Climate Change & the Environment
Climate change is very real, as proven by the scientific community, and one of my top priorities is expanding a smart growth agenda within Montgomery County through well planned communities and more transportation alternatives to motor vehicles. This approach is paramount to our future environmental health, given the increasing population and development of the county. We need to grow in smarter ways.
I would achieve this goal by working with the County Council and county agencies to ensure current laws and codes are being followed, and that new legislation and programs are undertaken if it can be shown they can provide significant improvement while still being cost-effective. Demonstration projects to highlight residential green technologies, interactive digital tools, bus ads and other outreach programs can build political will for the necessary changes. Involving green advocacy groups is also key to disseminating the messages about climate initiatives. This outreach, in turn, will provide valuable feedback from county residents about climate initiatives that will help us create an effective public policy agenda.
We have already laid the foundation for a greener county. The Agricultural Reserve prevents sprawl, while encouraging sustainable farming. The Building Energy Benchmarking Law requires certain commercial property owners to publicly disclose their energy use. The International Green Construction Code (IgCC), now taking effect, will ensure greener buildings, such as the new LEED Platinum headquarters in Wheaton for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission which is currently being built.
The Department of Environmental Protection is also working with several county agencies to implement the STAR (Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities) initiative. STAR is a nationally-recognized quality-of-life/sustainability framework and certification program. Approximately 60 leading jurisdictions around the country are certified STAR communities—including Washington, DC, Baltimore, Seattle, Portland and Houston, and it would be great if Montgomery County could join them.
Share Rose's plan for climate change and the environment: