Fraser approves sustainability plan
The Fraser Board of Trustees has approved a sustainability plan that includes reducing green house gas emissions by 20 percent from 2014 to 2025.
Energy consultant firm McKinstry, which completed a technical energy audit for the town, assisted in developing the sustainability plan.
“As Aspen has pointed out, there’s no industry more threatened than ours, than the ski industry,” said Trustee Andy Miller. “If we lose a month off of our season as we go along here, that’s a huge economic impact. So I’m glad we’re making a commitment on this.”
In the plan, sustainability is defined in terms of a “triple bottom line” that includes economic prosperity, environment quality and social equity. The plan specifically addresses buildings energy use, transportation fuel use, water and wastewater energy use, materials and solid was generation.
A 2014 baseline greenhouse gas emissions inventory completed as part of the plan found residential energy use to be the largest source of emissions, creating around 11,868 metric tons of CO2 equivalent that year. Commercial energy use was second with 9,709 metric tons, and water and wastewater energy use came third with 1,607 metric tons. To reach its 20 percent reduction goal, the town must reduce annual emissions by 4,735 metric tons per year by 2025.
“I never really anticipated that we would get here,” said Town Manager Jeff Durbin, reflecting on Aspen’s efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions. “So I think this is a huge step for us.”
The plan recommends some community strategies to meet its goals including a community solar project, residential awareness and education, residential weatherization and increasing public transit. Some funding strategies include efficiency-oriented rebates offered by utility companies including Xcel Energy and Mountain Parks Electric Inc. Strategies to reduce emissions from government operations include reducing emissions at the town’s wastewater treatment plant and starting a solid waste diversion planning initiative.
The town received a $30,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment to start the solid waste initiative.
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-557-6010.
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