Current Green Practices
...county government is doing its part to be greener
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Dutchess County Government has accomplished much in the way of energy and environmental conservation.  The programs, policies, and practices that County departments have in place or are developing to meet our sustainability goals are varied, sometimes innovative, and sometimes just plain common sense.  All show, however, that Dutchess County Government is committed to protecting our environment, our ecology and saving energy.  While Dutchess County and County Government has more work to do to meet its goals, everything we do adds up.  Read about the steps our County departments have taken so far to meet the challenge of becoming greener.

The County’s “green” practices are organized under the headings listed below. Click on a heading to navigate to the specific section on the webpage.

Major Projects
Facility Improvements
Saving Energy
Saving Fuel/Reducing Air Pollution
Saving Paper
Reducing Waste/Recycling
Behavior Change
Planning and Community Development
County-Funded Agencies

Major Projects

  • Eastern Dutchess Government Center (EDGC) Geothermal System and LEED Certification - As part of the initiative to install energy efficient systems, the County installed ground source heat pumps to heat and cool the renovated Eastern Dutchess Government Center in Millbrook. The system transfers heat from the earth to the building by means of a closed loop well system with 56 wells. For an additional outlay of $402,000, the County expects an energy savings of $35,000 per year. In addition to saving energy, the County is seeking LEED Silver certification for the facility (see more information on LEED certification).
  • Emergency Response Facility Geothermal System Installation - As part of the renovation of the 1931 portion of the Emergency Response Facility, the County installed a ground source heat pump system with 48 wells, similar to that at the EDGC. The system is expected to save $76,500 per year in energy costs with an eleven year payback on the initial investment.
  • Highway Garage Facility Energy Efficient Design - The renovation of the County’s Highway Garage offices incorporated a geothermal system with 24 wells and natural daylighting as well as other features that save energy and reduce the building’s operating costs.

