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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

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October 2010 Newsletter

Cities Fight Climate Change

When it comes to reducing greenhouse gases and fighting global climate change, local governments can have a large impact through projects that improve energy efficiency in buildings and reduce community power usage, reduce transportation needs, increase recycling rates and recover methane from landfills.

EPA’s Pacific Southwest Office helps local communities to reduce carbon by integrating greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions into their operations.

The City of Chula Vista, California is developing a food scrap composting program.

Some communities in the Pacific Southwest are currently receiving assistance from the EPA Pacific Southwest Office. (Read more about the communities receiving assistance.)  The City of Chula Vista, California is developing a food scrap composting program and EPA is providing the city with case studies of similar successful programs, research on odor management and plastics contamination, a peer review of the program proposal and help with grants and funding for GHG emissions reductions. EPA and Chula Vista will continue to work together as the new program is implemented and results are measured.

EPA is able to provide each participating community with access to many federal resources including technical expertise, opportunities to network with similar local projects, simplified access to federal assistance programs, and national and local recognition for progress in reducing greenhouse gases.

EPA can assist communities with many GHG reduction strategies including:

  • Enacting ordinances requiring green buildings and encouraging home energy audits and retrofits to save energy costs while saving carbon emissions
  • Recycling  or composting wastes and reusing materials
  • Switching to renewable energy for residents and business, and using degraded lands for new renewable energy facilities
  • Planning for smart land use to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greening vehicle fleets
  • Improving energy efficiency at wastewater treatment plants
Local ordinances supporting solar and other clean energies can reduce communities' carbon footprints.

All of these methods both significantly reduce a community’s carbon footprint as well as save money for local governments and their residents. EPA recognizes that GHG reductions on the community level are a key component in bringing about a sustainable future and fighting climate change, and is working to make sure that opportunities for federal assistance are fully utilized to help communities achieve their climate action goals.

For more information about EPA’s local government climate team, please contact:
Andre Villasenor
Karen Irwin

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