The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has approved an Environmental and Energy Work Plan to guide policies and practices related to the environment, sustainability and energy management.
The work plan was approved during the Board’s Environmental Summit July 27 and comes after the first full year of work by the 17-member, Board-appointed Environmental Commission. The work plan will be implemented using funds previously appropriated in the county’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Adopted Budget; any proposals for additional funding would be part of future budget negotiations. The plan focuses on the following initiatives:
- Energy sustainability, including programs that promote and incentivize clean and renewable energy sources such as solar energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both county operations and other community sectors.
- Enhancing natural resources, such as trees, wildlife, watershed and land conservation through programs aimed at tree preservation, the creation of wildlife corridors and implementation of projects from watershed management plans.
- Environmental justice, which examines the impact of environmental issues on underserved populations. Programs such as energy equity work to ensure the fair distribution of costs, benefits and accessibility to affordable energy by all.
- “Government by example,” which includes programs to enhance the sustainability of Loudoun County government operations. These programs may include greater use of renewable energy sources such as solar in county government operations, enhanced energy standards for new county government building construction and older county government building rehabilitation, enhanced sustainable energy operations at the county landfill, increasing the use of electric vehicles in the county fleet and adding electric vehicle charging stations in county facilities.
- Increasing public engagement in environmental and sustainability initiatives through annual events such as an environmental awards program and a public forum on environment and energy.
Environmental issues are among the Board’s strategic focus areas. The creation of the Environmental Commission in December 2020 was followed by public input sessions in November 2021 and June 2022 to learn more about the community’s priorities and interests in the environmental arena. The work plan approved July 27 included recommendations informed by the commission’s work as well as public input.
For more information about Loudoun’s efforts on the environment and the work of the commission, visit loudoun.gov/environment.
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