NEWS RELEASE: Climate Action Plan for Town of Red Hook to be developed by Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center

Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center will be developing an action plan for the town of Red Hook. Municipalities elsewhere are also waking up to the benefits of local climate improvement for their citizens and the planet.

Climate Action Plan for Town of Red Hook to be developed by Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center

Municipalities elsewhere also waking up to the benefits of local climate improvement for their citizens and the planet

WHITE PLAINS, NY, March 25, 2011 –Like a growing number of municipalities in New York and around the country, the small Dutchess County town of Red Hook is thinking proactively about climate change. Town officials recently signed a contract with Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center (PECC) to develop and implement a Climate Action Plan.

Red Hook has already taken the first step in its journey: taking stock of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases it emits.

Joining a proactive trend

As energy consultants, PECC staff will follow internationally recognized milestones from ICLEI, an association of over 1,200 local governments around the globe that promotes sustainable development. The PECC consultants will set a greenhouse gas reduction target for Red Hook, and develop an action plan to achieve that goal.

In seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Red Hook joins the ranks of other local communities that are taking action. Last year, 14 municipalities in Northern Westchester County formed the Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium. Its goals: reduce reliance on fossil fuels, save money for residents and businesses, increase energy efficiency, enable renewable energy generation and increase economic activity.

Seven of those communities were awarded grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop climate action plans.

“The real action is local”

The plan will address the residential, commercial and transportation sectors of the Red Hook community, among others, and include a timeline, description of financing mechanisms, and assignment of responsibility to departments and staff. Community input and involvement will be sought throughout the process.

James Van Nostrand, PECC executive director, said, “We have been very involved at the state and regional levels in addressing climate change issues, but the real action is at the local level to implement the strategies necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through this work, we will effectively carry out the policies we have been promoting to help local governments and their constituents reduce their energy bills and follow more sustainable practices.”

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Town of Red Hook on this project,” he added.

The $52,000, one-year contract is funded by a grant from NYSERDA. Anne Marie Hirschberger, Climate Change Law and Policy Advisor at PECC and a graduate of Pace Law School’s J.D. and Climate Change LLM programs, will serve as project manager. She will collaborate with PECC staff and interns.

Hirschberger said, “Addressing climate change at the local level is a critical element in achieving meaningful greenhouse gas reductions, and the Town of Red Hook has already demonstrated its leadership in this area. I look forward to working with the Town over the coming year to build upon its current programs.”

Sue Crane, Town Supervisor of Red Hook, said, “The Town of Red Hook is delighted to be associated with the impressive resources of the Pace Energy and Climate Center through this NYSERDA funded program. For years the Town Board and our volunteer Conservation Advisory Council leadership have pursued efforts to raise awareness, provide education and demonstrate our commitment to sustainable programs and projects. With Anne Marie Hirschberger’s experienced management skills, together with the expertise of PECC consultants, we look forward to joining in creative, practical, replicable climate change programs that will help residents reduce their energy usage.”

Contact:

Lauren Rubenstein
Manager, Media Relations
(914) 422-4389
cell (914) 329-8680
lrubenstein@law.pace.edu

Anne Marie Hirschberger
Ottinger Energy Research Fellow
Pace Energy and Climate Center
(914) 422-4126
ahirschberger@law.pace.edu

Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has over 7,000 alumni throughout the country and the world and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top four programs in environmental law. It offers full- and part-time JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus and offers the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in environmental law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu http://www.pace.edu/environment/

Greenest Communities in Westchester

Grassroots Environmental Education, a non-profit organization, in partnership with the Pace University Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, announced today the results of a county-wide assessment of the efforts of towns and villages in Westchester County to address key environmental issues.

Green Star AwardsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

Doug Wood, Grassroots Environmental Education (516) 883-0887 or (516) 423-6021

Cara Cea, Pace University, (914) 906-9680, ccea@pace.edu

Greenest Communities in Westchester Win First Green Star Awards

142-Point Evaluation Addresses Local Efforts on Climate Change, Sustainability and Environmental Health

Pleasantville, NY, March 24, 2010 — Grassroots Environmental Education, a non-profit organization, in partnership with the Pace University Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, announced today the results of a county-wide assessment of the efforts of towns and villages in Westchester County to address key environmental issues.

Using a comprehensive checklist developed by Grassroots called “How Green Is My Town?”, over 100 Pace students conducted interviews with municipal, school and business officials of 43 Westchester municipalities from November through early March. The communities with the highest combined scores on 142 widely-accepted attributes of a sustainable and environmentally-aware community will receive Green Star Awards in recognition of their achievements at a ceremony today in Pleasantville.

The six towns receiving Green Star Awards are: Bronxville, Chappaqua, Katonah, Larchmont, White Plains and Yorktown. Survey results for these and all other communities in Westchester have been posted, with recommendations, online at www.HowGreenIsMyTown.org/westchester where the municipalities are rated but not ranked.

Electric vehicle parking?

Pace University is the first to complete a pilot program that Grassroots intends as a model for change on a national level. Students from universities in Nassau and Suffolk counties will be next to complete the assessments of their areas. The pilot program in Westchester was funded in part by Con Ed.