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Facility Improvements

  • Auto Center Garage - The Auto Center added seven skylights and three ceiling fans to the garage building. The skylights brighten the shop area without consuming electricity and adding to our energy costs, while the ceiling fans blow warm air back to the floor in winter and create a cooling breeze in summer. In addition, three aging in-ground hydraulic vehicle lifts were replaced with above ground electric lifts. The electric lifts are more energy efficient, but the primary benefit is that they eliminate the possibility of hydraulic fluid leaking into the ground.
  • 60 Market Street and 10 Market Street Lighting Study and 230 North Road Chiller Study - In cooperation with NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), a detailed study of the lighting systems at 10 Market Street (the County Courthouse) and 60 Market Street (Social Services Department) and the chiller system at 230 North Road (Mental Hygiene Department) was completed by OLA Consulting Engineers in June 2008. The study recommended lighting replacements at 60 Market Street and the courthouse and replacement of the chiller at 230 North Road. In the summer of 2009, the lighting at 60 Market Street was upgraded to more efficient fixtures. More than 900 light fixtures and over 40 exit signs were upgraded; the energy savings is projected to be in the range of $45,000 to $50,000 per year.
  • Sheriff’s Office Energy Use Analysis - In cooperation with the Sheriff’s Office and NYSERDA, the County entered a contract with The Daylight Savings Company to evaluate energy use at the Sheriff's facility at 150 North Hamilton Street and make recommendations for efficiency improvements. In the summer of 2008, the chiller at the Sheriff's Office was replaced with a new high efficiency unit.
  • 170 Washington Street (County Records Center) Lighting - High output fluorescent lighting was installed in most of the facility. Main isles remain lit during occupancy. All secondary isles are lit only when occupied. The efficient lighting and sensors are expected to reduce lighting electrical use by about 50%.
  • 22 Market Street - Energy efficient lighting with occupancy sensors was installed as part of interior renovations on the 5th floor of the County Office Building at 22 Market Street. New centrifugal chillers were also installed to replace old less efficient absorption chillers.
  • Energy Efficient Boilers – Energy efficient boilers and burners were installed at 60 Market Street, 22 North Road, 27 High Street and 47 Cannon Street. Steam boilers installed at 27 High Street and 47 Cannon Street have occupancy timers and outdoor air sensors that turn boilers on and off depending on outdoor air temperatures and building occupancy. New hot water boilers at 60 Market Street and 230 North Road were installed with linear resets that adjust boiler water temperature to outdoor air temperature, providing only the heat that is needed. Two new efficient boilers were also installed at the County Jail at 150 North Hamilton Street. Bowdoin Park received a more efficient boiler in 2009.
  • Probation Office Beacon Center – The fresh air supply at the Beacon Center is sent through a heat recovery ventilator for the first floor probation area to recapture heat in vented air.
  • Garage Ceiling Fans – Ceiling fans have been installed at all outpost garages to destratify heated air, improving occupant comfort and reducing heating needs.
  • LOOP Building – Plumbing repairs were made to the LOOP office building to eliminate leaking fixtures.
  • Programmable Thermostats – Thermostats with day/night and weekend setback capability were installed on various smaller buildings including the LOOP Garage, Mental Hygiene trailers, and Radio room.
  • Assessment Study for Four County Office Buildings – in 2007, DPW evaluated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and architectural improvements for 10 Market Street (County Courthouse), 236 Main Street (District Attorney’s Office), 27 High Street, and 47 Cannon Street.
  • 27 High Street - Energy efficient chillers were installed at 27 High Street. The chiller controller has outdoor air temperature control which turns the chillers on and off based on outdoor air temperature changes. It also has software for remote chiller monitoring. The first floor air handlers at 27 High Street have economizers that open outdoor air dampers for free cooling when the interior space requires cooling and outdoor air is cool. They also have occupancy sensors that adjust the interior temperatures if the area is unoccupied. The 27 High Street print shop air handler was upgraded to have steam coils instead of electric heating for reduced energy use.
  • Rooftop Heating Upgrades – In the summer of 2008, the rooftop heating system at 60 Market Street was replaced with a new system that varies the speed of HVAC fans based on occupant needs. The previous system regulated air flow with large vanes.
  • Green Building (Various Projects) - A reflective roof was installed at the Mental Hygiene building in 1987 and on the Family Court Building in 1996. Translucent roof panels were installed for natural daylighting at the Consumer Affairs Building in 1995. An agreement with the Bardavon in 2005 permits off-hour use of the chillers at the County Office Building (22 Market Street) to air condition the theater. Quiet Cove Park incorporated energy conscious and environmentally sound design practices. All County building renovations maximize daylighting and occupancy sensors for lighting. All RFQ's (Requests for Qualifications) for building and renovation projects stress the requirement for "green building" in a cost effective manner, and LEED certification is explored.

