Erie County has released their Climate Action and Sustainability Plan (CASP) for internal county operations. Erie County maintains an extensive municipal infrastructure system including over 220 buildings, 20 of which have more than 3.5 million square feet, as well as New Era Field and the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens. Additionally, there are 1,195 county-owned vehicles managed by the Public Works’ Fleet division, which in 2016 used approximately 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 350,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline.
The county also maintains 1,100 miles of sewer lines, 6 water resource recovery facilities, 5 excess flow management facilities, and over 90 pumping stations along with 2,400 lane miles of roads and 290 bridges greater than 20 feet in length. Erie County’s approximately 5,500 employees collectively commute about 2 million miles per year, while over 300,000 county residents are served by Social Services programs administered by the county and including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), and the Home Energy Assistance Program (“HEAP”).
The plan outlines and prioritizes ways the County can further reduce GHG emissions from its internal operations. The recommendations in the CASP are organized in 7 sections including transportation, buildings and energy, waste management and recycling, land management, and water management along with purchasing. We will also be able to measure implementation and progress as we work towards each range of goals and guide county internal operations towards ever-greater efficiency and sustainability.
Overall GHG emission reduction goals against a 2005 baseline were set for short-term, mid-term (which aligns with the Paris Agreement), and long-term timeframes: 32% by 2020; 50% by 2025; and 80% by 2040.
The CASP is the product of the Erie County Green Team, a collaborative effort involving input and active participation from all areas of Erie County government, including those led by other elected officials such as the Legislature, Sheriff, and the District Attorney.
To review the plan and find out more about Erie County's Climate Action & Sustainability efforts at erie.gov/sustainability