Philly Takes another step towards being the Greenest City in America

From US EPA Region 3 Press Office

EPA Welcomes Philadelphia as its Newest Green Power Community Partner

PHILADELPHIA ( June 20, 2012) – Today, EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin welcomed the City of Philadelphia as a new member of EPA’s national Green Power Communities initiative, showing that a major metropolitan area can reduce its carbon pollution, improve public health, and help expand the nation’s renewable energy supply. The announcement came during an event at Citizens Bank Park, where Garvin also praised the Philadelphia Phillies and other organizations whose efforts for a cleaner environment are helping Philadelphia achieve its clean energy goals.

“As EPA’s largest Green Power Community, Philadelphia is among the elite local governments that have met or exceeded their pledges to our nation’s clean energy future by purchasing green, renewable power,” said Garvin. “I commend Mayor Michael Nutter for his continuous pursuit of numerous, practical ways to make Philadelphia a model green city.”

As EPA Green Power Communities, Philadelphia and 33 other towns and cities across the U.S. collectively buy more than 4.2 billion kilowatt hours of green power annually, an amount that would otherwise produce carbon dioxide emissions from the conventional electricity of more than 367,000 average American homes. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydropower – environmentally-preferable resources that produce no net increase of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2006, Philadelphia joined EPA’s Green Power Partnership, a launching pad for becoming a Green Power Community. As part of Philadelphia’s Greenworks plan, the city pledges that by 2015, 20 percent of the electricity used in Philadelphia will come from alternative energy sources. The city’s municipal operations have already met this goal, using more than 127 million kilowatt-hours of green power, including generating solar electricity onsite at the city-owned Southeast Water Pollution Control facility.

Last week, the Phillies announced its agreement to purchase 100 percent of its electricity usage from local wind and solar generation providers. Other major contributors to the city’s green power purchase success include EPA Green Power Partners such as the Eagles organization, the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Philadelphia University, the Academy of Natural Sciences, Yards Brewing Company, along with residents choosing green power. Philadelphia organizations and businesses, including members of the Philadelphia Green Power Community Collaborative are also actively committed to helping Philadelphia maintain its standing as a leading Green Power Community and increase its use of renewable energy.

More information on EPA’s Green Power Communities: www.epa.gov/greenpower/communities
More information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program: www.epa.gov/greenpower
Philadelphia’s Green Power Community Collaborative: www.PhiladelphiaGreenPower.com
Green power providers in Pennsylvania: www.papowerswitch.com

Biking: Good for you, good for the planet

In the U.S., it’s estimated that 40 percent of all urban trips are two miles or less. Unfortunately, 90 percent of those trips are usually by car, which adds up in fuel and carbon emissions. If you consider that each mile you travel by bike instead of car prevents one pound of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere, the benefits of bike riding becomes clear. Add the calorie burning, cardiovascular building, body slimming benefits, and one has to wonder: why doesn’t everyone bike?

image from The GOOD Guide to Biking for the Planet

As it turns out, here in Philadelphia, more of us are doing just that every year. According to a recent report from the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love boasts twice as many bike commuters per capita than any other big city in the U.S. and our ranks (yup, two out of three GreenTrekkers regularly bike to work) continue to rise. With new bike lanes planned and slow but steady progress in etiquette amongst and between cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians, Philly is poised to become what Mayor Nutter dreams of: one of the nation’s most bike friendly cities.

We’re well on our way, what with our many great bike shops, clubs that support the most low key recreational riders and hardest-core racers alike, and a super system of bike paths that wend through the city and beyond. Take to the saddle and become part of the bicycle revolution. Besides being good for you and good for the planet, it’s a whole lot of fun!

For the more ambitious amongst you, check out the resurgence of the cross country bike path movement, the U.S. Bicycle Route System, as discussed in this recent Blog post from GOOD >>

Check out the Bicycle Coalition and Download their report >>

Get The GOOD Guide to Biking for the Planet >>

Better still, Get out and Ride!


Philadelphia Forum: Drilling for Natural Gas–What Does it Mean for PA?

Join The Academy of Natural Sciences, Clean Air Council, and The Community Action Forum on Marcellus Shale for an educational forum about drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. The forum will provide a broad and diverse overview of the environmental, health, and economic issues related to the natural gas boom that is currently taking place throughout Pennsylvania.

What: Drilling for Natural Gas in the Marcellus Shale: What it Means for Pennsylvania

When: Wednesday June 8, 2011. Networking: 6-6:30 pm. Program: 6:30-8:30 pm.

Where: Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Ben Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia

Who: Featured panelists include

  • Mr. Joseph O. Minott, Esq., Executive Director – Clean Air Council
  • The Honorable Michael Krancer, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Dr. David Velinsky, Vice President of the Patrick Center for Environmental Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences
  • The Honorable Michael Sturla, Pennsylvania State Representative (D), 96th Legislative District
  • Mr. Brian Grove, Director of Corporate Development for Northeast Pennsylvania for Chesapeake Energy
  • Mr. Richard V. Pepino, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and the Public Policy Program Chair at Franklin and Marshall College

Register now via EventBrite >>

April 9th event: Arming you with Tools to become involved in your Community’s Future

Coming  on April 9th at Villanova University is the Environmental Advisory Council Network’s Annual Conference, which provides an excellent opportunity for anyone who’s looking to ramp up their knowledge of sustainability and how to work with their local government to protect open space, prevent flooding, take action on climate change, and a whole lot more.

We’re on the Agenda sharing video case studies of some of the fantastic runoff prevention efforts taking place around the region, and offering a sneak peek at our soon to be released Updated StormwaterPA Online Resource Center–but we’re only a small part of this valuable event. Check it out–and join in. You can still register!

14th Annual EAC Network Conference

April 9, 2011, Villanova University

7:30 am – 3:45 pm

Join EAC members from across the region to learn about how your community can better manage stormwater runoff, protect open space, develop trails, and promote green development.

Sponsored by PA DCNR, the William Penn Foundation

Download the Complete Agenda here >>

Register Here >>



Sustainability Education for the Next Generation

We’re proud to take part in Green From the Start, the Feb. 17 Urban Sustainability Forum at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where we’ll be sharing our exciting Educators Resource Center, EcoExpress.

Here are the Details:

Date: February 17, 2011.  Reception: 6:00 pm.  Program: 6:30 – 8:30 pm

How is our region educating the next generation of residents who will be living in a world of more limited resources, overpopulation, and more severe changes in climate?

February’s Urban Sustainability Forum will demonstrate the need for students and teachers in kindergarten through high school to have awareness, knowledge and skills in science, economics, technology, engineering, math, sociology, history, and art to create a new and more sustainable approach to living in southeast Pennsylvania.

The forum will showcase examples from local programs and institutions that are successfully taking on this challenge. Organizations from around the region with formal and informal education programs addressing sustainability and student awareness of the natural world will also be on hand to display their efforts and programs.

Featuring:

Dennis Winters (Moderator) President, Board of Trustees, Green Woods Charter School. Chairman, Sierra Club PA Chapter.

Tony Girifalco (Keynote) Executive Vice President, Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center.

With the Following Panelists:

Jean Wallace, CEO, Green Woods Charter School

Keith Arrington, Principal, Thurgood Marshall School

Vera Figueiredo, Director of Community Programs, EarthForce

Victor Donnay, Professor of Mathematics, Bryn Mawr College. Co-Principal Investigator, INLETS project.

To register please visit:  http://sustainabilityeducationforum.eventbrite.com/