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Saving Energy

  • PC Replacement - Older model computers are being replaced with those that are Energy Star rated. These save approximately $20 each per year in energy costs and are made from recycled plastic.
  • Flat Screen Monitors - OCIS is continuing to purchase flat screen monitors for County departments as opposed to traditional cathode ray tube monitors (CRTs).  A flat screen monitor uses less than 1/3 of the energy of a regular CRT.
  • Blade Server Farm – OCIS has consolidated multiple computer platforms (Mainframe, AS400's and Servers) into a Blade Server Farm. This reduces extra equipment and in turn significantly reduces energy consumption. In addition to the green benefits, reducing the different types of computer platforms has improved the efficiency of OCIS, allowing staff to focus more time on direct user activities.
  • “Virtual” Servers – OCIS has decreased the number of servers through a technology known as “Virtualization,” which involves segmenting a physical server into a number of “virtual” servers. This reduces the energy consumption and cost of servers, reduces the amount of equipment going to landfills, and improves the efficiency of servers.
  • Storage Area Network – OCIS has created a Storage Area Network (SAN), which involves consolidating disk storage into a central IBM “Shark”. This results in more efficient use of disk space. Less disk space in separate servers reduces energy consumption and reduces heat from servers, which in turn reduces the need for air conditioning in the computer room.
  • Airport Pilot-Controlled Lighting - Rather than burn runway and taxiway lights all night, this system allows for on-demand lighting which is activated by pilots via a specific radio frequency when they need lights. The system keeps the runway and taxiway lights on for 15 minutes per activation. This saves energy, reduces light pollution, and saves money.
  • Solar-Powered Lighting – The Airport designed a new tower to include a solar-powered obstruction light, eliminating the need for electricity from the grid. This will also result in an anticipated savings of approximately $278/year.
  • Installation of LED Taxiway Lights - This installation at the Airport saved over 1,400 watts of energy from 2006-2007.
  • Fluorescent Lighting - The Department of Public Works has converted to fluorescent lighting in numerous County facilities, including the County Office Building, the County Airport and park facilities. The Airport also replaced bulbs in and outside of the terminal building and in other light fixtures. Fluorescent lights were installed at Bowdoin Park’s Education Center building and restrooms in 2008.
  • Lighting Sensors – Many County offices have installed motion sensors for lighting. Social Services installed sensors in 2009 and the Health Department is installing sensors in 2010.
  • Energy Efficient Building Upgrades - As a routine part of capital improvement and maintenance projects at County office buildings, DPW considers installation of energy efficient heating, lighting, and air conditioning equipment. See Facility Improvements for some examples.

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Saving Fuel/Reducing Air Pollution

  • Hybrid Vehicles - High efficiency vehicles are being integrated into the County fleet. We now have six hybrid vehicles, 19 E85 vehicles, and a CNG sedan. We also have six electric cars (used by the Airport, Sheriff, Parks, and Auto Center). Hybrids saved approximately 700 gallons of gasoline in 2008. Electric cars reduce our fuel usage and tailpipe emissions. A recent study of the County fleet by Landsberg Engineering gives us a roadmap for the future and allows us to plan for additional alternate fuel and high efficiency vehicles.
  • Hybrid Buses – LOOP has purchased hybrid buses, which use less fuel and generate fewer emissions than traditional diesel buses.
  • Fuel - LOOP buses have been converted to the exclusive use of ultra low-sulfur fuel and engines have been retrofitted to reduce emissions.
  • Home Visits - When practical, field staff travel directly to home visits in the morning as opposed to coming into the office and then backtracking to client home(s).
  • Use of Bicycles – The County’s probation officers typically travel by car to make community contacts and checks at homes, schools, and other locations. However, since 2007, 8 probation officers have been trained by the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department to use bicycles to make these visits. Using bicycles as a form of transportation to perform job functions reduces gas consumption and air pollution.  The Department intends to continue using bicycles rather than cars where feasible (primarily in urban areas), and additional officers will be trained to use bicycles as classes become available.
  • Carpooling – The Auto Center office staff is trained to scrutinize requests for pool transportation to ensure that vehicles are used efficiently. Departments also encourage staff to carpool to trainings and other group events.
  • Grounds Maintenance – Public Works has instituted a practice of mowing grass less frequently in appropriate areas.

