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La Plata County, CO receives $500k to reduce greenhouse gases, protect health and support local businesses

Release Date: 04/15/2011
Contact Information: EPA: Laura Farris, 303-312-6388; Lisa McClain-Vanderpool, 303-312-6077; Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency in La Plata County: Teresa Shishim, 970-259-1916 x 112

Project among 22 nationwide receiving funds to fight climate change

(Denver, CO – April 14, 2011) Armed with half a million dollar grant from EPA, La Plata County (Colo.) will reduce over 5,800 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year through a comprehensive community climate program. La Plata County’s Climate Wise Community Program aims to reduce about 340,000 vehicle miles travelled and to change local practices in food production, land management, residential and commercial energy use through education and outreach. The plan integrates four steps into outreach efforts: conservation, efficiency, renewable energy and offsets with an eye toward reaching net zero climate impacts.

“La Plata County’s community-directed program is a collaborative, grassroots response to climate change,” said Jim Martin, EPA’s Regional Administrator in Denver. “This model for creating resilient rural communities can be repeated across the country by those working to reduce greenhouse gases and improve economic vitality.”

The Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program is administered by EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy program, which provides technical assistance, tools, and guidance to help state, local, and tribal governments implement policies and programs to mitigate climate change. Today, EPA announced that 22 communities from across the country, including three Indian tribes, will receive $8.3 million in grants to develop local strategies to reduce harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve public health. The grants will help communities increase energy efficiency and save consumers money with new practices involving waste management, energy production, and land use management.

The 22 communities are showing their commitment to improve local health and reduce GHG emissions by contributing matching funds and committing to share their lessons learned to help other communities replicate successful projects. Communities selected for the Climate Showcase funds were required to show their ability to achieve ongoing GHG reductions as well as to track, measure, and show progress toward their goals. The new grantees join 25 communities that were awarded funding in 2010.

More information on the grants and the grant recipients:
http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase/
For a list of the 22 Climate Showcase Communities and profiles of each recipient, visit:
http://epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase/