB) has jurisdiction. o Land Use Referral Guide webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/planning/ref.html o Various Smart Growth Principles are included in the Referral Guide, and these guidelines are organized under three overarching themes (p. 15): “Nature: This is the underlying framework of natural resources and open spaces around which development patterns must be organized in order to protect the environment and preserve the integrity of natural systems. Links: This is the linking of all elements of the built environment by creating as fine a grained st eet-and-block network as possible and by enabling all forms of mobility to reduce dependence on the automobile Communities: These are places where, to the greatest extent possible, people can live, work, shop and recreate within walking distances. Building complete communities is essential for reducing dependence on automobiles, for advancing equity, and for fostering social interaction.” o Smart Growth Principles in the Land Use Referral Guide (please note that some of these guidelines incorporate more than one smart growth principle): Mix land uses (1 point) • “Create diversity of land use o Integrate neighborhood civic uses o Create diversity of housing types o Provide for flexible use/mixed use” (p. 20) Promote compact building design and cluster development (1 point) • “Protect natural and scenic resources – Protect Farmlands” (p. 17) • “Create Beautiful Neighborhoods” (pp. 20-21) • “Create ‘Main Street’ Environments (p. 21) Diversity of housing opportunities and choices (1 point) • “Create diversity of land use – Create diversity of housing types” (p. 20) Walkable neighborhoods (1 point) • “Create linked open spaces o Link protected resource areas on individual parcels o Create and link parks and greenways “ (p. 16) Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place (1 point) • “Create the urban forest o Landscape parks and plazas o Create green streets “(p. 16) • “Create beautiful neighborhoods o Orient buildings to streets o Promote context-sensitive design” (pp. 20-21) Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and important natural areas (1 point) • “Protect natural and scenic resources o Create resource–specific plans and regulations o Mandate conservation subdivisions o Protect watersheds and freshwater wetlands o Protect farmlands “(p. 17) Strengthen and direct development toward existing community centers, hamlets or urban areas (1 point) • “Create pedestrian-oriented commercial areas o Promote mixed-use buildings o Promote infill development o Create “main street” environments” (p. 21) Promote density that facilitates non-car transportation options (1 point) • “Maximize connectivity o Create a connected street network o Create new roads and connections into and between developments o Create a trail network “(p. 18) • “Design streets for people o Design for pedestrians and bicycles o Design beautiful streets” (pp. 18-19) • “Manage the automobile o Deal with parking creatively o Accommodate transit o Traffic-calm roads “(p. 19) • Additionally, the Ulster County Community Design Manual was developed as a complementary manual in conjunction with the Ulster County Planning Board's Land Use Referral Guide whereby the latter document guides local officials, applicants, and members of the public through the County's review process, while the Community Design Manual focuses on policies of the Ulster County Planning Board with respect to both the built and natural environments from the macro scale down to specific site details. The document is filled with examples that can be applicable to community comprehensive plans updates, zoning statute updates, and can be applied to site-specific reviews. The document can be viewed in two forms, PDF available for download and on the web at the "Better Town Toolkit. The PDF version contains more locally-focused examples and imagery while the web version is an ongoing and evolving project that continues to add more materials on a regular basis and the many details, tools & actions can be access more directly. o Community Design Manual webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/planning/design-manual o Better Town Toolkit: http://designyourtown.org/ *included in documentation
PE6 Action: Policies for Local Food Systems1 Points
Program Summary: 1 POINT DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County is documenting 1 point for this CSC action, for adopting policies that incentive, promote, and remove barriers to rural agricultural practices. The County continues to support and incentive rural agriculture through participation in the New York State Agricultural Districts Program. The purpose of the New York State Certified Agricultural District Program is to encourage the use of land for farming. It affords legal protections and some tax benefits for viable agricultural land. To be considered viable, tax parcels can have an active farm, but they can also have agricultural operations early in the planning stages. Land that helps keep the region’s agricultural industry viable, even if there are no plans to farm it, can be eligible for inclusion into an agricultural district, too. There are no property size or gross sales requirements. Ulster County has four agricultural districts. Agricultural District #1 covers southeastern Ulster County, mostly towns along the Hudson River that have traditionally been home to many of the region’s apple orchards. Agricultural District #2 covers the Wallkill River Valley in the central and southern portions of the County and is by far the largest of the four. Agricultural District #3 covers the western portion of the County with much of it centered along Route 209 and a variety of agricultural businesses. Agricultural District #4 covers Ulster County’s northern third and is an area with both sparsely settled mountains and densely populated valleys. These agricultural districts are reviewed every eight years by Ulster County to determine which parcels should be removed. Documentation: • Ulster County Agricultural Districts o Webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/planning/agricultural_districts_overview o *New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Ulster County map of agricultural districts o Annual Recommendation: The Ulster County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) meets annually make a recommendation to include specific parcels into the New York State Certified Agricultural Districts Program. *2020: The Ulster County Legislature passed Resolution 307 on September 15, 2020 recommending 17 parcels be included into a state certified agricultural district. • Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan o Webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/planning/agriculture-and-farmland-protection-plans o *I. Introduction, Executive Summary, and Table of Contents o The Ulster County Legislature formally adopted the Ulster County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan by resolution on September 11, 1997. • Ulster County Open Space Plan (2008) o *Section: Resource Category 3: Working Landscapes - Agricultural and Forestry Lands o *Working Landscapes Map *included in documentation packet • Additionally, the Ulster County Community Design Manual (2017) provides guidance and recommendations related to farmland planning (p.144 ), policy (p.152), protection (p. 136), and agricultural and incentive zoning (p.147). The Ulster County Community Design Manual was developed as a complementary manual in conjunction with the Ulster County Planning Board's Land Use Referral Guide whereby the latter document guides local officials, applicants, and members of the public through the County's review process, while the Community Design Manual focuses on policies of the Ulster County Planning Board with respect to both the built and natural environments from the macro scale down to specific site details. The document is filled with examples that can be applicable to community comprehensive plans updates, zoning statute updates, and can be applied to sitespecific reviews.