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Saving Paper

  • Print Conversion – The Office of Computer Information Systems (OCIS) has undergone a conversion from printing on large green-bar paper to standard copier paper as well as duplexing reports whenever possible. Included in this conversion are many large report runs such as County Tax Roll reports, financial and payroll reports. Multiple copies of large reports are no longer printed. These efforts have dramatically reduced OCIS's annual paper consumption from 5 million sheets to approximately 1 million sheets.
  • Electronic Documents - Purchasing has consolidated copy machine contracts and selected machines that have the ability to scan documents and convert them to electronic files that can be copied, transmitted and stored in a paperless format saving paper, energy, storage space. This also reduces the fuel, emissions, and cost related to mailing or using courier services. The Social Services Department scans all of the case files for the Medicaid, Temporary Assistance, and Food Stamps programs. Some departments can also send faxes directly from office computers.
  • Electronic Patient Records - Mental Hygiene continues to streamline the management of behavioral healthcare with the implementation of the electronic patient record.  The electronic record provides many benefits: quicker access to legible and structured patient information; the integration of every facet of the management process in compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allowing staff to concentrate on patient care rather than paperwork; automated billing which ultimately results in a savings of time, money, and paper.
  • Electronic Newsletters and Reports – Several County departments have transitioned from mailed newsletters to electronic newsletters. Consumer Affairs estimates that this saves them 400 pages of paper each month. Electronic distribution of the Planning Department’s “Plan On It” newsletter saves at least 20,000 pages of paper each year. The Planning Department now publishes its annual Major Projects Report online, instead of printing and mailing several hundred copies. Departments also distribute meeting minutes electronically.
  • Tax Map and Deed Printing Reduction – In 2007, the Real Property Tax Service Agency (RPT) instituted a practice of printing one set of tax maps for public use rather than the two sets that have been printed in the past. This alone saves 1,200 pages of large-format paper. In 2009, RPT began supplying assessors with printed copies of tax maps only for maps that had been modified since the last taxable status date, instead of printing complete sets for each municipality every year. In 2009, this change prevented 746 large maps (36”x36”) and 178 small maps (18”x18”) from being printed. RPT also encourages report orders to be e-mailed or burned to a CD rather than printed on paper.
  • Online Documents and Information – Departments have put much more material on the County website, allowing staff to refer consumers (and other County staff) to the website for information, instead of printing and mailing out materials. Staff also review documents online instead of printing them, unless necessary. Central Services (Purchasing) has put the forms for asset management and equipment transfer online, allowing departments to send the forms electronically, eliminating the need for three-part paper forms.
  • Duplex Printing - Central Services and OCIS have worked together to implement the use of SAVIN copiers as printers. This allows all departments the capability of duplex printing, saving on paper as well as reducing County purchases of toner for printers.
  • Paper Reuse – Staff try to use paper twice whenever possible. If something is printed on one side or a fax is received that doesn’t need to be kept, the paper is flipped over and the reverse side is used. Rough drafts of documents are also prepared on “clean-one-side” paper. Inter-office mail envelopes are also reused. Handouts from presentations are reused if possible.
  • Email - Staff make great use of e-mail for communication, reducing the need for copying, faxing, and mailing.
  • Junk Mail – Administrative staff review junk mail received to stop irrelevant items from being mailed to County departments.
  • Hand Dryers – The Health Department installed hand dryers in their bathrooms as a green alternative to paper towels. In addition to reducing paper waste, this saves energy.

