The city’s Climate and Energy Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could get dusted off this year.
The city has not taken a serious look at the plan since the Durango City Council accepted it in 2011, said councilor Dick White.
Now, he is pushing for the city and county to update emissions data in the plan.
La Plata County set aside $10,000 to update the plan this year, but it may be premature because oil and gas companies must be in compliance with new regulations this year, county Commissioner Gwen Lachelt said in a meeting Thursday.
In addition, the results from a study of the methane hot spot over the Four Corners by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are not available. The methane spot reported by NASA covers about 2,500 square miles and some natural seepage could be contributing to it.
Still, White would like to see the city and the county update emissions information from sources that are more controllable, such as waste and vehicles.
White and Lachelt agreed Thursday to work on a specific plan that both governments could revisit this year.
The city also is taking steps to increase its own efficiency and measure the town’s sustainability.
Since 2008, city operations have seen an annual average drop in energy consumption of 3 percent, and this is an area where city staff could make progress, said Amber Blake, transportation and sustainability director.
The city wants to install solar panels at the water treatment plant, but doing so would require the La Plata Electric Association’s board to make some policy changes, said Mary Beth Miles, assistant to the city manager.
City staff also will work with organizations across town to gather data on how the community as a whole is working to be more sustainable and apply at the end of the year for a national rating.
The rating requires data in eight areas, including buildings, the economy, climate and energy, and health and safety.
After staff members collect the data, they will set goals for improvement.
“Getting the metrics and getting the framework is where you really start,” White said.
While the city is working on these projects, the council decided to delay signing on to the Paris agreement. As part of the agreement, 196 countries agreed in December to combat climate change.
“There is no money in place to help with what we would be signing on to do,” Blake said.
But if the city pursues its current goals, it could be in a good position next year to sign on to the agreement, she said.