PE6 Action: GreenLITES9 Points
Program Summary: 9 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County submitted the Hudson Valley Rail Trail – Phase 4 project for certification in the NYSDOT GreenLITES program. The project was self-rated by the Ulster County Planning Department using the GreenLITES project scorecard, and the project earning a rating of Silver in May 2021. Documentation: • GreenLITES Silver certificate • GreenLITES Project Scorecard • Project plans (submitted to NYSDOT with GreenLITES scorecard)
PE6 Action: Complete Streets Policy4 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority
Program Summary: Background: The Ulster County Non-Motorized Transportation Plan (2007) recommended that the County adopt a “Complete Streets” policy and included a proposed draft, entitled the “Ulster County Non-Motorized Transportation (NMT) Policy”, that could be adopted by the Ulster County Transportation Council or the County Legislature. The Complete Streets policy was adopted by the County Legislature via resolution in 2009, entitled the “Pedestrian and Bicycle Policy”. The Policy is actively being implemented and information and press releases for two projects that demonstrate this is included. Documentation: • Ulster County Non-Motorized Transportation Plan (2007) o The Complete Streets proposal is included under General Policy Recommendations (pp. 1-6) • NYS Department of Transportation o Complete Streets – Municipalities with Resolutions /Counties with Complete Streets Resolutions or Policies webpage: https://www.dot.ny.gov/programs/completestreets/Counties%20and%20Municipalities%20with%20Res olutions o Ulster County Policy: Ulster County Resolution No. 229, July 8, 2009: Establishing a Pedestrian and Bicycle Policy * • Ulster County Projects: o Route 299 improvements: https://ulstercountyny.gov/news/executive-press-releases/county-executivemike- hein-addresses-major-infrastructure-improvements o “Building a Better Broadway” study: https://ulstercountyny.gov/planning/broadway-corridor *Included in documentation
PE6 Action: Infrastructure for Biking and Walking7 Points
Program Summary: 7 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County continues to implement various strategies and projects to improve infrastructure for bicycling and walking county-wide . These include many of the recommended projects from the Ulster County Non- Motorized Transportation Plan (2008). The County is including documentation for the Hudson Valley Rail Trail project, of which Phase 4 was completed and opened in 2018. The following items are documented as part of this project, for a total of 7 points: o Expand and improve bike/walking paths, bike lanes, and sidewalks – 3 points o Improve bike parking – 2 points o Improve bike and pedestrian signage – 2 points The Hudson Valley Rail Trail is now open from the Walkway Over the Hudson to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in New Paltz (approximately 7 miles of shared-use trail/ 1.5 miles road segment in Town and Village of New Paltz.) In the autumn of 2018 and spring of 2019, the longtime goal of connecting the Hudson Valley Rail Trail (“HVRT”) and the Walkway Over the Hudson westward to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and Town of New Paltz moved from feasibility studies and construction plans to completed projects, thanks to a historic partnership between the Town of Lloyd, Ulster County, New York State, and the HVRT Association completing three trail extension projects. The HVRT was lengthened from 3.5-miles to 7-miles of paved, shared-use trail (non-motorized only) with an additional 1.5-mile on-road segment connecting to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. In addition to connecting Ulster County’s growing rail trail network, the recent extensions of the HVRT set the stage for the grand opening in 2020 of the Empire State Trail, a 750-mile long connected trail network stretching from Manhattan north to the tip of Lake Champlain (including a large segment in Ulster County) and from Albany westward to Buffalo. The Empire State Trail runs along the east side of the Hudson River but crosses into Ulster County at the Walkway Over the Hudson, following the HVRT westward to New Paltz and then following the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail northward to the City of Kingston, where the trail will be extended through Kingston in 2020. Documentation: • Hudson Valley Rail Trail o Phase 4 webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/planning/rails-and-trails/hudson-valley-rail-trail-westphase- 4 o REConnect Webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/maps/recreation/. Select “bike” and scroll down to select “Hudson Valley Rail Trail” to highlight segment (screenshot included in documentation packet). o Construction Plans, page 1 o Kiosk Sign, Bicycle Parking, and Signage pictured o Final Design Report • These items are also documented with the included photographs (and in the 2019 Photos of Hudson Valley Rail-Empire State Rail Trail document: https://ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/planning/2019%20Photos%20of%20Hudson%20Valley%20Rail%20Trail-%20Empire%20State%20Trail.pdf). • Other bicycle parking: The bike rack at the County Office building is included, and several of the loop style bike racks depicted are on order with installation at County facilities planned for spring/summer of 2021.
PE6 Action: Alternative-fuel Infrastructure18 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority
Program Summary: 18 POINTS DOCUMENTED (for the 19 publicly available, networked 2-port charging stations hosted by Ulster County) Background: Ulster County installed its first Level 2 EV charging stations in 2015. As of 10/27/2020, Ulster County owns and operates nineteen (19) Chargepoint Level 2 EV charging stations. All stations are currently networked and publicly available, but also serve County employees and fleet vehicles. Additional information available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/sustainability-energy/green-fleet-initiative & https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/sustainability-energy/ev-charging-stations. Documentation: • Screenshots of Chargepoint interface • Chargepoint data table • Ulster County 2019 Green Fleet Report (Pages 10-11, Appendix B)
PE6 Action: Access to Public Transit4 Points
Program Summary: 4 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County maintains multiple routes that serve as a shuttle system to regional trains. Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT) also coordinates with MTA Metro-North to expand access to public transit within the region (MTA publishes UCAT schedules on their “Connecting Services” page, actively promoting the availability of the UCAT transit link routes. The Kingston-Poughkeepsie Link (KPL) route connects multiple locations in the City of Kingston with the Poughkeepsie MTA Metro-North railroad station, 7 days/week. The Ulster-Poughkeepsie Link (UPL) route connects multiple locations starting in the Town or Rosendale and the Town and Village of New Paltz with the Poughkeepsie MTA Metro-North railroad station, 7 days/week. Real-time bus location information is available via the UCAT RiderPortal website (https://ucat.rider.peaktransit.com/) and the UCAT mobile application. Documentation: · UCAT Bus Schedules Available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/ucat/bus-schedules · Metro North Connecting Services page Available here: http://web.mta.info/mnr/html/connectingservice.htm · MTA Metro-North Ulster-Poughkeepsie LINK schedule Available here: http://web.mta.info/mnr/html/raillink/schedules/Ulster_Poughkeepsie_9-19.pdf
