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Climate Smart Communities

The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program creates a network of New York municipalities seeking to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, while reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and increasing communities’ resiliency to impacts of climate change. Dutchess County leaders, the County Executive, and the Chairman of the Legislature have determined that involvement in these programs can help reduce overall energy usage and its associated costs, and increase the use of renewable energy sources, both in government facilities and the community at large. The program also provides guidance to local governments on best practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change and offers a source of matching grants for projects that advance stated goals.

As of September 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announced that Dutchess County has earned Bronze-level certification in the New York State-Certified Climate Smart Community program. 

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Task Force

The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Task Force was established to review the elements of the Climate Smart Communities program in order to certify Dutchess County as a Bronze Level CSC within 12-18 months. The Task Force will be responsible for gathering the necessary data, conducting any required studies and submitting documentation to the NYSCSC program through its online portal.

As of September 27, 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announced that Dutchess County has earned Bronze-level certification in the New York State-Certified Climate Smart Community program. Through the diligence of the CSC Task Force, the County received its certification in just ten months, completing the mandatory actions and documenting enough priority actions to earn 122 points in the program’s rating system. For more information on the new designation, please see the following press release and the CSC Certification Report, which catalogues the actions that the County received credit for Bronze-level certification.

Visit the NYSDEC for more information about the Climate Smart Communities Program.

Task Force Members

The Board includes 8 members appointed by the County Executive, 8 members appointed by the Chairperson of the County Legislature, and 1 member appointed jointly.

  • Bridgette Anderson, Dutchess Community College
  • Brad Barclay, Dutchess County Planning and Development
  • Gary Bassett, Village of Rhinebeck
  • Dale Borchert, Dutchess County Legislature
  • Anthony Campagiorni, Central Hudson Gas and Electric
  • Audrey Friedrichsen, Scenic Hudson
  • Melissa Everett, Sustainable Hudson Valley
  • Mark Figliozzi, Town of Pleasant Valley
  • Jeff Irish, Sun Common
  • Vicky Kelly, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  • Carolyn Klocker, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County
  • Christopher Kroner, MASS Design Group // Hudson Valley Design Lab
  • Jacob Lawrence, Arlington High School
  • Steve MacAvery, Dutchess County Environmental Management Council
  • Europa McGovern, Hudson Valley Regional Council
  • Allan Page, A. Page & Associates LLC
  • Brian Scoralick, DC Soil and Water Conservation District

Task Force Committees

Committees are needed to allow the DC Climate Smart Communities Task Force to accomplish its mission by advancing program components between the Task Force’s quarterly meetings. These committees will report on work, propose courses of action, and make recommendations for decisions by the whole Task Force. Committees are composed of Task Force members, County and/or municipal staff, and other volunteers with expertise in the respective field. To nominate a person for membership on a committee, please have the potential committee member send a letter of interest with a brief resume to bbarclay@dutchessny.gov; information will be forwarded to the Chair of the involved Committee for consideration. As a potential volunteer, if you receive an inquiry of interest to become involved in a committee, please also forward that on to the same email address and it will be followed up on.

DC Climate Smart Communities Task Force Committees include:

  • Renewables and Energy Efficiency Committee: This committee is responsible for reviewing Priority Actions related to efforts to reduce energy use and utilize green energy systems, including conducting energy audits and improving infrastructure/facilities to be more environmentally friendly and efficient.
  • Transportation Efficiencies Committee: This committee is responsible for reviewing Priority Actions related to current transportation efforts, including public transit usage, local bicycle/pedestrian facilities, and vehicle fleet efficiency, among others. This committee is working in cooperation with the Dutchess County Transportation Council and Dutchess County Public Transit to forward these goals.
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventories & Climate Action Plans Committee: This committee is responsible for reviewing Priority Actions related to the development of both government operations and community greenhouse gas emissions inventories and climate action plans.
  • Governmental Plans Committee: This committee is responsible for reviewing Priority Actions related to current efforts within governmental plans, including the County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, the County’s local solid waste management plan, Rethinking Waste, and the County’s Natural Resource Inventory, among others. This committee is working in cooperation with the Dutchess County Solid Waste Management Division to forward these goals.
  • Outreach and Education Committee: This committee is responsible for reviewing Priority Actions related to climate change education, as well as employing various forms of social media to enhance awareness on this subject.  

Coordinators

The CSC program is designed to encourage both climate smart actions on behalf of the municipal governments and the community at large.  Given this dichotomy, we have named Co-coordinators to lead this effort:  Steve MacAvery (Chairman of the DCEMC) and Brad Barclay (DC Dept. of Planning and Development’s Environmental Planner). 

Meetings

Meetings of the Climate Smart Communities Task Force are held quarterly and are open to the public at the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health - Stabilization Center (230 North Rd, Poughkeepsie), unless otherwise noted below.

     Next Meeting Date: To be determined

Agendas & Minutes:

     2018 Agendas:  December 20th (.pdf)

     2018 Minutes:   December 20th (.pdf)

     2019 Agendas:  March 28th (.pdf)   |  June 24th (.pdf)   |  October 2nd (.pdf)

     2019 Minutes:   March 28th (.pdf)   |  June 24th (DRAFT) (.pdf)   |  October 2nd (DRAFT) (.pdf)