City certified by state climate program
Beacon, along with six other municipalities in the Hudson Valley, received bronze certification on Thursday (March 12) from the state’s Climate Smart Communities program.
Thirteen municipalities statewide were certified as bronze and Suffolk County, on Long Island, has been certified as silver. None has been certified as gold. Dutchess County was previously certified bronze.
The Department of Environmental Conservation awarded Beacon 266 points for completing 34 climate-smart “actions” since enrolling in the program in 2009. Among its highest point-earning activities were:
- Creating a Climate Smart Communities task force (20 points)
- Including sustainability measures in the city’s 2017 update to its comprehensive plan (18)
- Joining the Hudson Valley Community Power CCA program (18)
- Creating an inventory of municipal greenhouse gas emissions (16)
- Conducting an energy audit of Beacon’s municipal buildings (16), and
- Teaming with the Town of Fishkill on a climate vulnerability assessment (16)
As an incentive, the state offers grants of up to $100,000 for assessments and activities that enable communities to become Climate Smart-certified. Grants of up to $2 million are available for implementation projects for certified municipalities.
Earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo bolstered New York’s climate programs by announcing a $3 billion bond act as part of a $33 billion, five-year plan to combat climate change.
Besides Beacon, the other Hudson Valley communities recognized with bronze status were Hastings-on-the-Hudson, Marbletown, the Village of New Paltz, the Town of New Paltz, Rhinebeck and Saugerties.
Putnam County (enrolled in 2019), Philipstown (2017) and Nelsonville (2018) are also participating in the program.