PE6 Action: Safe Routes to School3 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County documented this action as part of its first CSC certification application in 2016. In consultation with Atla Planning + Design of Saratoga Springs, NY, the Ulster County Transportation Council originally completed three Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Action Plans for the Village/Town of New Paltz (New Paltz CSD), Town of Lloyd (Highland CSD) and Town of Shawangunk (Wallkill CSD) for selected locations in each school district. Based upon the experiences creating the action plans, a Safe Routes to School Toolbox has been developed to serve as a resource for other municipalities in Ulster County and New York State. This toolbox incorporates lessons learned from the three pilot communities and provides tips for creating and maintaining a school- or community-based SRTS program. Two additional action plans were completed for Saugerties and Marlborough in 2016. Ulster County maintains a Safe Routes to School webpage, with links to several Safe Routes to School Action Plans and to Ulster County Transportation Council’s Digital Tool Box. Documentation: • Ulster County Safe Routes to School webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/transportation-council/safe-routesto- school • Ulster County Safe Routes to School Action Plans o Town of Lloyd - Highland Elementary and Middle Schools (*included in documentation packet) o Town and Village of New Paltz - Duzine Elementary and New Paltz Middle Schools o Town of Shawangunk - Ostrander Elementary School o Town and Village of Saugerties - Saugerties Junior and Senior High Schools o Town of Marlborough - Marlboro Elementary and Middle Schools • Ulster County Transportation Council Safe Routes to School Toolbox: https://www.uctcsrts.com/: o The Ulster County SRTS Toolbox can be used to develop individual safe routes to school plans and implement the 5 E's at schools around the County. This Toolkit is for any adult who wants to improve traffic safety and air quality around schools, help children be more physically active and “ready to learn” and improve our neighborhoods. o Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a school administrator, a neighbor, a public health professional, city staff, or a city official, this Toolkit will provide you with facts and figures, as well as ideas, inspiration and proven techniques. This Toolkit covers the Why, Who and How of Safe Routes to School. o Parents can use this toolbox to understand the conditions at their children's school and to become familiar with the ways the Safe Routes to School program can work to make walking and bicycling safer and easier. o School District and School staff can use this toolbox to prioritize potential improvements identified on District property and develop programs that educate and encourage students and parents to seek alternatives to single family automobile commutes to school. In many cases, education and encouragement programs require dedicated parent volunteers to carry them out. o Municipal staff can use this toolbox to identify issues and opportunities related to walking and biking and to prioritize potential short-term and long-term infrastructure improvements. Staff can also use this report to support Safe Routes to School funding opportunities. o Law Enforcement agencies can use this toolbox to understand issues related to walking and biking to school and to plan for and prioritize enforcement activities that may make it easier and safer for students to walk and bike to school.
PE6 Action: Zoning for Protection of Natural Areas4 Points
Program Summary: 4 points for the Ulster County Open Space & Recreation Fund The fund provides matching funds to be used to leverage federal, state and private funding for open space preservation through purchase of easements or acquisition of titles. Background: Ulster County has a long history of open space protection. Our Shawangunk Ridge and “forever wild” Catskill Forest Preserve are two of the most significant open spaces in the Hudson Valley. Each community in the county has valuable open space resources. Abundant and critical water resources, rich biodiversity, renowned recreational and historic sites, and valuable, productive agricultural lands are all part of Ulster County’s open space landscape. These contribute to the well-being of the region’s environment, economy and quality of life. Open Space Plan (2007): The Ulster County Open Space Plan is the result of input from stakeholder groups throughout the County. It is founded on an understanding of sound resource management and planning policies that reflect the needs and values of the people, places, and existing natural resources of the County. It was brought to fruition through the joint efforts of the Environmental Management Council and the County Planning Board. Capital Improvement Program (2020–2025): The Program includes $3,129,000 for the Open Space & Recreation Fund. • Project Description: The County's adopted Open Space Plan (2007) calls for the creation of an Open Space Fund that would provide matching funds for open space protection consistent with the recommendations in the Plan. The fund would be used to leverage federal, state and private funding for open space preservation through purchase of easements or acquisition of title. The County will develop a funding application managed by the Planning Department and Department of Environment. Eligible applicants include municipalities and non-profit organizations, and all projects must document local support and willing landowners. The Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board's support will be required for all farmland preservation projects. In addition to open space preservation, the capital program may also be used to implement the Ulster County Transportation Council’s Non- Motorized Transportation Plan (NMT) by filling gaps in the County's multi-use trail system. Funding for trail maintenance is not eligible. • Project Detail & Status: This program will provide matching funds for open space protection, farmland preservation, and expansion of public recreational opportunities consistent with the County's adopted Open Space Plan. Matching funds will be used for conservation easements, property acquisition, and filling of gaps in the County's multi-use trail system. Documentation: • Resolution No. 424 of 2007 “Adopting The Ulster County Open Space Plan As An Element Of Ulster County’s Comprehensive Plan Pursuant To Article 12-b Of General Municipal Law – Planning” * o https://legislature.ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/424-07.pdf • Open Space Plan: https://ulstercountyny.gov/planning/open-space-plan o Executive Summary* • 2020 - 2025 Capital Improvement Program: https://ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/Adopted%20Capital%20Program%202020-2025.pdf o Open Space & Recreation Fund project description (p. 83) * *included in documentation
