|GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS REPORT WINS AWARD
Tompkins County received a “Local Climate Protection” award for an
inventory of greenhouse gas emissions completed for the County by intern
Gwen Fay. The award from the International Council for Local Environmental
Initiatives (ICLEI) recognized Fay’s report for its part in tackling pollution
that causes global warming. The “Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report,” published
last September, reports that in 1998 1.2 million tons of emissions – measured
in equivalent carbon dioxide (eCO2) units – were produced in Tompkins County.
Over half (53%) of the community’s emissions are attributable to vehicles.
Commercial energy use, which includes schools and colleges, is the second
largest source of emissions (22%); followed by residential (17%), industrial
(6%), and agricultural (2%) sources. Fay urged the County to continue its
partnership with ICLEI, which provided funding for the project, and to
look at next steps, which could include setting an emissions reduction
target and developing an action plan. Contacts: Dooley Kiefer, Chair, Planning
Committee, 257-7453; Gwen Fay or Mikel Shakarjian, 274-5566.
COUNTY TO ALLOW NATURAL GAS EXPLORATION ON REFORESTRY PARCEL
The Board gave unanimous approval to a measure that will allow testing
for the presence of natural gas and oil on a 100-acre piece of wooded land
the County owns in the Town of Newfield. Phillips Production Company of
Guelph, Ontario will be allowed to conduct one-time seismic testing on
the parcel. The testing will consist of boring holes about five feet deep
and 3 inches in radius, at intervals of 110 feet along a straight line
about one mile long. One-pound charges are placed in the holes. The charges
are set off simultaneously and the very slight seismic vibrations that
result are measured and analyzed. The procedure is conducted by licensed
operators according to existing safety regulations and has minimal impact
on the environment. Other landowners in the area have also given permission
for the testing, which is called a “shot-hole survey.” Contacts: Dooley
Kiefer, Chair, Planning Committee, 257-7453; County Attorney Jonathan Wood,
COUNTY AGREES TO FUND NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM
By a vote of 12-2 (Thomas Todd and Daniel Winch voted no; George Totman
was absent), the Board agreed to appropriate $10,000 ($6,500 from the County’s
contingency fund and $3,500 from state aid and the County Health Department)
for a “harm reduction” program to be administered by AIDS Work of Tompkins
County. The program will provide clean needles to IV drug users. Proponents
stated that such programs help reduce the spread of HIV infection and have
a side benefit of introducing drug users to services that can help them
begin to change their lives. Contacts: Alice Cole, Director, Health Department,
274-6674; AIDS Work of Tompkins County, 272-4098.
CAROLINE TOWN SUPERVISOR ASKS FOR BETTER COMMUNICATION
Town of Caroline Supervisor Don Barber, continuing the series of reports
by town supervisors to the Board, asked the County to make an additional
effort to notify municipal officials of issues that affect the towns they
represent. Barber also proposed a “council of governments” as a way for
all the governments in Tompkins County to explore immediate and long-term
issues together. Contact: Caroline Town Supervisor Don Barber, 539- 6400.
TREES AT END OF RUNWAY TO BE CUT SELECTIVELY
A stand of trees in an aircraft approach path beyond the end of Runway
32 at the Ithaca-Tompkins Regional Airport has exceeded the height limit
set by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Board unanimously approved
a plan to selectively cut or top the trees to bring the heights into compliance.
The work will be done before the Spring nesting season and will leave the
tree cuttings in place. Contact: Barbara Blanchard, Chair, Public Works
Committee, 277-1374; Mikel Shakarjian, Capital Program Coordinator, 274-5566.
Board of Representatives