Questions included in the survey ranged from “Does your town provide special incentives for ‘green’ building projects?” to “Does your town recycle e-waste?” and “Does your town offer preferred parking for electric vehicles?”

“We were delighted to find so many of the towns in Westchester out in front on these issues,” says Patti Wood, Executive Director of Grassroots, “but there is always room for improvement. The goal of our program is to help communities share ideas and resources, and to find ways to move ahead on a green agenda even during these tough economic times.”

“Each sector of the community has a vital role to play in making a town truly green,” says Michelle Land, Director of the Pace Academy, and the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities. “When the local government, school system and business community are working together in a cooperative effort, the results can be innovative and significant.”

Ready-to-go ideas

Grassroots first announced the launch of their comprehensive, science-based web site, www.HowGreenIsMyTown.org last spring. The “greenweb” offers a resource for government agencies and school systems seeking to address key environmental issues, providing links to ready-to-go policies, program ideas and cost-effective solutions. It is designed to give local citizens and decision makers the tools they need to bring about change.

Patti Wood of Grassroots stressed that the evaluation scores for local towns are dynamic, and towns that adopt policies or take other steps to address key issues should contact Grassroots to have their scores updated. An annual review and update of the evaluations is planned. All of the questions, answers, as well as details of every town’s scores, are available online at the web site: www.HowGreenIsMyTown.org/westchester.

About Grassroots Environmental Education

Grassroots Environmental Education is a NY-based not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 2000. Grassroots is dedicated to educating the public about environmental toxins and their impact on human health. Through the production and distribution of science-based materials, the organization seeks to empower individuals to act as catalysts for positive change in their own communities.

About Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies

Pace University Academy for Applied Environmental Studies works with every academic unit of Pace University in a comprehensive program to increase interdisciplinary educational opportunities for students and faculty, expand collaborations and partnerships with external institutions and experts, and create research and advanced study programs on matters of community, national and global import. www.pace.edu/academy

Westchester Communities Need to Continue Programs and Take New Action to Reduce Greenhouse Gases 20%

Westchester County and its municipalities are making progress toward meeting the climate change and sustainability goals set forth in the county’s Action Plan for Climate Change and Sustainable Development, according to a new report.

Pace Contact: Crista Scaturro, (914) 422-4389, cscaturro@law.pace.edu

NYLCVEF Contact: Dan Hendrick (212) 361-6350 ext. 206, dhendrick@nylcv.org

NEWS RELEASE

Report Tracks Progress Of Westchester County and its Municipalities in Meeting Climate Change and Sustainability Goals

Yearlong Study is Culmination of Partnership between Pace Law School CELS and New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Westchester County and its municipalities are making progress toward meeting the climate change and sustainability goals set forth in the county’s Action Plan for Climate Change and Sustainable Development, according to a new report.

The report – titled “Climate Adaptation and Mitigation: Westchester Responds to the Changing Future” – is the culmination of a yearlong partnership between the Pace Law School Center for Environmental Legal Studies and the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

The report tracks the progress that Westchester County and its municipalities reported in seven broad sustainability areas of the Westchester Action Plan: greenhouse gas emissions; energy; transportation; land use; funding resources; water resources/stormwater runoff; and solid waste reduction and recycling.

Two-thirds (33 out of 45) of the municipalities responded to the voluntary survey, which was conducted by Pace Law CELS students and NYLCVEF staff. Because adoption of the Action Plan’s recommendations was voluntary, the report aims to show residents and policymakers what their communities are doing and present an opportunity to learn from their neighbors.

“The publication of this report comes at a critical time. From the banks of the Hudson River to the shores of Long Island Sound, it is clear that the risks of not responding to climate change are great for communities in Westchester County,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Dean of Environmental Law Programs at Pace University School of Law and its Center for Environmental Legal Studies. “As this report shows, many of Westchester’s local governments are aware of climate change challenges and leading the way toward a more sustainable future.”

Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, said: “The Westchester Action Plan set the bar for sustainability progress in the county. As more residents, municipalities and businesses become aware of what they can do to combat climate change, and realize the economic benefits of greater sustainability, the success of the Action Plan will continue.”

In spring 2008, the Westchester Action Plan for Climate Change and Sustainable Development set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the county 20 percent by 2015 (from 2005 levels) and 80 percent by 2050. The Action Plan lays out direct and capacity-building actions to achieve this goal by implementing short-, mid- and long-term strategies that engage county and municipal governments, the business sector, educational institutions and individual households.

The Pace Law/NYLCVEF survey shows that progress varies greatly among the goal areas. For example:

• 30 percent of participating municipalities have completed an inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions;

• 52 percent have audited their energy use to identify ways to conserve;

• Three out of four survey participants have programs designed to replace municipal vehicles with more energy-efficient models;

• 83 percent have integrated sustainability into their comprehensive plans;

• Slightly less than half (42 percent) have policies that encourage the use of environmentally sensitive products;

• 100 percent reported they follow best practices to manage stormwater and runoff in order to protect water resources; and

• Slightly more than half (52 percent) have developed plans for waste reduction, recycling and reuse.

The full report can be viewed online at www.nylcvef.org and www.law.pace.edu.

The report concludes that Westchester’s communities will need to continue current programs and take new actions to meet the Action Plan’s short-term goal of a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2015.

“Despite the sluggish economy, opportunities do exist to make progress,” said Dean Dunn. “Many of the examples in our report demonstrate that changes to zoning, enforcement or purchasing both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save taxpayer dollars.”

NYLCVEF President Bystryn added: “This year ushered in new leadership for Westchester County and a number of municipalities. It is up to our new leaders to reaffirm climate reduction goals, preserve past actions and implement new steps that achieve even greater results. The longer government waits to meet the challenges of climate change, the more difficult and expensive it will be to do so down the road.”

Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has over 7,000 alumni throughout the country and the world and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top three programs in environmental law. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus and offers the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law, Real Estate Law and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in environmental law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu

The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (NYLCVEF) engages and educates New Yorkers on environmental issues and the environmental decision-making processes at the local, regional, state and federal government levels. NYLCVEF fosters open, non-partisan discussion on environmental policy and empowers New Yorkers to be effective advocates for the environment. www.nylcvef.org

Pace Law Dean Emeritus and Nationally Known Environmentalist Richard Ottinger Receives Green Award

In celebration of his lifetime achievements in working to improve the environment, Richard Ottinger, Dean Emeritus of Pace Law School, will be honored by the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County (FCWC) at its annual fall benefit reception on Saturday, October 17, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at a private “green” home on Long Island Sound.

Posted on behalf of Pace Law School – Contact: Regina Pappalardo – 914-422-4268; rpappalardo@law.pace.edu or Rubenstein Communications, Inc – Public Relations: Gladwyn Lopez – 212-843-9231; glopez@rubenstein.com; Robin Wagge – 212-843-8006; rwagge@rubenstein.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PACE LAW SCHOOL DEAN EMERITUS RICHARD OTTINGER TO BE HONORED WITH GREEN LEGACY AWARD AT FALL BENEFIT RECEPTION OF THE FEDERATED CONSERVATIONISTS OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY * * *

[WHITE PLAINS, NY – October 14, 2009] In celebration of his lifetime achievements in working to improve the environment, Richard Ottinger, Dean Emeritus of Pace Law School, will be honored by the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County (FCWC) at its annual fall benefit reception on Saturday, October 17, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at a private “green” home on Long Island Sound.

Dick Ottinger’s life has been dedicated to environmental protection and energy conservation. Prior to joining the Pace faculty, he served for 16 years in the U.S. Congress, chairing the House Subcommittee on Energy, Conservation and Power. He is currently Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at Pace Law School in White Plains, N.Y., where he taught environmental law and was Dean from 1994-1999. As co-director of the Center for Environmental Legal Studies, he started the Energy Project (now the Pace Energy and Climate Center), which raises $900,000 per year, advocating utility investment in conservation and renewable energy resources.

Ottinger is a nationally known environmentalist. Hunter Lovins, a renowned champion of sustainable development who this week has been the first Visiting Fellow in Residence at Pace University’s Pace Academy of Applied Environmental Studies, said Tuesday that as an advocate and legislator, Ottinger “was responsible for most of the legislation that now allows environmentalists to do their work.”

Pace Law School’s Environmental Law program has been consistently ranked among the top three in the nation (US News & World Report) and the school is the first law school in the nation to offer a course of study focused on climate change law, which is included as a specialty “track” as part of its Master of Laws in Environmental Law.

Serving as an ideal location, the “green” home at which the reception will take place features solar panels and a geo-thermal energy system. The event will feature several additional green aspects: a silent auction that includes local “green” products and services; recycled paper invitations; and hors d’ oeuvres catered by The Flying Pig, a local caterer that focuses on local, sustainable offerings.

Marian Rose, founder and former president of Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition (CWCWC) will also be honored at the event. For questions or information on attending the event, the public can call the FCWC office at (914) 422-4053 or email Adiel at fcwc@fcwc.org.

Federated Conservationists of Westchester County Inc. was founded in 1965 as a nonprofit coalition of dozens of local environmental groups to form a strong, single voice for combating pollution and preserving Westchester’s many precious natural resources. FCWC has promoted environmentally sound planning and decision making throughout the region and educated the public and government officials on the need to protect natural resources. As the premier environmental watchdog in Westchester, the organization has influenced local, county and state governments in the defense of air, water and land.

Founded in 1976, Pace Law School (www.law.pace.edu) has over 7,500 alumni throughout the country and the world. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus. With its Environmental Law program consistently ranked among the top three in the nation (US News & World Report), the school also offers the Master of Laws in Environmental Law, Real Estate Law and in Comparative Legal Studies and an SJD in Environmental Law. Pace is also the first law school in the nation to offer a course of study focused on climate change law, which is included as a specialty “track” as part of its Master of Laws in Environmental Law. The School of Law is part of a comprehensive, independent and diversified University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.pace.edu