Harrisonburg City Council hears greenhouse gas emissions report

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 10:59 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Tuesday night, Harrisonburg City Council heard a report on the city’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory as part of the Environmental Action Plan.

The report was led by Sean McGinnis, director of the engineering program at Virginia Tech. It collected data from 2016 through 2019. He told council members this report can create a baseline for the city to reflect on in the years to come and track its progress.

“Now that we have a baseline and 2019 data, any stuff that the [Environmental Performance Standards Advisory Committee] takes can be measured in future years to decide which initiatives made big differences and what made small differences,” McGinnis said.

The study analyzed inputs and outputs of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, diesel and gasoline, water and wastewater, and landfill and recycling on both the municipal and community use level.

It showed that K-12 schools are the largest contributor to municipal electricity use at nearly 40%, with Harrisonburg High School accounting for 33%.

Schools are also the largest contributor to municipal natural gas use at nearly 60%.

On the community level, the commercial sector uses the most natural gas, followed by James Madison University, industrial, and then residential.

The council recommended the Environmental Performance Standards Advisory Committee review the emissions report and use it to further the city’s Environmental Action Plan.

For more information on the emissions report, click here to view the Oct. 12 council agenda.

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