Des Plaines council pledges to work on environmental sustainability
Des Plaines officials on Monday pledged to take steps to improve the environment and work on sustainability.
The city council adopted a climate action plan created for the Chicago region. It also voted to join a program dubbed the Greenest Region Compact.
Both resolutions were approved as part of the consent agenda for Monday night's council meeting, and they passed unanimously without debate or discussion.
Mayor Andrew Goczkowski championed the proposals at city hall. In an email Monday, he said it's critical to make communities stronger, especially "when it comes to dealing with increasingly common severe weather and climate events."
Believed to be one of the first regional climate efforts in the U.S., the plan challenges participants to set targets and develop strategies for implementing clean energy policies, decarbonizing transportation and managing water and waste sustainably.
"(It) identifies risks facing our community, like increased flooding or dangerous heat waves, and provides solutions to help our us adapt to and mitigate these challenges," Goczkowski said.
The plan pushes communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2005 levels. The reduction goal increases each decade, reaching 80% by 2050.
The foundation of the compact is a collection of goals for improving quality of life, protecting the environment and building a sustainable, healthy economy.
They include: maintaining a diverse, safe, and efficient transportation network; integrate sustainability into all municipal operations; increase access to sustainably grown local food; diverting waste from landfills; and using and distributing water efficiently.
Other suburbs participating in the plans include Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect and Park Ridge.
Third Ward Alderman Sean Oskerka called the resolutions "first steps" toward sustainability. He cited the city's 2014 decision to get drinking water from the Northwest Water Commission rather than Chicago as another earth friendly move, saying it saves both money and water.
Replacing gasoline-powered city vehicles with electric autos could be another progressive step, Oskerka said, as could putting green roofs atop some municipal buildings.