7. Enhance community resilience to climate change.
PE7 Action: Evaluate Policies for Climate Resilience6 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County Department of the Environment facilitated completion of the Climate Smart Resiliency Planning self-assessment, with the focus being the evaluation of Ulster County plans and policies for climate resilience, as well as for cross referencing and consistency across plans. Relevant stakeholders were engaged through a series of targeted meetings with relevant departments and County staff, as well as presentations of the findings, where appropriate. The completed assessment and recommendations highlight areas of opportunity for Ulster County to evaluate local and regional vulnerability to climate hazards and to integrate climate adaptation and resiliency into its municipal operations and planning. The project was a deliverable for the Ulster County Climate Change Adaptation Planning Project (i.e. Climate Resilience Plan), funded in part by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Climate Smart Communities (CSC) grant program. Recommendations align with the CSC Program wherever applicable, facilitating the County’s use of the CSC Program framework as it continues to demonstrate leadership in this state-wide program. Documentation: • Ulster County Climate Smart Resiliency Planning: Gap Analysis Report (2020) • Ulster County Climate Smart Resiliency Planning Tool
PE7 Action: Climate-resilient Hazard Mitigation Plan4 Points
Program Summary: 4 POINTS DOCUMENTED (*Portal shows 3) Background: Ulster County initiated the process for development of its initial Hazard Mitigation Plan in 2007 and the initial plan was approved in 2009. The update of the initial plan began in 2013 and received FEMA approval in 2017, with the County and 16 of its 24 jurisdictions opting to participate. The 2017 update included a new Climate Change section, and various Hazard Profiles included in the Risk Assessment lay the groundwork for further integration of climate change and climate resiliency planning in future plan updates. CSC Pledge Element 7 Action: Evaluate Policies for Climate Resilience: Ulster County completed the Climate Smart Resiliency Planning Tool (CSRPT) and developed the accompanying CSRPT Gap Analysis report in the fall of 2020, which is included in the County’s 2021 CSC recertification application. The CSRPT Gap Analysis recommendations for the next Plan update (planned for 2022-23) include: o Enhance integration/cross-referencing with the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan & Comprehensive Plan(s) o The goal is for 100% participation by all local municipalities o Evaluate if sea-level rise enhanced storm surge may be a hazard o Integrate future Climate Resilience Plan & climate adaptation strategies o Describe past mitigation efforts e.g., shoreline stabilization and land acquisition, along with their costs and effectiveness o Provide a general explanation of the environmental, social and economic consequences of failing to address natural hazards o Include municipal maps that indicate local hazard risks, such as flood zones, storm-surge and erosion rates o Ensure that participating jurisdictions include a mitigation action(s) for each critical facility in that community to be mitigated to at least the 0.2% (500 year) flood risk level (inclusive of climate change projections) o Ensure alignment with CSC PE 7 Action: Hazard Mitigation Plan Updates Documentation: o Ulster County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (2017) – included as separate document in documentation packet • Consideration of the potential effects of climate change is included under various hazard profiles: “With climate change, it is anticipated that extreme temperature events will be more common occurrences in the years ahead” (Plan PDF p. 73) “The frequency and intensity of coastal storms and severe weather events is expected to increase in the future due to climate change” (Plan PDF p. 85) “While it is unknown how climate change will impact regional water supplies, the State Plan reports that water resources are stressed and any added stress from climate change will only increase the competition for water resources. Warmer climates increase potential drought frequency, severity, and create longer-lasting events” (Plan PDF p. 102) “The frequency of intense precipitation events in Ulster County is expected to increase in the future with climate change; this is likely to result in more riverine and flash flooding events” (Plan PDF p. 118) “future occurrences of wildfires in the County is considered to be certain, particularly if drought conditions become more prevalent in the future with climate change” (Plan PDF p. 140) • The new Climate Change section (Plan PDF pp.188-192) is included under Section 3 - Risk Assessment Acknowledges that “Climate change is not a hazard in and of itself; rather, it is a condition that will exacerbate the impacts of hazards. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of natural hazards” o Ulster County Resolution No. 513 December 19, 2017 Approving The Ulster County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan – Ulster County Department Of Emergency Communications/Emergency Management (included in documentation packet) o FEMA letter Re: Approval of the Ulster County, NY Hazard Mitigation Plan (Initial); dated January 18, 2018 (included in documentation packet) o Ulster County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/emergency-services/hazard-mitigation/draft-plan-update • The New York State Hazard Mitigation Plan (2014) section on climate change is included as Appendix 3e.2 – NYS Section 3.4 Climate Change
PE7 Action: Design Flood Elevation & Flood Maps2 Points
Program Summary: 2 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County Department of the Environment staff participates in and facilitates various trainings on the most recent NYS sea-level rise projections, guidance, mapping tools, and other resources as part of the County’s participation in the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (AWSMP). Staff also participates in AWSMP’s Flood Hazard Mitigation Working Group, which was formed in 2014 to bring local officials and flood advisory committee members together to learn about flooding and flood mitigation topics, and to network with peers in adjacent towns. The AWSMP partnership is fully documented in the County’s 2021 CSC recertification materials under the CSC action “PE1: Partnerships with Other Entities”, and is a joint effort between Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The three agencies work collaboratively to maintain the health of streams in the Ashokan Reservoir Watershed. The program aims to improve stream stability and reduce erosion threats to water quality and infrastructure, mitigate potential damage from flooding, and enhance aquatic and riparian habitat. AWSMP works to educate and inform the community about stream stewardship best management practices and coordinates stream management activities in the watershed. Stream management plans — comprehensive evaluations of stream characteristics with recommendations and strategies for improvement — provide the basis for the program’s activities. Documentation: • AWSMP “About the Program” webpage: https://ashokanstreams.org/about-the-program/ • AWSMP Flood Hazard Mitigation Working Group webpage: https://ashokanstreams.org/about-the-program/ committees-working-groups/flood/ • Agendas and relevant course outlines are included for the following sessions, which County Department of the Environment Staff participated in as part of the AWSMP partnership over the last five years: o Community Rating System Training Workshop – AWSMP (September 15, 2015) o Elevation Certificate Training – AWSMP (October 17, 2016) o HEC-RAS Training Workshop for Modeling Bridges & Culverts - Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (August 12 – 14, 2019) o Floodway Encroachment And No-Rise Workshop (February 2021) Session 1 - Floodway Encroachment Requirements Session 2 - Reviewing No-Rise Certifications Session 3 - Performing and Documenting No-Rise Certifications