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Reducing Waste/Recycling

  • Recycled Equipment Webpage - Equipment and furniture that would otherwise be discarded is reused throughout the county. Items are available for free to County departments and then to local municipalities. In addition, extra un-used toner and printer cartridges are listed on the Recycled Equipment webpage allowing departments to request them at no cost.
  • Toner & Printer Cartridges - Used toner and printer cartridges are collected and from departments and sold to companies for recycling. Since 2006, approximately 1,900 cartridges have been recycled, resulting in $2,400 in revenue.
  • Tape Library – OCIS has consolidated dozens of backup tape drives into a single tape library device. This reduces the amount of equipment that ends up in landfills, and also saves money.
  • E-Waste Disposal – OCIS recycles computers, monitors and printers with a company known as Advanced Recovery Inc. Based on the company’s website, 99.97% (by weight) of every machine is reused.
  • Motor Oil - The Auto Center now uses synthetic motor oil for the County's police cars.  This extended our oil change interval from 4,000 miles to 10,000 miles. This translates into approximately 175 fewer oil changes in two years. The savings add up to roughly 260 gallons of oil, plus 88 hours of mechanics’ time. In addition, synthetic oil negates the need for oil additives. In 2008 this saved over 300 cans of oil additive. This provides a cost savings plus the benefit to the environment of not having to dispose of 300 empty containers.
  • Metal - All auto parts and components made of metal are recycled. In addition, the Auto Center collects all used aerosol cans and recycles them as scrap metal. This prevents approximately 200 cans from being sent to landfills each year. Used oil filters are drained and recycled as scrap metal as well. Scrap metal is taken away regularly at no cost to the County. This prevents three to four tons of metal from ending up in landfills.
  • Batteries - The Auto Center recycles all vehicle batteries. These are returned to the distributor for disposal.  In 2008, more than 75 batteries were returned.
  • Tires - Old tires from County vehicles are taken away by a licensed tire recycler.  More than 700 tires were hauled away in 2008.
  • Waste Oil - Waste oil produced by oil changes of County vehicles is either burned in the center's waste oil heaters- thereby reducing the center's need for heating oil- or hauled away by a waste oil recycler at no charge, thereby reducing the potential for groundwater contamination.
  • Asphalt Recycling – The Public Works Engineering Division recycles asphalt for use in roadway pavement maintenance. Asphalt recycling techniques including hot-in-place or “heat reclaim”, cold-in-place, and full-depth or “reclaim and foam” have been applied to County Routes where appropriate. Since 2002, almost 35 miles of pavement have been recycled on County roads. Recycling asphalt reduces the amount of materials, fuel, transport, and emissions used and generated by road construction.
  • Paper, Glass, Aluminum & Plastic Recycling - Bins provided by Public Works are used to recycle office paper as well as bottles, cans, and other materials. The Emergency Response Department recently installed recycling containers in public assembly areas, and the Public Works Parks Division provides recycling containers in County Parks.


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Behavior Change

  • Bus Driver Training – LOOP trains its drivers to drive more efficiently, which saves fuel.
  • Stairs Instead of Elevator – The Health Department encourages staff to use the stairs instead of the elevator. This not only saves energy but is also good for one’s health!
  • Reusable Mugs & Dishware – Staff are encouraged to bring their own mugs, cups and water bottles, dishware, and utensils for use at the office instead of using disposable products.
  • Shut Down Computers – Staff are encouraged to turn off office computers and monitors when they are not in use and shut them down at the end of the day.
  • Energy-Save Mode – Copy machines and other equipment are put on an ‘energy-save’ mode when not in use.
  • Turn off Lights – Staff are encouraged to turn off lights when they are not needed.


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  • Consumer Affairs Website - The Consumer Affairs website provide information on how to save gasoline by driving more efficiently, how to save energy at home through maintenance and winterization, and how to reduce heating fuel use at home.
  • Paper and Green Cleaning Products – Central Services purchases recycled and environmentally-preferred paper and cleaning products for County departments.
  • Tree Planting – The Public Works Parks Division plants twenty to twenty-five trees each year at Bowdoin, Wilcox and Quiet Cove Parks in designated areas or to replace trees that have fallen down or died. Trees capture carbon dioxide and improve air quality while making our parks more pleasant.
  • Reusable Bags – The County’s STOP-DWI program distributes reusable tote bags at their Child Passenger Safety events, both to spread the safety message and to reduce the use of plastic bags. Approximately 300 bags are distributed each year.
  • Automated Salt-Sand Technology - The Public Works Engineering Division has implemented an automated system to apply salt and sand to snowy roads. This reduces the amount of salt and sand applied to roadways by more accurately assessing vehicle speed and application rates for roadway conditions (as compared to human-assessed application rates).
  • Copier Instead of Printer – Most printing is now done using a networked copier instead of a printer. This eliminates the need for separate network printers and desktop printers, which significantly reduces energy consumption, expendable supplies and cost. Staff also uses centralized copiers instead of printers to make multiple copies. This saves ink and reduces the need for multiple printers, thereby saving energy and other materials.


