Castlegar OCP now reflects B.C. emissions reduction targets
The City of Castlegar has changed its Official Community Plan (OCP) to reflect new provincial requirements targeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The provincial target specifies a reduction of GHGs of 33 per cent by 2010 (as compared to 2007 levels), which the city has now incorporated into its OCP.
Councillor Kevin Chernoff said the mandated targets aren’t much of a concern, from the city perspective, since council has been working to reduce emissions for years now already – but that it’s problematic in terms of enforcement.
“It (the provincial measure of city GHG emissions) takes the whole city into account, like your house and my house as well as city buildings …everything,” Chernoff explained.
“We can control some of that, like city buildings and the city fleet, but there’s a lot that we just can’t control – we can’t force residents to reduce emissions.
“Our focus will have to be on public education,” he added. “The only way we’re going to be able to make any inroads in that regard is through increasing public knowledge.”
He said the city is already engaged in a great deal of emissionscconscious behaviours, such as using bio-fuel in the city fleet and geo-thermal energy at city hall, as well as hosting regular public awareness events like Earth Hour and the city’s annual energy fair.
These efforts will continue, along with city plans to encourage in-fill housing development, build out the Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan, promote rainwater harvesting through subsidized rain barrels, permit secondary suites, promote backyard composting and more.
For more information, contact City Hall at 250-365-7227.