Dutchess County's Green/Sustainability Plan
...providing for current needs without sacrificing the needs of future generations
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County Executive William R. Steinhaus has set in motion the formation of both a GREEN Internal Work Group and an External Work Group to prepare elements of a comprehensive Sustainability /GREEN Plan.   Their work will embody the following GREEN operating principles:


  • Dutchess County is committed to the mutually compatible goals of maintaining long term economic vitality and a healthy environment.

  • Dutchess County promotes sustainability principles which will provide for current needs without sacrificing the needs of future generations.

  • Dutchess County will make operational and construction decisions based on a systematic evaluation of the long-term impacts of an activity or product on health and safety, community planning, the natural and cultural environment and a sustainable economy for the County and beyond.

  • Dutchess County seeks to maintain the natural resources and ecosystems which sustain biodiversity.

  • Dutchess County will routinely consider the regional and global implications of climate change, loss of biological diversity, and threats to resources such as air, water, agricultural land, natural habitats.

  • Dutchess County will act as a model for sustainable management practices.

  • Dutchess County government will be commited to insure its operations are conducted in a manner consistent with principles of sustainability and to contribute positively towards the quality of life of all citizens.

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There will be two tracks in pursuing a GREENer Dutchess County – Internal and External.  A common task and resource for both internal and external efforts will be the creation of a web based information resource center to facilitate information collection and exchange.


The first effort is to look internally and specifically at County government facilities, activities and actions through the Green Internal work Group.   This group prepares a GREEN/sustainability plan for the County which includes both specific recommendations for internal County actions and a process for the group to work with each County agency to identify opportunities to implement changes using the GREEN principles.  

Using the GREEN Operating Principles, the GREEN Group's activities specifically focus on:

  • Preparing a GREEN/Sustainability Plan for County operations/activities, including long term goals;

  • Identifying opportunities for coordinated sustainable activities by County agencies;

  • Identifying costs and benefits;

  • Recommending implementation steps both for immediate action and for an ongoing program to:
    • Assist County agencies in developing and implementing their individual components of the GREEN/sustainability Plan;
    • Assist agencies in educating their employees on how to carry out sustainable business practices;
    • Review energy use and the environmental impact of County practices;
    • Create and maintain a Sustainable/GREEN internet website;
    • Recognize and celebrate innovative public and private practices which foster sustainability;
    • Eliminate barriers to sustainable practices; and
    • Identify opportunities for improvements based on effective strategies used elsewhere in the public and private sectors.

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The second track is to foster a process and dialogue with the County community at large through the oversight of an external work group which will review issues and make recommendations for practices involving actions by individuals, governments and entities outside of County control.  

The County Executive establishes an External Work Group including representatives from the private sector to advise the County on how to make all sectors of the County more sustainable.   The External Work Group reports to the County Executive on:

  • Effective sustainability activities being implemented within the County;

  • Opportunities for improvements based on effective strategies used in other locales in the public and private sectors;

  • The best means to integrate sustainability into county government/public/private sector policies and actions.

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- GOALS of the Dutchess GREEN Sustainability Plan -

  • Institutionalize sustainability as an Agency/ County value.

  • Raise employee/citizen involvement in sustainable practices.

  • Improve business/personal practices to ensure that they protect and enhance the environment.
    • Maximize efficiency to minimize energy and water use
    • Shift to clean, lower impact energy for both facilities and vehicles
    • Shift to non-toxic, recycled and remanufactured materials in purchasing and construction
    • Expand markets for local products, services and labor and products when energy savings can be obtained

  • Foster efficient use of all resources so that waste is reduced or eliminated.

  • Promote Greenway development principles to foster strong communities, limit sprawl, enhance local agriculture, and improve the overall quality of life in Dutchess County.

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The Sustainability Plan addresses the following internal and external areas of County/Community actions and policy:

  • Facility construction / Operations, and Maintenance

  • Purchase of goods and services

  • Planning and Community Development Policies

  • Transportation – vehicles -  fleet & use

  • Institutional Operations / Employee/personal behavior / Community interaction

  • Resource consumption and management


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