Cincinnati's Green Initiatives

Simone Lightfoot reports back on Cincinnati's environmental succcesses.

07-24-2010 // Jennifer Janssen

NWF is joining in the important environmental work happening in Cincinnati and the ten largest urban centers in the Great Lakes region through our Urban Initiative efforts, led by Simone Lightfoot.

Lightfoot reports back on the environmental initiatives in Cincinnati after meeting with the city’s leaders:

Before he became mayor of Cincinnati in 2005, then state senator Mark Mallory and I would drive throughout the Queen City's neighborhoods of 15 'Hills' and nine 'Mounts' in the quest to secure his election as that cities first directly elected African American mayor.

One of the things Mayor Mallory was most passionate about during that campaign – I mean literally making him mad - was what he viewed as a disregard for preservation and environmental quality. He would constantly point out examples of environmental issues he would handle differently if elected mayor -- even going so far as to pull the car over and give me a tour  - narrated with historical perspective - of landmarks such as Findley Market, the Victorian homes on the west side, Fountain Square and Union Terminal. Mallory was insistent that key energy and environmental changes had to take place and he vowed to restore the long gone Office of Environmental Quality (OEQ). After being seated as mayor, it became one of his many fulfilled promises.

Fast forward five years later, Cincinnati is one of Ohio's leading green cities.

Much of credit goes to Larry Falkin, the Director of the Cincinnati Office of Environmental Quality. He is dynamic and truly the man for the job. Since coming on board Falkin has implemented a recycling enhancement effort, urban agriculture, the city's internal environmental compliance program, hosted the annual 3E summits (energy, economics and environment) and  Brownfield redevelopment projects.

He also reduced energy costs in city owned buildings by almost half a million dollars. That savings was then used to fund energy audits and energy reducing capital improvements in the first 39 City-owned buildings. Falkin has also secured a $3.5 million energy efficiency and conservation block grant, a prestigious $500,000 Climate Showcase Communities grant, secured rooftop solar project grants, landed a $3,000,000 Clean Ohio Council grant for soil and groundwater remediation and demolition activities and secured a $122,000 Clean Fuels Ohio grant for city owned hybrid electric and propane powered vehicles.

Join the National Wildlife Federation as we participate in Cincinnati's upcoming 2010 Energy, Economics and Environment Summit slated for Tuesday, September 28, 2010 from 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Duke Energy Convention Center.

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