Climate committee goes back to work

Stockton’s long-defunct Climate Action Plan Advisory Committee went back to work today, fully staffed for the first time since February.

New members were briefed on recent changes to the draft plan, which aims to reduce the city’s carbon footprint about 10 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.

Just what is that carbon footprint? About 2.4 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases.

Existing state measures will take care of perhaps two-thirds or even three-quarters of the 10 percent reduction, a consultant told the committee. Stockton would have to come up with its own strategies, many of them voluntary or incentive-based, to make up the difference.

This could include measures like planting more trees, improving energy conservation in existing buildings, and efficiency measures at the city’s wastewater treatment plant, among other concepts.

The capital cost: $28 million.

Clearly the bankrupt city is not in position to pay that. But grant funding is available, city planning manager David Stagnaro said. “If we don’t get the grand funds or if we get only a portion… (the plan) would be not implemented or would be only partially implemented,” Stagnaro said.

The plan would save the city about $151,000 a year in operations and maintenance costs. Someone would have to be hired to coordinate implementation, however, at a cost of $140,000. So the net savings each year would be about $11,000, he said.

Among other changes to the plan, officials have reincorporated a goal of 3,000 new housing units downtown by 2020, an ambitious target that had earlier been removed from the document for fear that it could not be achieved.

A draft environmental impact report is expected in the first quarter of 2014, with the City Council ultimately considering the plan during the second half of that year.

The drafting and consideration of an adoption of a new climate plan was part of a 2008 settlement agreement between the city, the Sierra Club and the state Attorney General’s office.

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    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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