PE7 Action: Green Infrastructure7 Points
Program Summary: 7 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County continues to complete ongoing staff training and planning for green infrastructure and has also implemented several green infrastructure (GI) projects on County properties, which serve to effectively manage stormwater onsite. Benefits include reductions in impervious surface area, reductions in flooding and in runoff pollution during rain events, and the multitude of benefits associated with the beautiful native plantings in the gardens and bioretention areas including the aesthetics; the creation of pollinator habits; and enhanced and more accessible public spaces. These GI strategies also help to keep water from entering the municipal sewage system during rain events, resulting in less untreated wastewater being discharged via combined sewer overflows – CSOs – to local water bodies during storm events, which can occur in those urban areas with combined sewer systems. Ulster County partnered with the Hudson Valley Regional Council via a NYSDEC-funded program to complete GI plans for several County-owned sites, and has since installed several of them: the small rain garden at Department of the Environment, the bioretention areas adjacent to the County of Building complex’s parking lots, as well as other GI practices included at the SUNY ulster satellite campus including pervious parking lot pavement and a green wall. Summary information of these projects is included below, and full documentation is included for the Pearl Street rain garden and for the pervious pavement at Kingston Center of SUNY New Paltz. • Pervious Pavement– STRIVE Project at Kingston Center of SUNY New Paltz: Pervious means “allowing water to pass through.” Pervious pavement allows stormwater to pass through the surface, reducing flooding and runoff, capturing pollutants, and filtering water. At Kingston Center of SUNY Ulster (KCSU), 12,000 sq. ft. of porous asphalt was installed. Porous asphalt often looks just like regular blacktop …until it rains! The picture(*) included shows pervious and impervious pavement at KCSU. It is clear that water is pooling on the impervious pavement while pervious pavement allows water to infiltrate. • Green Walls– STRIVE Project at Kingston Center of SUNY New Paltz: Green walls are walls that are made of living plants. Green walls absorb heat from the sun, naturally cooling buildings, clean the air, and absorb rain water. KCSU uses a green wall to conceal a maintenance area, creating a more visually pleasing campus. This green wall was planted with hardy perennials. On the northwestern wall, shade-loving heuchera is planted. The southwestern wall is planted with catmint, a native perennial that attracts pollinators, as well as a mix of drought-resistant, sun-loving sedum • Rain Garden – UC Department of the Environment: Rain gardens are simple bioretention areas that collect and filter stormwater. They can be built in residential areas to collect water from roofs and gutters. Rain gardens enhance the landscape with native plants and provide habitat for wildlife. This rain garden at the Ulster County Department of the Environment serves as a demonstration site. The Department is housed in an older home with a small yard, similar to many other homes in Kingston. o Currently handles runoff from almost 1000 sq. ft. of roof, treating ~85 cubic feet of water; this can be expanded to include a larger drainage area o Approximately 300 sq. ft. Bioretention Areas – County Office Building Complex: Bioretention areas are depressed areas in the landscape that are designed to collect and filter stormwater. The trees, shrubs, and grasses planted in these areas must be able to survive both flooding and drought. Native perennials such as milkweed, mountain mint, coneflower, and beebalm are well suited for this and require minimal maintenance. This bioretention area is at the Ulster County Office Complex. It was designed to collect runoff from the adjacent parking lot and reduce flooding on Pearl Street. Documentation: • Ulster County Green Infrastructure hyperlinks: o Webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/green-infrastructure o 17 Pearl Street Rain Garden Informational Brochure o Introduction to Rain Gardens Brochure o Recommended Plant List for Rain Gardens • Complete a feasibility study for one or more priority location (2 points) o Project background: https://hudsonvalleyregionalcouncil.org/resources-publications/green-infrastructure-and-water-quality/ o GI Conceptual Plan for County Office Building Complex • Green infrastructure training (1 point) o The Department of the Environment’s Environmental Resource Technician coordinates the MS4 stormwater program for Ulster County, in collaboration with the County's Stormwater Officer (housed in the Department of Public Works), and staff completes several hours of training annually. A 2020 GI Training certificate is included for 7 professional development hours. • Implement green infrastructure projects ( >5,000 cubic feet – 4 points) o Pervious Pavement– STRIVE Project at Kingston Center of SUNY New Paltz Project Environmental Highlights summary document As-Built Plans depicting porous asphalt parking lot area, porous pavers, bioretention basin (pond), live wall, and rain garden GI Maintenance Requirements document Water Quality Volume Calculations: Sums the 5,708 cubic feet of WQv capacity across all subcatchments GI Maintenance Requirements document Picture of pervious pavement and green wall o Rain Garden– UC Department of the Environment Base Map: Includes calculations for the </= 274.5 cubic feet of WQv capacity across rain garden soils, gravels, and ponding areas Planting list Before & after pictures o Bioretention Areas – County Office Building Complex Bioretention Area Dimension Plan Bioretention Area Planting Plan Before & after pictures
PE7 Action: Culverts & Dams18 Points
Program Summary: 18 POINTS DOCUMENTED BACKGROUND: • County RSX Assessments and Management Plan: Ulster County received funding through two grant programs to complete assessments of all County-owned RSX in Ulster County. From 2016 to 2018 a Hudson River Estuary Program grant supported the assessment of all RSX outside of the NYC Watershed using the NAACC protocol. In 2019 and 2020, a NEIWPCC and Hudson River Estuary Program funded project supported an expanded multi-objective assessment of RSX in the Lower Esopus Watershed, which was completed in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County. This expanded protocol is called the Multi-Objective Stream Crossing Assessment Protocol (MOSCAP). In total, Ulster County has performed well over 500 NAACC assessments, and nearly 300 road stream crossings received a MOSCAP assessment (County and Town owned crossings). Ulster County also periodically performs a DOT culvert analysis of all large County owned culverts (over five feet in width). These data are stored with the County’s Department of Public Works, and an Ulster County Road Stream Crossing Management Plan was developed as part of this work. • Dam Inventory: A dam inventory and map of all dams in Ulster County is included in the attached Management Plan. The County’s dam inventory was compiled using data from the New York State DEC Inventory of Dams. There are 187 dams in Ulster County that are included in the inventory, as