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Numerous federal and state judicial decisions have established that environmental impact statements under the National Environmental Policy Act and its state equivalents should examine the impact of proposed projects on emissions of greenhouse gases. Administrative agencies and court settlements are now establishing the guidelines for the conduct of these examinations. This column surveys the emergence of these new guidelines, which is occurring against a backdrop of accelerated activity in both Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, leading towards federal regulation of GHGs. The column looks at these guidelines on the federal level as well as within New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington, and Hawaii.
This report examines the resources that several U.S. cities are devoting to “green infrastructure” and analyzes their early experiences with alternative stormwater management. This report defines and describes green infrastructure; discusses barriers to green infrastructure implementation by local governments; and reviews the funding and personnel devoted to green infrastructure by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, City of Chicago, City of Philadelphia, City of Seattle, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.
This ordinance creates a ballot measure to approve a property tax levy to fund a Families and Education Subfund. The proceeds will fund educational and developmental services, preschool and early childhood education, family support, family involvement services, middle school support, out of school activities, support for at-risk youth, student health services, evaluation of programs, and school crossing guards.
An ordinance setting the procedure for wage theft complaints in Seattle, WA.
This ordinance sets energy benchmarking requirements on buildings over 20,000 square feet. It also changes the enforcement process for individuals that do not submit an energy benchmark report by moving from accruing fines daily to quarterly fines. The ordinance formally creates an exemption for buildings used in industrial manufacturing, authorizes the delegation of enforcement authority, and authorizes the establishment of grace periods.
This bill requires owners of non-residential buildings of 10,000 square feet or larger and of residential buildings of five units or more to submit reports of their building\\\'s energy performance using the US Environmental Protection Agency\'s Energy Star Portfolio Manager Tool. The reporting requirement is phased in over a two year period, with larger buildings subject to these requirements by January 1, 2011 and remaining buildings by January 1, 2012. Upon authorization by the building owner, utilities providing energy service in Seattle will be responsible for providing customer billing data in a format compatible with the Portfolio Manager database maintained nationally by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Upon request, building owners will be required to disclose the energy performance of their building to current or prospective tenants, lenders, and buyers. The Department of Planning and Development will be responsible for developing and maintaining a database of all reporting buildings in the city, and for enforcement of the legislation.
This ordinance requires developers of county capital improvement projects to submit a strategic energy-efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction plan that includes options for reducing emissions; improving energy efficiency; identifying financial incentives for achieving energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions; and analyzing the incremental costs for implementing any reasonable options.
This ordinance requires that all capital projects enacted by the county or to which the county lends or otherwise funds construction shall adhere to sustainable and green development and building practices. It establishes functional definitions of these projects and their core components as well as develops a clear and flexible justification for such policy.
The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance requires landlords to register all rental housing units in Seattle, from single-family houses to large apartment buildings. Exceptions to the registration requirement include commercial lodging, state-licensed facilities such as adult family homes, and housing owned by government groups or by housing authorities such as Seattle Housing Authority. Landlords must register their properties according to a specified schedule and these registrations must be renewed every five years. The ordinance also requires that all registered rental housing units be inspected within the first 10 years of the program. This requirement does not apply to rentals that are already regularly inspected, such as public housing. The owner must hire certified private inspectors to do the inspections. All rental properties that have had two Notices of Violation or an Emergency Order issued within the past two years will be inspected early in the program. This ordinance was created after the passage of enabling legislation by the state legislature.
The ballot measure would fund Metro bus service and other road safety, maintenance and transportation improvements in King County by authorizing the King County Transportation District to impose, for a period of ten years, a sales and use tax of 0.1% and an annual vehicle fee of sixty dollars ($60) per registered vehicle, with a twenty dollar ($20) rebate for low-income individuals. If approved, sixty (60) percent of the proceeds would fund Metro bus service. The rest would be split among King County cities and unincorporated King County area on a per-capita basis.