Stan interviews Stephanie Ciccarello, Amherst's sustainability coordinator.
Ciccarello's work led to Amherst becoming one of the early "Green Communities" of Massachusetts in 2012. Now, the town is involved in "Communities for Climate Protection," a multi-phase project to inventory and track local carbon emissions. The effort involves Amherst's new Energy and Climate Action Committee (ECAC), to which Ciccarello is staff liaison.
The inventory and tracking project will require support from many stakeholders, Ciccarello said, including town departments, institutions, businesses and residents.
The ECAC is now focused on community outreach, to facilitate its development of a climate action plan, including specific objectives and targets, Ciccarello said, for presentation to the Amherst Town Council.
Amherst is also joining a regional effort with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to mitigate air quality.
In recent years, Ciccarello oversaw local implementation of a federally-supported regional bike-sharing program, and the Solarize Massachusetts Project, which led to LED retrofitting of street lights, yielding $24,000 in annual cost savings.
(A prior Daily Hampshire Gazette article on the bike-sharing program is here: https://www.gazettenet.com/ValleyBike-hg-121118-22084359 and this is the website for ValleyBike: https://www.northamptonma.gov/1599/ValleyBike-Share)
On "Byline" Ciccarello will also discuss the prospect of "Community Choice Aggregation" (CCA) energy pooling and purchasing for Amherst and nearby towns, and will provide updates on a proposed solar farm, (More detailed information on CCA is here: https://wmacce.wordpress.com/)
The proposed 3.8 megawatt solar farm would be on the capped section of Amherst's old landfill on Logtown Road, to be developed by a private company, Cypress Renewables. Cypress would lease the land from the town and make payments in lieu of taxes of $100,000 annually for the first 20 years, followed by lower payments. Reviews of the project are now underway by the state, and by town boards. A recent article on the solar farm is here: https://www.gazettenet.com/Long-planned-solar-project-on-ca…
This is a link to further information on the town's sustainability efforts: https://www.amherstma.gov/1671/Sustaining-Amherst
Description courtesy of the Amherst League of Women Voters.
Amherst Media and former Massachusetts State Senate President Stan Rosenberg team up for “Byline with Stan Rosenberg,” an issue-oriented local government news program. “Byline” will tackle town, regional and state news topics as Rosenberg interviews players in both town and state government affairs.