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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 19, 2010
John Druelinger, assistant planner, 754-4109 or druelij@co.thurston.wa.us

County commissioners to consider climate change resolution Aug. 24

Thurston County government would embark on a goal of producing zero greenhouse gas emissions under a resolution that will be considered by the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Aug. 24. The commissioners will consider the resolution at 2 p.m. in Room 280, Building 1 of the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive S.W. in Olympia.

The resolution recognizes that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy use will help protect the health of residents and the environment, create jobs, reduce energy costs and save money for the county, businesses and residents alike. To achieve those goals, the resolution calls for infusing efficiency, resource conservation, and greenhouse gas management into all Thurston County operations. It also establishes goals for Thurston County to:

•Generate accurate, up-to-date information on energy use, resource consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions.

•Audit the energy use in key county facilities to identify the most cost-effective way to reduce energy consumption and make improvements.

•Post greenhouse gas emissions data online and integrate the data into the decision-making process in all county departments.

•Analyze fuel consumption by county fleets and increase electric vehicle infrastructure to prepare for future electric vehicles.

•Improve the county's internet capability and the design of offices and future facilities so employees are more able to telecommute and are less dependent on high-energy-use buildings.

Thurston County has already taken initial steps to measure the amount of greenhouse gases produced by county buildings and operations. A comprehensive greenhouse gas analysis found that Thurston County operations produce more than 17,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. The emissions come from fleet vehicles, employee commuting, buildings and day-to-day operations. The Thurston County courthouse complex at Lakeridge Drive S.W. and operations at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center contribute a large amount of the emissions.

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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3