well as many more dams that are unregistered. As all dams are potential barriers to aquatic connectivity, and can pose threats to human safety and infrastructure, it is important to know the location and status of these dams. A map of the dams included in the NYS Inventory of Dams, as well as the table with more information regarding specific dams, is included in Appendices J and K. • DOCUMENTATION: • Conduct an assessment of all road-stream crossings that fall under the responsibility of the local government using the NAACC protocol (2 points) & Develop a road-stream crossing municipal management plan that prioritizes crossings for replacement based on threats to flooding and aquatic connectivity (2 points): o Map & Table of Ulster County NAAC Assessed Road Stream crossings (the full data table is located in the attached Ulster County Road Stream Crossing Management Plan, Section 7: Appendices) • Right-Size Culverts & Bridges (2 projects, 12 points total): o Fischer Bridge 8 foot diameter culvert to 61 foot bridge replacement project: “Effect on Aquatic Passage” summary; funding letter; before & after pictures o Mine Hollow culvert Culvert replacement project: Design summary; before & after pictures • Conduct a dam inventory (2 points): o Map & Table of Ulster County Dam Inventory (the full data table is located in the attached Ulster County Road Stream Crossing Management Plan, Section 7: Appendices)
PE7 Action: Riparian Buffers6 Points
Program Summary: 4 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: The Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District (UCSWCD) has been working for over fifty years and is responsible for the direct design and implementation of engineering and agronomic practices intended for the improvement of water quality and the preservation of the County's natural resources. A major focus area for the District is to assist municipalities, citizen's groups, agricultural operations and individuals in the planning, development and implementation of vegetative buffer systems which promote water quality, improve aesthetics, and facilitate wildlife habitat. Beginning in 2005, and in partnership with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Village of New Paltz, a 35-foot wide riparian buffer system along 1,200 feet of the Wallkill River was initiated. In the Ashokan Reservoir watershed, UCSWCD staff implement a similar program called the Catskill Streams and Buffer Initiative (CSBI), as part of the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (AWSMP). Here, interested streamside landowners receive onsite technical assistance, educational materials, riparian corridor management plans, and best management practices design and installation. Since its inception, UCSWCD’s CSBI program have worked with over 65 landowners to vegetate more than 13 acres of riparian area (~18,500 feet of streambank), with over 10,000 trees and shrubs planted. The AWSMP partnership is fully documented in the County’s 2021 CSC recertification materials under the CSC action “PE1: Partnerships with Other Entities”, and is a joint effort between Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The three agencies work collaboratively to maintain the health of streams in the Ashokan Reservoir Watershed. The program aims to improve stream stability and reduce erosion threats to water quality and infrastructure, mitigate potential damage from flooding, and enhance aquatic and riparian habitat. AWSMP works to educate and inform the community about stream stewardship best management practices and coordinates stream management activities in the watershed. Stream management plans — comprehensive evaluations of stream characteristics with recommendations and strategies for improvement — provide the basis for the program’s activities. • UCSWCD’s CSBI for Riparian Landowners: https://ashokanstreams.org/our-areas-of-focus/streamsidelandowners/ • CSBI general webpage: https://catskillstreams.org/catskill-streams-buffer-initiative/ • AWSMP webpage: https://ashokanstreams.org/about-the-program/ Documentation: • Riparian Assessment (2 points) – Included is an assessment that was conducted for a 40-mile stretch (which included 106 sample plots across 13 community types) of the upper Esopus Creek watershed riparian area. The primary objective of this assessment was to classify, map, and describe a set of reference riparian habitat types that can then be used by the Soil & Water Conservation District and through the CSBI, to guide stream corridor restoration projects. o Project Summary: Woodland Creek Vegetation Mapping Assessment. The project used remote sensed data to map riparian vegetation communities. o Stream management Planning Phase 1 LandUse-LandCover Assessment & Riparian Buffer Width Assessment Tables o Inventory, Classification, And Description of Riparian Natural Community Reference Types for Ashokan Watershed, New York - Final Technical Report December 2012 (includes Woodland Creek) *Included as separate document o Woodland Creek Stream Management Plan (2018): Each management unit has a discrete section on riparian buffer condition and recommendations. Webpage (available for download): https://ashokanstreams.org/woodland-valleycreekstream- management-plan-now-available-for-free-download/ • Riparian revegetation (2 points) – Attached information for two revegetation sites: Costa (right bank) and Sammet (left bank) parcels which are on opposite sides of the Warner Creek. This project was part of a larger stream restoration effort, Warner Creek Site 5, which was initiated after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The riparian revegetation project covered 850 linear feet, revegetated 1.03 acres (44,867 square feet), and contained nearly 1,400 plantings. o Project Summary: Warner Site 5 landowners and riparian restoration project o Warner Creek Site 5 Construction Plans: Included – Proposed Conditions Plan View & Construction Specification 6—Seeding, Sprigging, and Mulching o Project location maps & delineated planting area maps *Included as separate document o Warner Creek site 5 riparian corridor management plans and planting plans with “Riparian Buffer Maintenance” section (pp. 16, 17). As there are two separate landowners own opposite sides of the creek, the plans are broken out by landowner. *Included as separate documents
8. Support a green innovation economy.
PE8 Action: Green Jobs Training3 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County Government (Office of Employment and Training) and SUNY Ulster have launched the Green Careers Academy, a program to deliver the skills and expertise necessary to begin or advance careers in the expanding clean technology industry. This program is currently active. The Ulster County Office of Employment & Training's Young Adult Employment Program also offers Green Careers Internships. The focus of this program is to place young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 into green jobs/careers and assist them in receiving additional training at either SUNY-Ulster's Green Careers Academy or at Ulster BOCES green career pathway classes. The County partners with local environmental groups and green business leaders in this program. Documentation: · Ulster County Green Careers Academy website: https://ulstergreenjobs.com/ · Green Careers Academy course offerings: https://www.sunyulster.edu/continuing_education/industrialtech/ green-careers.php · Green Careers Internships Page: https://www.ulsterworks.com/young-adults/green-youth-fellowship · Email from SUNY Ulster showing numbers of students training in the Green Careers Academy program over the past year (as of 3/16/2021)
PE8 Action: Green Vendor Fairs2 Points
