Green Toolbox for Growing Sustainable Municipalities--September 2014

The Green ToolBox - For Growing Sustainable MunicipalitiesLeaf for Green ToolBox

From UNSM’s Municipal Sustainability Office

September 2014

 

Events & Announcements

SEEKING YOUR INPUT ON THE PROPOSED GREENER ECONOMY STRATEGY
OCTOBER 15 IS THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING FEEDBACK

The Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (EGSPA) was established in 2007 and amended in 2012. The first five-year public review of EGSPA was conducted by the Round Table on Environment and Sustainable Prosperity (Round Table) in 2012. The focus of the review was to further strengthen the linkages between the environment and the economy. 

One of the recommendations the Round Table submitted to the Minister of Environment on March 30, 2012 was around the development of a green economic strategy.  The proposed Greener Economy Strategy follows a strategic approach to address future opportunities in the green economy. The strategy builds on Nova Scotia’s accomplishments to date and is organized into four focus areas. These four focus areas are aligned with the Province’s efforts, and provide guidance and direction for the future:

Focus Area 1: Promote the value of regulatory certainty for innovation and cost predictability

Focus Area 2: Develop the clean technology sector

Focus Area 3: Promote energy and resource efficiency as enablers of economic growth

Focus Area 4: Accelerate the greening of companies, products and services

Your Feedback is Requested by October 15

The Round Table is conducting a public review of the proposed Greener Economy Strategy and is seeking your feedback to help guide and further develop this initiative. You are invited to submit comments on the proposed strategy to the Round Table, c/o by October 15.  In an effort to collate comments from our membership, we encourage you to copy UNSM’s Round Table representative, HRM Councillor Jennifer Watts, on your submission, c/o .

Bright Business Workshop Logo

EFFICIENCY NOVA SCOTIA’S BRIGHT BUSINESS WORKSHOP - ENERGY EFFICIENCY:  A STRATEGY FOR GROWTH
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, 8 AM – 4:30 PM
WORLD TRADE & CONVENTION CENTRE, HALIFAX
COST:  $200

Join over 200 industry leaders for a one-day conference on best practices in energy efficiency! Learn how energy efficiency is contributing to Nova Scotia’s economic growth and prosperity, and hear directly from businesses using energy efficiency to gain a competitive edge.

Annette Verschuren, Chair & CEO NRStor Inc. will give the keynote address for the conference.  As former president of The Home Depot Canada and Asia, Annette oversaw the growth of the company’s Canadian operations from 19 to 180 stores.  She currently serves as Chancellor of Cape Breton University and chairs fundraising efforts for the University’s new Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment. Annette’s engaging keynote address will focus on energy efficiency opportunities and what lies ahead.

Session Topics Include:

  •          Selling energy efficiency to senior management
  •          Strategic energy management
  •          Driving investment in energy efficiency
  •          No-to-low cost energy efficiency projects
  •          Energy economics: financing for energy efficiency projects
  •          Big projects beyond lighting

For full conference information, and to register, please visit www.brightbusinessns.ca or contact Katie Crowell at or (902)470-3612.

NOVA SCOTIA ENVIRONMENT EXTENDS THE DEADLINE FOR MUNICIPALITIES TO COMMENT ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE SOLID WASTE-RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS TO SEPT. 30

Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) has extended the deadline for municipalities to provide input on proposed changes to the Solid Waste-Resource Management Regulations to September 30. 

In April, NSE released a consultation paper entitled "Revising Our Path Forward:  A public discussion paper about solid waste regulation in Nova Scotia."   The paper states the current system in not sustainable and proposes changes in the following areas:

  • A new product stewardship model (Extended Producer Responsibility) for materials such as printed paper and packaging that offers some financial relief for municipalities by shifting the responsibility of disposal to the producer (using a similar model currently in place for electronics and consumer paint products)
  • New disposal bans and approval requirements aimed at increasing diversion of construction and demolition material and generating business activity
  • Expansion of the used tire management program to add off-road tires, including those on ATVs, mining equipment and farm tractors
  • Removal of the requirement for regional solid waste management plans
  • Clarity on the rules for energy-from-waste to allow for the inclusion of technologies that thermally process mixed municipal solid waste
  • Improved enforceability of the solid waste regulations
  • Changes to the beverage container deposit-refund program to reflect the true cost of recycling beverage containers

If you would like to provide comments to the proposed changes outlined in the consultation paper, please do so by September 30 by sending an email to NSE at (please include “solid waste regulations” in the subject line of the email). 

 

2014 ATLANTIC CANADA WASTE DIVERSION CONFERENCE:  MAKING WAVES:  CHARTING A COURSE FOR WASTE DIVERSION
OCTOBER 15 - 17
HALIFAX MARRIOTT HARBOURFRONT HOTEL

The Atlantic Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the Waste Resource Association of Nova Scotia (WRANS) are jointly coordinating a comprehensive waste management conference, themed “Making Waves – Charting a Course for Waste Diversion”. The conference will feature the following topics:

  •   EPR – Extended Producer Responsibility
  •   Established and emerging organics management technologies
  •   Diversion of construction and demolition materials
  •   Diversion practices for ICI generators
  •   Status of program implementation within the Atlantic Region
  •   Disaster waste management planning and response
  •   Landfill gas management/energy recovery
  •   Health and safety at waste management facilities
  •   Progressive public education and awareness techniques.

