By Gisele Shaw
Thursday, September 22, 2016 9:30 am ·  0 Comments
The Environmental Strategic Plan’s 2015 Implementation Update received by Council on Monday, September 19, 2016 showcases that Oakville is on a path towards a sustainable future. From being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2015 and designating an additional 81 hectares of land as natural heritage system, to hosting events on climate change, and training over 100 town staff in energy management — Oakville is making great strides towards improving our environment.
“Oakville residents take a lot of pride in our community’s natural heritage and environmental sustainability,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “This report clearly shows how we are working to improve livability by building a green, sustainable community that everyone can enjoy.”
The ESP is a comprehensive master plan that outlines activities to improve the town’s environment. Adopted in 2005, and updated in 2011, it has provided a clear guide for staff and the community, and helped spur the development of many town programs such as the Towards Zero Waste strategy, fleet greening, sustainable purchasing policies, green building standards for the town, a corporate Conservation and Energy Management Plan, the Oakville Wildlife Strategy, tree protection by-law, urban forest management plan, pesticide reduction, stormwater management program, active transportation master plan and many other environmental improvements.
The actions in the current ESP are being implemented from 2012-2016. As of 2015 year end, 109 of the 121 actions in the ESP, or 90 per cent, were either underway or complete.
Highlights from 2015 include:
The town is also committed to protecting the health of its residents through implementation of the Health Protection Air Quality By-law (HPAQB) . The by-law’s purpose is to protect the health of Oakville residents from the negative effects of fine particulate matter by collecting emissions information from Oakville facilities and implementing regulatory controls for major emitters. A recent implementation update report from staff on the HPAQB advised Council that there were continued emissions reductions by several major emitters and the town and facility operators continue to work together to improve local air quality.
In December 2016, staff will provide Council with the annual State of the Environment Report (SOER). Through SOER the town updates the community about positive improvements in areas such as transit use, electricity, natural gas and water consumption, and Ecoschool certification.
The town’s environmental programs and policies ensure the Oakville community continues to be a leader in environmental sustainability.
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