Program Summary: 2 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County Department of the Environment hosted its fifth National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) event on Saturday, September 26, 2020. The event was held at the County Courthouse parking lot directly adjacent to the weekly outdoor Kingston Farmers Market. This location allowed for a scaled-down version of the annual event to be held, which ensured safe social distancing and adherence to all COVID-19 safety protocols, including those outlined in New York State's Low-Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment Guidelines. In lieu of the traditional Ride & Drive format, in which car dealers provide test drives of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to event attendees, the 2020 event was limited to a static display of EVs & PHEVs and associated educational materials and giveaways, with a capacity limit on the number of attendees allowed in the outdoor event space. The County promoted the event via its Facebook page, and as part of its efforts to encourage green commuting an email was sent to the County’s ~1300 employees promoting both the NDEW event and CarFreeDay 2020 the preceding Friday. County Executive Pat Ryan also attended the event in person. The County Department of the Environment facilitated the event, bringing a County Nissan Leaf to display along with a table providing NDEW giveaways and other educational materials. Various other participants brought EVs , PHEVs, and materials to display: In addition to the County’s table and Nissan Leaf, Romeo Chevrolet Buick GMC car dealership brought a Chevrolet Bolt EV and a Kia Niro PHEV; Central Hudson Gas & Electric utility company had a table with educational materials on EVs, EV charging, and energy efficiency programs and discounts available to their customers, as well as a company Bolt; the New York Power Authority (NYPA) had a table with e-Mobility and EVolve NY educational materials; and about ten EV owners who registered via the NDEW webpage brought their private vehicles to display as well. The event setting allowed for a steady pass-through flow of foot traffic through the display of EVs throughout the day, ensuring low density and safe social distancing at all times. Documentation: • Attendees: o Ulster County Department of the Environment: table + County Nissan Leaf o Central Hudson Gas & Electric: table + company Chevrolet Bolt o NYPA: table o Romeo Auto Group: Chevrolet Bolt EV + Kia Niro PHEV o Friends of Rogers: Tesla Model S to raffle + raffle table o ~10 privately-owned EVs • NDEW event webpage: https://driveelectricweek.org/event?eventid=2217 • Event flyer (attached) • Facebook posts (screenshots attached): https://www.facebook.com/UlsterNY/ & https://www.facebook.com/events/1303691949976500/ • County: email to employees (attached) • County: event site plan (attached)
PE8 Action: Farmers’ Markets3 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County supports the Kingston Farmer’s Market by making government property available for outdoor market activities. Starting in 2020, the Kingston Farmer’s Market outdoor market has been held at the Ulster County Courthouse parking lot at 285 Wall Street, Kingston. Documentation: • 2021 temporary conditional permit, Kingston Farmer’s Market • Kingston Farmer’s Market website: https://kingstonfarmersmarket.org/ • Kingston Farmer’s Market newsletter, December 2020
PE8 Action: PACE Financing7 Points
Program Summary: 7 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County executed a municipal agreement with the Energy Improvement Corporation on April 30, 2015 after adopting Local Law No. 6 of 2014 on November 18, 2014 which implemented the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program. The Clean Energy Communities Energize NY Finance high impact action was approved on October 28, 2016. Local Law No. 9 of 2019 amended the local law to permit EIC to offer the Energize NY Open C-PACE Financing Program to qualified property owners within the County. Documentation: • Local Law No. 9 of 2019: A Local Law Amending Local Law 6 of 2014, To Improve And Strengthen The Sustainable Energy Loan Program https://legislature.ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/Local%20Law%20No.%209%20of%202019%20-%20Amending%20Energy%20Loan%20Program.pdf • Local Law No. 2 of 2018: Amending Local Law 6 of 2014, To Improve And Strengthen The Sustainable Energy Loan Program https://legislature.ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/Local%20Law%20No.%202%20of%202018-%20Amending%20Energy%20Loan%20Program.pdf • Local Law No. 6 of 2014: To Establish A Sustainable Energy Loan Program In The County Of Ulster https://legislature.ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/Local%20Law%20No.%206%20of%202014.pdf • EIC Participating Municipalities List https://2cb4acc2-d601-480a-b2d3-82e3cd4eefeb.filesusr.com/ugd/1b6741_e16809c96d5345cbb616a8146eb876b7.pdf?index=true • Email from Clean Energy Communities confirming Energies NY Finance High Impact Action completion. • Screenshots from NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities program showing the Energize NY Finance High Impact Action: https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities/CEC-Map
9. Inform and inspire the public.
PE9 Action: Climate-related Public Events3 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County supports various climate-related initiatives, focused on government operations as well as on the broader community. The County Department of the Environment, Environmental Management Council, Climate Smart Committee, and other County stakeholders have historically partnered to host and promote public events focusing a topics related to climate change. Despite the continued challenges related to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the County Climate Smart Committee and other partners have continued to host and promote these events when possible. Documentation is included for the March 29, 2021 Low Carbon Concrete Forum. Documentation: • Facebook event page (screenshot attached): https://www.facebook.com/events/260019288993725 • Flyer
PE9 Action: Local Climate Action Website3 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County Department of the Environment maintains a “Community Climate Action” webpage. The webpage describes the County Government’s goals and projects related to climate change mitigation and adaption. Information and links to the County’s CSC webpage (which also lists local CSC engagement and task forces, etc.) is provided, as is a summary of climate actions and available resources for both residents and businesses. Documentation: • Ulster County Community Climate Action webpage: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-action • Webpage content (February 2021 screenshots included)
PE9 Action: Social Media3 Points
Program Summary: Background: The Ulster County Climate Smart Municipal Task Force maintains an active Facebook page, which is used to promote County-hosted and other events related to clean energy, climate change, and other sustainability topics; available funding opportunities; and other pertinent information and resources. The County Department of the Environment also maintains “Climate Smart Communities” and “Community Climate Action” webpages, which provide information and resources relevant to local municipalities, businesses, residents, and other stakeholders. Documentation: • Ulster County Climate Smart Municipal Task Force Facebook page (screenshots included) o https://www.facebook.com/UCDeptEnvironment/ • Climate Smart Communities webpage (provides link to Facebook Page) o https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-smart • Community Climate Action webpage o https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-action