For more information about the conference and to register, visit:  www.atcanswana.org/atlanticwasteconference/

SUSTAINABLE RAINWATER MANAGEMENT:  SOLUTIONS & TOOLS FOR ADAPTING TO A CHANGING CLIMATE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3
WESTIN NOVA SCOTIA HOTEL, 1181 HOLLIS STREET, HALIFAX

This pan-Canadian workshop series is designed for local practitioners and decision-makers in the Atlantic region to learn about collaborative, affordable, and effective tools for climate adaptation and watershed health.  This workshop is intended to help municipalities reduce the physical, financial and social impacts of extreme weather events.

Workshop content will have practical application for municipal engineers, planners and even landowners.  Several web-based tools will be demonstrated, including the Water Balance Model, a scenario comparison tool that allows users to quantify the impacts of water use and climate change on available water supplies.  The workshop will also include demonstrations of two other web-based tools: the Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool; and the Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator.  These tools can be used across levels (watershed, development, property) and various user groups (engineering, planning, land-owner).

For more information about this workshop, please contact Jocelyne Rankin, Water Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, at (902) 442-5046 or .  Also, you can visit the workshop website at:   www.ecologyaction.ca/sustainable-rainwater-management

 

MAYORS’ MEGAWATT CHALLENGE SUSTAINABILITY FORUM
NOVEMBER 12, 2014
BLACK CREEK PIONEER VILLAGE, TORONTO

You are invited to attend the 3rd annual national Mayors’ Megawatt Challenge Forum this fall, which will bring together municipal facility directors and energy managers from across Canada to focus on saving energy through operational and retrofit projects at municipal facilities. This year’s Forum will focus on high performance town halls and community centres. Expert panels and case studies will help municipalities understand what is possible and will provide them with technical resources to achieve their goals.

For more information about the Mayors’ Megawatt Challenge Forum, visit the Website, or contact Brian Dundas at or (416) 661-6600, ext. 5262.

 

 

Announcements & Information

PROVINCE PLANS TO PROHIBIT FRACKING

Energy Minister Andrew Younger announced recently that legislation will be introduced this fall to prohibit the use of hydraulic fracturing in shale oil and gas projects in Nova Scotia. In a press conference on September 3, Younger said public opinion is not informed enough yet about the issue and prohibiting it will give Nova Scotians time to consider new research and information as it comes available. This decision comes on the heels of a report released on August 28 that explored the impacts of hydraulic fracturing and made recommendations about its current and future role in Nova Scotia's onshore petroleum industry.  The report, commissioned a year ago by the Province and led by Cape Breton University president David Wheeler, said more study was needed to determine the social, economic, environmental and health impacts of  high-volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas exploration and development.  All submissions, presentations and documents for the hydraulic fracturing review are available online at www.cbu.ca/hfstudy.  For more information on the independent hydraulic fracturing review, and to download the report, go to energy.novascotia.ca/oil-and-gas/onshore/hydraulic-fracturing-review.  The Council of Canadian Academies recently released a report for the federal government titled, Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada.  The following quote provides a good summary of the report’s key finding:  “Although the technologies and techniques used in extracting shale gas are understood, more research and information is needed on the potential environmental impacts that could result from this process. In Canada, shale gas development has moved forward in British Columbia and Alberta while potential development is still being explored in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Unlike the United States, Canadian development has moved at a slower pace. This slower pace of development presents a unique opportunity for Canada to take the time to explore and determine the proper management practices to develop its shale gas resources responsibly.”  (Source:  http://www.scienceadvice.ca/en/assessments/completed/shale-gas.aspx)For a copy of the Council of Canadian Academies' report on hydraulic fracturing, click here

NOVA SCOTIA MOVES FUNDING AWARDED TO HELP MUNICIPALITIES ADD ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES TO THEIR FLEETS

On September 2, Energy Minister Andrew Younger announced that the Clean Foundation will receive $27,314 in funding from Nova Scotia Moves for the Municipal Fleet Efficiency project, which will help Nova Scotia municipalities integrate clean technology into their fleets.  The Clean Foundation will partner with two municipalities to assess their vehicle use and needs, and help develop strategies on how to take advantage of new technologies in their fleets.  Once the project is completed, the Clean Foundation will release case studies to help other municipalities learn how to improve their fleet efficiency.  This initiative is supported by the Department of Energy, the UNSM’s Municipal Sustainability Office, Nova Scotia Power, the Department of Municipal Affairs and FleetCarma.  For more information about this initiative, contact Geoff McCain, Transportation Coordinator at the Clean Foundation, by email () or telephone (902 420-7943).

