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City of Springfield, Mass. Receives Nearly $500,000 in Climate Showcase Community Grant Money

Release Date: 03/08/2010
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston – March 8, 2010) Today EPA awarded the City of Springfield, Mass. a $491,067 Climate Showcase Community grant for projects that will combat climate change. The funds will help Springfield increase energy efficiency, saving consumers money and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

"Nationwide, EPA is working with communities on innovative, win-win strategies that reduce greenhouse gases and cut energy bills for families and businesses,” said EPA regional administrator Curt Spalding. “The City of Springfield is taking important action on climate change, and is showing real leadership. EPA is proud to be working with the city to fight back by awarding this grant.”

This Climate Showcase grant will fund preventative maintenance work and projects identified in energy audits at Springfield’s 52 schools, 38 municipal buildings, and 15 parks buildings. The grant will also leverage funds from an existing Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant to finance the replacement of five standard boilers with high-efficiency boilers, energy management systems and the City’s first solar thermal panels.

The City’s long-term plan is to use the grant money to create an Energy Conservation Corps that will be dedicated to reducing the City’s carbon footprint. By increasing energy efficiency in the City’s buildings and adding renewable energy, the City will save energy, money, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This project will create jobs while transforming public facilities into models of energy efficiency and conservation.

“I have encouraged Springfield to be proactive and aggressive in its efforts to go green. The city has received national recognition for its efforts, and today’s announcement is another environmentally responsible step forward. Today’s grant will help make our municipal buildings more energy efficient and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. It will also create jobs and reduce the city’s carbon footprint. It is a reminder that Springfield is a leader in the region in developing clean and efficient energy practices,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

The City estimates that these projects will reduce its GHG emissions by 5% to 8%, or approximately 3600 metric tons, over the next two years. This is equivalent to taking 694 cars off the road for 1 year or saving 19 boxcars full of coal from being burned. The project will also improve indoor air quality in schools, a top priority for city health officials.

"My Administration has been very aggressive in pursuing grants and we are very appreciative of this award, said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “I cannot say enough about the City's Facilities Department and the work they do under the leadership of Director Pat Sullivan. This award will allow the City of Springfield to provide a more comfortable and cost effective environment to the students, staff and public that utilize these buildings."

The Springfield project was one of 2 projects in New England and 25 nationwide to receive grants as part of a $10 million competitive grant program to assist local and tribal governments in establishing and implementing climate change initiatives. The goal of the Climate Showcase Communities grant program is to create replicable models of sustainable community action that generate cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions. Successful models will also improve the environmental, economic, public health, or social conditions in a community.

The Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program is administered by EPA, providing technical assistance, tools, and guidance to help state, local, and tribal governments implement policies and programs to mitigate climate change.

More information on the grants and the grant recipients:
http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase/

More information about the program:
http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate

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