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Is South Portland the Most Green City? It is certainly the leader

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SOUTH PORTLAND – Temper was desirable last week when 14 municipal officers and environmental leaders from all over Maine mentioned the status of several solar strategies throughout this session.

City and City Representatives from York to Gardiner Tremont was in a convention name organized by Julie Rosenbach, Director of Sustainable Improvement in South Portland. Since 2015, Rosenbach has been following the city's ambition for a healthy setting, a robust group and a aggressive financial system.

Sandy Carder, a grey city councilor, was amongst his hearings. limited former landfill. He tuned to study from other communities which have already gone by means of the course of. It consists of South Portland, a city of more than 25,000 individuals, which reached its former landfill in the state's largest municipal photo voltaic district in 2017. from scratch takes numerous assets, ”Carder later defined. "Sharing information, networking, and linking to what's happening in Augusta – everything is unusually helpful."

This yr, 17 Maine cities have shaped a South-Portland-led coalition to advertise laws

a member of the Municipal Power Precedence Group, Portland, South Portland, Falmouth, Scarborough, Denmark, Sebago, Grey, Gardiner , Saint Agatha, Bristol, Chelsea, Tremont, Fayette, Rockland, Camden, Tub and York, and Cumberland County.

Over ten different group officers pay attention, receive e mail updates, and hold monitor of other ways, together with Lewiston, Belfast, Bar Harbor, Ellsworth, Freeport, Kittery, Mount Desert, Sanford, Stockton Springs, Windham, and Yarmouth. Representatives of teams similar to the Maine and Maine Conservation Officers participate and provide info

The formation of a coalition has established South Portland as a leader in the formulation of sustainable policies and practices that principally take into consideration nature conservation.

The City's efforts have limited the use of plastics and pesticides; selling the improvement of neighborhoods for low-cost and energy-efficient housing;


In recent times, Maine is the fourth largest metropolis by which it has shared its expertise with other municipalities, recognizing that few communities, principally in a rural state, can reserve employees for a sustainable improvement agency. There are a handful of reputations like Portland, Scarborough and Falmouth.

“Other people consider sustainability a concept, but when it comes to using money, it's harder to keep people committed and committed,” Rosenbach stated. He was Chief of Duty at Bates School, Lewiston, eight years before beginning work in South Portland. Previous to that, he was the United States Environmental Safety Agency's Waste Discount Specialist in Washington

Rosenbach has asked for a spring finances improve from $ 112,080 for 2019, ending June 30, and $ 141,674 for 2020, largely for his part-time assistant, Lucy Brennan, might work all the time in the metropolis.

Mayor Claude Morgan, who heads the South Portland Metropolis Council, stated Rosenbach would in all probability be greater than he asked for Brennan to start out working full-time

Morgan stated he was happy that the Rosenbach dimension and the metropolis's experience of environmental actions would profit different municipalities.

”Although we have to develop this data, it doesn't value us to let it out, Morgan stated. "We have a moral duty to do the right thing and share it."

North of Portland, with over 8,000 inhabitants, has benefited from South Portland's generosity for almost a yr.

”We've been speaking about the solar for some time, however we didn't get any bets before we visited South Portland final June, stated Metropolis Carder Carder. “We saw what they did and thought,“ This could really work for us. ””


South Portland has been at the forefront of environmental activity for over a decade. The change that has affected virtually every metropolis division and touched all the inhabitants

The Metropolis's aspirations are based mostly on the assumption that scientists say that carbon dioxide and different greenhouse gases generated by burning fossil fuels and different human actions contribute to warming. glaciers and glaciers, rising sea ranges, acidification of the sea, changing climate circumstances and different circumstances related to accelerating local weather change. It is also extensively accepted and expressed with out discussion at public meetings that disposable plastics and many manmade chemical compounds are dangerous to the surroundings and human well being. disposable purchasing luggage and pesticide laws to be extended to synthetic fertilizers in the coming months

The town has also rented electric automobiles and installed public charging stations; elevated the collection of meals waste in its recycling program; virtually stopped turning their road lights into power saving LED lights; and accomplished a multi-million dollar sewer and storm removing undertaking to guard Casco Bay very a lot earlier than many different communities.

Then there is a 2,944 panel photo voltaic package launched by South Portland in 2017. Designed by Portland's ReVision Power, it is designed to generate 1.2 million kilowatt hours of power per yr, or about 12 % of the metropolis's municipal and faculty buildings electricity

Portland, Maine's largest a town with more than 66,000 inhabitants has since accomplished a barely smaller landfill. Collectively, concurrently negotiated solar contracts, every city buys electrical energy from ReVision at a better market worth during the first six years earlier than it may possibly purchase photovoltaic gear immediately for almost $ 1.6 million.

