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DC Unveils Sustainability Plan

Washington, DC mayor Vincent Gray this week announced a plan to halve the district’s GHG emissions and build 1,000 new renewable-energy systems by 2032, among other environmental goals.

The Sustainable DC Plan addresses four challenges: creating jobs and growing the district’s economy, improving the health and wellness of residents, ensuring equity and diversity across the city, and improving the climate and the environment. It has 32 goals and 31 targets, and 143 specific actions in the areas of the built environment, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste and water.

Environmental targets and actions in Sustainable DC to be completed by 2032 include:

  • Require all new building and major infrastructure projects to undergo climate change impact analysis as part of the regulatory planning process.
  • Retrofit 100 percent of existing commercial and multi-family buildings to achieve net-zero energy standards and meet net-zero energy use standards with all new construction projects.
  • Cut citywide energy use by 50 percent by funding $500 million of renewable energy and efficiency retrofits and other measures.
  • Increase the use of renewable energy to make up 50 percent of the district’s energy supply.
  • Decrease total water use by 40 percent.
  • Increase the acreage of wetlands along the Anacostia and Potomac rivers by 50 percent.
  • Complete 37 miles of streetcar network and 100 miles of citywide bike lanes, and expand car-sharing programs.
  • Eliminate all “unhealthy” air quality index days through limits to idling engines; also require District government, and encourage private businesses, to purchase clean-fuel, low-emission fleet vehicles.
  • Send zero solid waste to landfills per year and reduce total waste generation by 15 percent.
  • Control pollution caused by stormwater runoff with 2,000,000 more square feet of green roofs and a healthy tree canopy over 40 percent of the city.
  • Modernize all of the district’s public school buildings to at least the LEED Gold standard.
  • Establish facilities to accept residential and commercial compost.

Last month, Washington, DC once again topped rankings for the most new LEED certifications per capita, with 36.97 in 2012 – miles ahead of second-place Virginia, with 3.71. In this competition DC has rather unfair advantages of having a high density of buildings, including many owned by the federal government.

Earlier this month, Nissan outlined announced plans to install a network of 40 eVgo Freedom Station sites across the Washington, DC region, in the area’s first fast-charge network.

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