10. Engage in an evolving process of climate action.
PE10 Action: GHG Tracking System5 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County uses a spreadsheet tool for tracking activity data and calculating GHG emissions across multiple years. The spreadsheet was developed for the County’s 2018 inventory and contains data from 2018 to present as well as adjusted data from the baseline year of 2012. This baseline data was input from records provided by the County’s consultant, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB), who completed the County’s initial baseline GHG inventory. The spreadsheet includes mechanisms for adjusting the baseline and updating emissions factors across GHG inventory reporting years. Documentation: · Ulster County Government Operations GHGI Protocol · Screenshots of spreadsheet tool for GHG tracking and inventory calculations
PE10 Action: Annual Progress Report4 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County generates periodic update reports to for its Carbon Neutral Government Operations program. This report details updated GHG inventory data, procurement of renewable electricity, retirements of offsets and progress toward GHG emissions reduction goals. The most recent report, released on 3/1/2021, covers calendar year 2020 emissions. This report is publicly available at the following address: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-mitigation Appendix D of the report describes progress on implementation of the 2019 Ulster County Government Operations Climate Action Plan. Documentation: · 2020 Ulster County Carbon Neutral Government Operations Report
PE10 Action: Updates to Strategies & Plans4 Points
Program Summary: Background: Ulster County’s first plan developed to address climate change and sustainability issues within County government operations was its Environmental Plan which was released in December 2008. In 2018, the County initiated a project to update this plan and to refocus the strategies, roles and responsibilities and action items contained within the Environmental Plan around climate change mitigation. The result of this process was the Ulster County Government Operations Climate Action Plan which was released in November 2019. The Ulster County Government Operations Climate Action Plan is publicly available at the Ulster County Department of the Environment website: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/department-environment Documentation: · Ulster County Environmental Plan Available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/UC%20Environmental%20Plan.pdf · Ulster County Government Operations Climate Action Plan Available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/environment/Ulster%20County%20Government%20O perations%20Climate%20Action%20Plan%202019_web.p
Innovation: New Innovative Actions6 Points
Program Summary: 9 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County has developed a procurement program to support the development of community distributed generation (CDG) projects in the local community by using municipal accounts to serve as an anchor customer for solar PV projects, off-taking up to 40% of a solar PV project’s output. This program directly supports developers of solar PV by making their projects easier to finance and reducing customer acquisition costs. A key component of the program is a condition of the RFP that extends contract pricing to political sub-divisions and other entities as authorized by general municipal law. While this action supports the County and other participating municipalities in the achievement of PE3: Clean Energy Upgrades, the program’s impact extends beyond this action by allowing the County to: · complete procurement on behalf of other program participants · provide centralized technical and legal support to program participants · promote CDG subscriptions through its Climate Smart Municipal Task Force Program Timeline: 6/11/2020: Ulster County releases RFP-UC20-031 7/23/2020: Ulster County awards a contract to East Light Partners for projects physically located in Ulster and Dutchess Counties. 2/3/2021: Ulster County executes 10-year utility credit purchase agreements with East Light Partners for a projected total of $240,000/year of utility credits. 00/00/2021: Ulster County Community College (SUNY Ulster) executes a 10-year agreement for a projected $310,000/year of utility credits. 00/00/2021: Ulster County releases RFP-UC21-018 for the purpose of selecting a second vendor for the program. The City of Kingston has agreed to participate in the program with several of their large electricity accounts. The following describes how Ulster County’s program provides benefits in each of the three CSC-designated categories: Reduced GHG emissions – A CDG subscription in this program reduces GHG emissions by “greening the grid,” that is, reducing the overall emissions intensity of electric power generation in the region. The municipality cannot claim a Scope 2 emissions reduction because the environmental attributes of the power generated are sold to the load serving entity through the VDER value stack compensation model. The subscribing municipality does not directly receive RECs for participation in the program so it cannot qualify for PE4 Action: Green Power Procurement Policy or PE4 Action: Renewable Energy Certificates. Yet, to the extent that participating municipalities enroll in the program, additional projects can be financed and built thereby expanding the GHG emissions reduction impact. Enhanced community resilience to climate change – In a distributed electric power grid, locally-sited clean power generation is critical to increase community resilience as carbon reduction regulations increasingly result in higher costs for fossil fuel-based electricity generation. Electric utilities with higher levels of distributed electric resource (DER) penetration may be able to offer lower costs to the consumer. Lower energy costs make community members better prepared to respond to other effects of climate change (higher temperatures, winter weather events). Helped to build a green economy at the local level – A municipality acting as an anchor customer for a CDG project directly supports the developer by providing a secure counterparty for up to 40% of the project’s output and reducing customer acquisition costs. Strong municipal support of CDG projects can create an environment where it is financially feasible to develop CDG projects locally which will stimulate additional project proposals. Additionally, through its RFP, Ulster County has requested that proposers detail the following qualifications and project experience to serve as selection criteria in the competitive procurement process: · “Provide examples of how local firms were, are or will be used in project development, construction and/or operations & maintenance. · Provide examples of local job creation resulting from host site development, including Proposer participation with local and/or regional career training programs. · Provide examples of the Proposer, or project developer, supporting community development through the proposed host site(s).” Documentation: · RFP-UC20-031 · RFP-UC21-031 Attachment A · RFP-UC20-031 award letter · RFP-UC21-018 · Screen shots of New Project Media social media posts related to RFP-UC20-031 and RFP-UC21-018
Performance: Reduce GHGs from Government Facilities25 Points
Program Summary: 25 POINTS DOCUMENTED Background: Ulster County achieved a reduction of 24.7% at government facilities between its baseline year of 2012 and 2020. This reduction includes baseline changes but does not include offsets (RECs/carbon credits) procured for Ulster County’s Carbon Neutral Government Operations program. This reduction includes changes from the following three reporting sectors: Sector 2012 Emissions (MT CO2e) 2020 Emissions (MT CO2e) Buildings and other Facilities 4,702 3,537 Streetlights and Traffic Signals 5 2 Water Delivery Facilities 10 11 Total 4,717 3,550 Ulster County attributes this reduction to the following factors: · Energy Efficiency Measures: implemented between 2012 and 2020 per the attached table · Change in electricity emissions rate: The average electricity generation emission intensity decreased by 43% between 2012 and 2020. NYUP/NPCC Upstate NY subregion total output emission rate 2012 inventory: eGRID2012 - 410.3 lb CO2e/MWh 2020 inventory: eGRID2019 - 233.0 lb CO2e/MWh · Operational changes in 2020 due to COVID 19: The impact of this factor has not been fully quantified, however, the GHG emissions from government facilities in 2020 was 14% lower than the average emissions from the prior three years. This estimate does not account for other factors such as weather, efficiency, etc. Average 2017-2019 emissions: 4,124 MT CO2e 2020 emissions: 3,550 MT CO2e The GHG emissions totals reported are not weather normalized. However, regional weather during the reporting years did not contribute to the emissions reduction reported. Based on NYSERDA data, the region experienced 6,415-degree days in 2012 and 6,841-degree days in 2020. (Source: NYSERDA Monthly Cooling and Heating Degree Day Data, Albany data, https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/about/publications/ea-reports-and-studies/weather-data/monthly-cooling-and-heatingdegree-day-data) Documentation: · Ulster County 2020 Carbon Neutral Government Operations report Available here: https://ulstercountyny.gov/environment/climate-mitigation · Energy efficiency measures implemented between 2012 and 2020 · Table of changes to 2012 baseline inventory · Activity data table from EPA Portfolio Manager, 2012 and 2020