The neighboring cities have cooperated with many environmental initiatives developed with Troy Moon, Portland's Director of Sustainable Improvement. Lately, each city has granted $ 110,000 to distribute a marketing consultant and develop individual community-based plans to deal with the results of local weather change, including sea degree rise at Casco Bay.


Portland's willingness to simply accept large-scale environmental challenges that separate it from other Maine cities. In 2014, the City Council accepted the so-called Clear Skies Decree prohibiting the bulk of crude oil in Portland's tankers resulting from potential air high quality and well being results.

The controversial order prevents Portland Pipe Line Corp. – to withdraw its pipeline that has shifted overseas uncooked materials from port terminals in South Portland to Montreal refineries after World Struggle II. The order was expected on the day when the demand for overseas crude oil dried up and the firm may need to use the pipe to convey Canada's tar sands oil to the south.

The pipeline is now largely unused and the firm, which is a Canadian-owned subsidiary of ExxonMobil, Shell and Suncor Power, is difficult the ruling in a federal courtroom. The town employed a regulation firm in Boston and has thus far used $ 2.four million towards the 2015 lawsuit, including $ 174,000 donated by residents and others

. the right to make a plan that it did not violate the Structure and that it acted in accordance with the basic plan of the metropolis. The company introduced its intention to attraction towards the determination in November.

Final month, the city discovered that EPA made a federal trial and consent choice for International Companions LP, a Fortune 500 firm that makes use of a gasoline storage facility.

EPA charged International a violation of the Federal Clear Air Act and its Maine Department of Environmental Protection. International and Maine DEP officers contest EPA's findings, but the lawsuit has drawn consideration to varied pollution, odors, visitors, and different group considerations related to greater than 100 bulk containers of oil and different oil spaces in the city.

The town has employed another set of legal professionals to answer EPA's lawsuit and consent regulation. After listening to the unanimous calls for of a public assembly on two current subjects, the city is creating plans to develop its own air high quality monitoring program

“The global situation has emphasized that we really have to do it ourselves because we don't want surprises,” stated Morgan, Mayor of South Portland.

MAINE & # 39; GREENEST & # 39; CITY?

Asking if South Portland's environmental activity in Maine is the greenest metropolis, Morgan refused to quantify what he stated was actually inconceivable to measure.

Morgan said that the metropolis has been heading in the direction of sustainable improvement since 2007, when he was the final mayor when the metropolis signed the US Mayors' Climate Protection Treaty, which set the aim of decreasing carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 levels. 19659002] The Municipal Local weather Action Plan adopted by South Portland in 2014 referred to as for city action to scale back greenhouse fuel emissions by 17 % by 2017, which the metropolis exceeded 6 proportion points earlier than the deadline.

Now the city aims to use 100% clear renewable power for municipal activities by 2040 and scale back greenhouse fuel emissions by 80% for the complete metropolis by 2050 by means of efficiency, conservation and renewable power initiatives

Anoth The purpose is to extend South Portland's recycling price by about From 29% to 40% by 2020 by way of a campaign to encourage applicable purchasing, re-use, recycling and composting


• Revision of the internet metering laws to permit municipal photo voltaic districts to exceed the present 660 kilowatt limit and other modifications to greater than 9 external meters or customers.

• Update Maine's unified constructing and power code to help cities and cities develop so-called. Stretch Codes That Come To Stricter Necessities For Power Efficient Development.

• Improve the availability of power info for power corporations to municipalities which have introduced so-called "energy". benchmarking deliveries corresponding to Portland and South Portland. This is able to make it easier for them to track power consumption in giant buildings and encourage enterprise house owners to make energy-efficient repairs.


Not everybody likes what South Portland does. The publication's online feedback show that some see the city's wrestle towards the pipeline and its efforts to curb oil spoilage, enterprise and waste in dollars.

Some enterprise house owners stated they have been opposed to benchmarking as a result of they didn't need to share their power info or pressured to improve their buildings. Some householders stated they didn't want the city telling them what chemical compounds they might use with their yards.

Morgan and Rosenbach are satisfied of their participation in the public meetings and suggestions they obtain on the road, that the majority of the residents help the efforts of the city. The local population, Shield South Portland, is actively campaigning for numerous sustainable improvement initiatives and its members have contributed a considerable sum of money to preventing the pipeline lawsuit

”(Opposition) is a sensible a part of the change,” Rosenbach stated. “I absolutely understand that folks have their very own views. However I consider most individuals need to reside in a sustainable group. So I try to strategy my work in follow. I attempt to meet individuals the place they’re and move them ahead.



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