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College Park Achieves Carbon Neutrality – Seeking EPA GPC Designation

City Hall: The City proudly displays "Powered by Clean Currents" window decals on each of its City facilities.

[The following is a press release from the City of College Park about our sustainability efforts in the City.  It details how local residents and businesses can participate in College Park’s effort to become an EPA Green Power Community (GPC)]

College Park continues to pursue its sustainability efforts by offsetting 100% of its electricity usage through wind power in the form of renewable energy credits (RECs).

The wind power purchase goes beyond the initial strategic plan goal to offset the electricity usage for all city facilities. Instead, it offsets electricity usage for all City streetlights in addition to each of the City’s municipal facilities, including City Hall, Davis Hall, Youth and Family Services, and the Department of Public Services portion of the Calvert Rd. School.

The City will continue to purchase 100% renewable energy at least through FY 2013.

To demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and renewable energy, the City proudly displays “Powered by Clean Currents” decals in the doorways of each City facility for all visitors to see upon entering and exiting the buildings. According to the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), College Park’s RECs purchase is equivalent to 222 passenger vehicles taken off of the road, avoiding carbon dioxide emissions of the use of 140,000 gallons of gasoline, the electricity use for 155 homes in a year, or removing 2,462,994 pounds (or 1,231.5 tons) of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

In addition to purchasing wind power, the City of College Park:

– Is a member of ICLEI, Maryland Green Registry, and the EPA’s GPP Leadership Club.
– Participates in Sustainable Maryland Certified.
– Promotes greater use of car pooling and public transit by City staff.
– Encourages greater City staff participation in energy efficient practices.
– Conducts many outreach and information workshops about relevant topics including, rain barrels, energy efficiency, and sustainable agriculture.
– Collects over 1,500 tons of vegetative yard waste each year.
– Recycles 20 – 30 tons of electronics each year.
– Recycled

o 1,229.93 tons of paper, plastic, metal, and glass in 2007.
o 1,411.52 tons in 2008.
o 1,382.72 tons in 2009.
o 1,420.43 tons in 2010.
– Completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for all City facilities.
– Initiated a community emissions inventory.
– Installed bike racks in the City parking garage.

Mayor Andrew Fellows stated “College Park’s commitment to sustainability is longstanding. It’s the smart thing to do. We know that going green, wisely managing our natural resources, and developing policies that reduce our carbon footprint improve the quality of our lives while making our future brighter.”

Through a partnership with the University of Maryland, and the EPA, the City is pursuing EPA Green Power Community (GPC) designation. GPCs are towns, villages, cities, counties, or tribal governments in which the local government, businesses, and residents collectively buy green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA’s GPC purchase requirements. Because the University and the City of College Park both purchased renewable energy in the past year, they are working together to obtain GPC designation for College Park.

To ensure that College Park can maintain GPC designation after the first year, the University and the City are encouraging local businesses and residents to participate in the City’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and to sign up for green power. For more information, visit the City’s sustainability webpage at www.collegeparkmd.gov/green.php.

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