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Planning and Community Development

How we physically develop our communities as well as use and occupy the landscape significantly impacts energy use and the natural and social environment. The Department of Planning and Community Development has many programs to assist the County and its municipalities in planning sustainable communities including the implementation of the County Master Plan “Directions” and “Greenway Connections”. Ongoing efforts and programs include:

  • Municipal Referrals – Staff review local land-use proposals to promote smart growth, walkable design, appropriate landscaping, and other green features. Approximately 50-60 referrals are completed each month.
  • Transit-Oriented Development – Staff are working with several municipalities to promote development near train stations. This type of development, called TOD, limits sprawl, supports transit use, and promotes walkable and bikeable communities. Moving from a suburban home to a transit-oriented center can decrease a household’s carbon footprint by 25-30%. Plans have been developed for 4 station areas: Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Wingdale in the Town of Dover, and Tenmile Station in Amenia. In addition, the Poughkeepsie-Dutchess County Transportation Council (PDCTC) participated in a 2009 Transit Supportive Development study that developed plans for three sample projects that promote the use of transit as examples for local municipalities.
  • Centers and Greenspaces – Staff are developing Centers & Greenspaces plans and working with municipalities to adopt them. These plans limit sprawl, promote walkable and transit-friendly communities, and protect greenspaces, including active farmland and natural habitats. Centers & Greenspaces plans have been developed with the Towns of Rhinebeck, Red Hook, Poughkeepsie, and Pleasant Valley; the Villages of Tivoli and Red Hook; and the City of Beacon.
  • Partnership for Manageable Growth – The Partnership for Manageable Growth Open Space and Farmland Protection program provides matching funds to protect farmland and open space from development. Since 2000, over 2,200 acres have been protected through the program. The completion of pending acquisitions will bring the total acreage to almost 3,000.
  • Greenway Compact Program and Greenway Guides – The Hudson River Valley Greenway Compact Program is a voluntary partnership with local municipalities to work towards natural and cultural resource protection, economic development, public access, regional planning, and environmental education, as outlined in Greenway Connections and the Greenway Guides. So far, 29 out of 30 municipalities in the County have joined the Greenway Compact and cross-referenced the Greenway Guides in their zoning and subdivision regulations. These communities are also eligible for grant funding, technical assistance, and other benefits.
  • Comprehensive Planning and Zoning Regulation Assistance – Planners often work with local municipalities on improving their Comprehensive Plans and Zoning Codes to limit sprawl and promote smart growth.
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME program funding – The Community Development division receives federal CDBG and HOME funds which it distributes to local municipalities and agencies for affordable housing, water and sewer infrastructure, sidewalks, streetscape improvements, housing rehabilitation, and other projects that support smart growth and walkable communities.
  • Regional Housing Needs Assessment – This assessment, completed in 2009 in coordination with Orange and Ulster Counties, identifies the need for workforce housing at the County and municipal levels and supports denser development in existing centers.
  • Transportation Project Funding – The Poughkeepsie-Dutchess County Transportation Council (PDCTC), which is housed in the Planning and Development Department, receives federal Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and other funds for projects that support non-motorized transportation and public transit, such as rail trails, sidewalks, and bus service. Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds are used to support projects that reduce congestion or improve air quality.
  • Air Quality Conformity – The PDCTC analyzes all local federally-funded transportation plans and projects to ensure that they will not worsen regional air quality. This analysis, called an Air Quality Conformity Determination, quantifies transportation projects’ effects on the region’s attainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
  • Transit Development Plan (TDP) – The TDP, completed in 2009, recommends redesigning the LOOP bus routes and schedules to provide better service to higher-density areas with more riders. This improved service can further reduce single-occupant vehicle use.
  • Education - The Dutchess County Planning Federation, which is staffed by the Planning Department, offers a number of “short courses” each year to educate members of local zoning and planning boards about various planning and environmental issues, including agricultural preservation, water resource management, brownfield redevelopment, and biodiversity. In 2008, 9 courses were offered per year with a total of 650 attendees. In 2007, 8 courses were offered with close to 600 total attendees.