MUNICIPALITIES RECEIVE FUNDING TO BETTER UNDERSTAND FLOOD RISKS & SOLUTIONS

The Government of Nova Scotia is providing a total of $147,500 in funding to municipalities to investigate the causes of flooding and explore solutions.  The Flood Assessment Fund will support five projects on mitigation planning, property assessment and public education, and investigating water flow volumes, levels and frequency. This fund and the Flood Risk Infrastructure Investment Program (which is administered by the Department of Municipal Affairs) are part of the provincial Flood Mitigation Framework. The framework aims to reduce the impacts of flooding in vulnerable municipalities through cross-government collaboration and support for community mitigation efforts.The following is a list of Flood Assessment Fund recipients for 2014-15:

  • Municipality of East Hants, flood assessment of municipal lands, $5,000
  • Municipality of East Hants, Nine Mile River, the Rain Yards program, a storm water education and runoff reduction program run by the Clean Foundation, $12,500
  • Municipality of East Hants, Sackville River Headwaters, launch of Rain Yards program, $12,500
  • Town of Kentville, flooding prevention and reduction work on Cornwallis River and Mill Brook, $30,000
  • Town of Mahone Bay, flood protection, remediation and repair of shoreline embankment, $87,500 To learn more about flooding and what can be done about it, visit: www.novascotia.ca/nse/climate-change/nsfaf-flood-mitigation-framework.asp.

 

Resources

 

SWITCH OPEN STREETS TOOLKIT NOW AVAILABLE

SWITCH Open Street Sundays encourages people to enjoy metro HRM in a new way by walking, biking and moving around safely and comfortably on a 2km route. SWITCH is not about street closures – it is about opening streets to a greater variety of transportation modes while the route remains permeable to vehicles. SWITCH is inspired by Ciclovia (which translates to “bike way” or “bike path”) in Bogota, Colombia.  Initiatives in Bogata have let to millions of people in cities around the world participating every Sunday and holiday on thousands of kilometers of city streets. SWITCH Open Street Sundays has grown considerably since its inaugural 2012 event. In 2014 three Open Street events are scheduled to take place in both Halifax and Dartmouth. With a wide reach, SWITCH engaged over 5000 citizens in physical activity and active transportation in 2013. The Planning & Design Centre (PDC) would like to share the success of SWITCH Open Street Sundays with other communities. To facilitate this, the PDC has created a toolkit to share lessons learned and provide advice for creating an open streets initiative in your own community. Throughout the toolkit, testimonials are highlighted, demonstrating the substantial level of community support received in HRM. The stories and findings reinforce that the SWITCH Open Street Sundays initiative is a powerful tool for engaging and empowering communities in active transportation. SWITCH has a transformative ability. It brings to light a substantial community amenity, the street, which is accessible to seniors, children and families and provides space to engage with the physical and social dynamics of the community in a safe and welcoming way. Open street events allow community members to see their space in a new way and to explore parts of their neighbourhoods that they may not otherwise see. We hope that many more Maritime communities will explore the benefits of open streets that have been demonstrated here in Halifax and Dartmouth. As part of the toolkit’s creation, the PDC is working to provide workshops beginning in this fall and is currently exploring appropriate venues. If you are interested in being included in PDC’s e-mail list or to find out more about upcoming workshops, contact Ross Soward, Director of Operations for PDC at . For a copy of the SWITCH Open Street Toolkit, visit:
http://pdcentre.ca/blog/2014/09/08/switch-halifaxtoolkit/

NEW BICYCLE ROUTE MAPS FOR NOVA SCOTIA NOW AVAILABLE

Bicycle Nova Scotia recently produced a map series and website detailing five top cycling routes in Nova Scotia.  The map series covers bicycling routes (including road routes and parts of the rails-to-trails network) in five regions of the province, including the Northumberland Shore, Cabot Trail, Acadian Shore, South Shore and Annapolis Valley. The maps can be picked up at Visitor Information Centres across the Nova Scotia and downloaded at: www.cyclenovascotia.ca

ONTARIO COULD BETTER SUPPORT MUNICIPALITIES IN ADAPTING STORMWATER INFRASTRUCTURE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario is responsible for evaluating and commenting on provincial climate change policy and as such, released the Annual Greenhouse Gas Report:  Looking for Leadership, The Costs of Climate Inaction on July 9, 2014. The final chapter of this report examines how the Province of Ontario could better support municipalities and conservation authorities in adapting stormwater infrastructure to climate change. This chapter has been printed as a separate document because it may be of particular interest to many municipalities, and can be accessed here.  For more information about the report and/or the chapter on adapting stormwater infrastructure to climate change, contact Victoria Kramkowski, Policy and Decision Analyst,
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario by telephone (416-325-1058) or email ().

Funding Opportunity

Environmental Damages Fund Accepting Applications Until Sept. 19

The next deadline to submit a proposal for the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) is September 19, 2014. Funding is available for projects which address EDF’s priority issues of restoration, environmental quality improvement, and education & awareness.   Check out the EDF website http://www.ec.gc.ca/edf-fde/   for information on eligibility and how to apply for funding. Program officers are available to provide advice on completing the proposal form and to discuss draft proposals. For more information, contact Natalie Chavarie at 426-5925 or Heather Macmillan at 426-6937 or send an email to: .

 

 For more information about the initiatives included in the Green Toolbox, please contact Debbie Nielsen, Municipal Sustainability Coordinator by telephone (423-8312)or e-mail ().