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County-Funded Agencies

The County provides funding to a number of agencies that are working to promote sustainability. The activities of three of these agencies are listed below.

Resource Recovery Agency (RRA)

  • Resource Recovery (Recycling) Facility – The RRA manages a dual stream recycling facility which is owned by the County. The facility limits the need for long-haul solid waste disposal in landfills.
  • Waste-to-Energy Plant – RRA’s Waste-to-Energy plant converts garbage into about 50,000 megawatts of electricity each year, enough to supply about 10,000 homes.
  • Household Hazardous Waste Collection - The RRA sponsors annual Household Hazardous Waste collection days for toxic and electronic waste at various locations. This prevents hazardous waste from contaminating groundwater, air and soil. In 2007, the agency began accepting compact fluorescent bulbs to prevent mercury from entering the waste stream.
  • Safe Medication Disposal Day - The RRA sponsors two annual Safe Medication Disposal Days for county residents to discard their unused and/or expired medications. Medications are disposed of at the Waste-to-Energy plant, ensuring that the chemicals do not go to a landfill or leach into groundwater.

Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)

  • Agricultural Programs – The SWCD’s programs encourage environmental stewardship by farmers, reduce soil erosion, and improve water quality. In 2008, 20 projects addressed barnyard runoff, filter strips, nutrient management and other topics.
  • Stormwater Management Education – These programs improve water quality and reduce flooding. Approximately 500 people were assisted in 2008. The SWCD also has stream disturbance, stormwater and dry hydrants programs.
  • Technical Assistance – The SWCD provides technical assistance on a variety of topics. These include flood protection and emergency management (4 public and 3 private requests for assistance and 7 completed projects in 2008), riparian buffers (1 municipal and 1 private request for technical assistance in 2008; approximately 13 projects completed totaling $92,000), stream corridor stabilization (3 municipal and 8 private requests for technical assistance in 2008), and water quality and land use management (1,068 private and 28 municipality requests for technical assistance in 2008).
  • Other programs support improved irrigation, retrofitting outdated water facilities, maintenance techniques, pond management, farmland protection, grass energy, woody bio-mass conversion, and agricultural waste composting.
  • Community Outreach – SWCD does outreach at events including the Dutchess County Fair, Enviro-thon, 6th Grade Field Day, and Community Days and publishes a newsletter.

Water and Wastewater Authority (WWA)

  • Water Loss Inventory/Leakage Monitoring - WWA performs regular monitoring of its facilities for leakage and uses a leak detection specialist when needed to insure leakage is minimized. An average of 25 leaks a year have been found over the last five years.  Water volume lost can range from thousands of gallons to tens of thousands of gallons daily. The monitoring results in saved water; improved environmental quality; reduced property damage, legal liability and insurance costs; reduced risk of contamination; lower water system operational costs, and extended facility life.
  • Auxiliary Power - There is a cooperative agreement between WWA and the power companies to switch to auxiliary power during times of peak electric load, enabling the power companies to avoid construction of additional power plants.
  • Periodic Reviews of Pump Efficiency – WWA has changed to variable frequency drive pumps that provide greater energy efficiency, saving electricity.
  • Capital Improvements – WWA evaluates the use of energy conservation measures and green technology in all new construction and capital replacement projects.

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What is LEED?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

LEED Certification is an approval process through an independent third party certifying that the building complied with all the points and factors to be eligible for a particular level (certified; silver; gold; platinum). Certification comes from the US Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Points are obtainable in five categories: sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials and resources; indoor environmental quality (69 credits and 85 points).

"Building green" can be done for little or no additional cost when incorporated at the outset of the design process, resulting in reduced facility operating costs. The LEED certification, however, is more complicated and expensive, due to the required record-keeping during design, construction, and post-occupancy. Fee quotations for LEED certification for County buildings have ranged from $80,000 to over $150,000 for the Eastern Dutchess Government Center. For more information on LEED, see the U.S. Green Building Council’s website.

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