By Sydney Boogaard, spring intern
Spring is around the corner and that means it’s time for many of us to get serious about yard and garden work.
Whether you’re making a new landscape plan, planting fruit trees, beautifying with ornamentals, growing veggies, or maintaining a lawn, we invite you to join our #PesticideFreeSLC campaign and pledge to keep the chemicals out of your yard!
You may recall that last November we announced this campaign, which is part of our work with the Healthy Babies Bright Future alliance. Our goal with this partnership is to empower community members to reduce exposures to certain chemicals– beginning with pesticides– that have been found risky and dangerous to babies in the first 1,000 days of life.
This spring, we’re posting regular tips and tricks on when and how to prep your lawn and garden without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Follow along, ask questions, and join us in creating a #PesticideFreeSLC!
Pop-out doors, instant acceleration, electric bikes, autonomous electric ride-share programs. . . the future is exciting when it comes to electrified transportation.
And, in many cases, the future is here. So local governments better get ready!
That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to a new report SLCgreen recently co-produced with Utah Clean Energy.
The Electrified Transportation Roadmap describes 25 steps that local governments can take to accelerate the electric transportation revolution.
The Roadmap outlines how local governments can implement a variety of electric powered modes of transit including electric vehicles (EVs), e-bikes, electric transit, and electrified ridesharing.
Salt Lake City has integrated a number of these best practices into our internal operations, and we’re now working toward more community-scale projects as part of our Climate Positive SLC plan.
As the capital city’s sustainability department, we also believe it’s important to share what we’ve learned with other local governments.
That’s the idea behind the Roadmap—as well as a workshop we organized March 14 with representatives from 16 local governments across the Wasatch Front to talk about best practices and to view EV options from a variety of local dealers. Read more
Vicki Bennett, Sustainability Director (middle) accepts the Innovative Partnership Certificate for the Utah Climate Action Network.
Last week the Climate Leadership Conference recognized eighteen businesses and organizations for their significant efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
The Utah Climate Action Network (UCAN) received an Innovative Partnership Certificate for bringing the public and private sectors together to find solutions for climate issues.
We’re in the final two weeks of Utah’s legislative session, which means we’re in for a wild ride full of twists, turns, and surprises until 11:59 pm on March 8.
SB 136: High Fees on Electric Vehicles and Transit Overhaul
SLCgreen and the Mayor’s Office are following many of the air quality-related bills. In particular, as we alerted you to recently, we are concerned about the high proposed registration fees for electric and hybrid vehicles in SB0136 (though we support the funding mechanisms for more transit).
There have been a number of changes and attempted substitutions with this bill. Unfortunately, as of February 28, the fees for all-electric vehicles remain at $194/year. The fee structure also imposes changes for hybrid electric ($92/year) and plug-in hybrid vehicles ($124/year). Fees are going up on all vehicles. Standard gasoline vehicles will now pay $72/year.
However, the singling-out of clean vehicles is troubling. For those of us who care about clean air, the proposed EV fees are a significant set-back, especially coming the year after the state tax credit for electric vehicles was also rolled back.
Salt Lake City signed on to a coalition letter from Utah Clean Energy with other local governments and businesses opposing the fee. The bill has passed the Senate and now moves to the House. There’s still time to make your voice heard with your state representatives. Find your legislators here.
SB 218: Plastic Bags – Ban the Bans?
Salt Lake City is committed to advancing clean air and one of the most significant ways we can do that is to support the growth of electric vehicles (EVs).
Compared to a new gasoline car, an EV puts out 99% fewer local air pollutants. That makes EVs a big player in our work to clear the air– particularly as our population grows and more vehicles enter our roadways each year.
The good news is that Utahns are buying more and more clean vehicles, but we have a long way to go– these vehicles currently make up less than 0.45% of the market. (This is one reason we don’t want to see high annual registration fees).
One of the ways the City is encouraging the continued growth in EV ownership is by building public charging infrastructure to alleviate “range anxiety.” We currently have 28 public charging ports around the city and are building a couple dozen more this year, including at the Airport!
We’re also excited to let you know that the City Council– on the recommendation of the Administration–voted to waive charging fees, effective immediately.
The $1.00 connection charge and $0.10/kWh fee was put in place last spring to recover the cost for using the station, and to ensure the stations are not being monopolized. We’ll continue to monitor usage and may re-institute the fee at an appropriate time.
But what’s this going to cost you might ask? We estimated an annual financial impact of up to $12,000 in utility costs associated with providing free electricity at existing stations. We also conservatively estimate it will cost $13,000 annually to cover electricity costs at the soon-to-be-unveiled EV stations at the airport.
Salt Lake City received a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality to install the latest round of charging stations– thank you! We’re now happy to continue supporting the expansion of clean vehicles and clean infrastructure in Salt Lake City with free charging.
Do you drive an electric vehicle? Are you on the fence about getting one? Let us know what you think!
CLICK HERE TO SEE STATION LOCATIONS
Do you drive an electric or hybrid vehicle? Do you breathe the air along the Wasatch Front?
If either of those are true, we encourage you to pay attention to the “Transportation Governance Amendments Bill (SB0136)” going through the state legislature.
It is rapidly making its way through the session and, as of February 13, will be heard by the full Senate in the coming days, followed by the House of Representatives.
Overall, we support the bill because of the many good things it would do for funding public transit and road improvements. You can read more via the Salt Lake Tribune.
However, the bill also proposes significant increases in the annual vehicle registration fees for all-electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, which are troubling.
We encourage you to learn about the bill and contact your elected officials if you’re concerned about the high fees proposed on electric vehicles– a stymie to clearing the air– even though the bill offers other positive changes.
For an all-electric vehicle, your annual registration fee would increase from $44 to $194.
For a hybrid, the fee would jump from $44 to $65. For all other vehicles, the fees remain at $44.
It is only electric vehicles that are being targeted for annual increases. Read more
It’s almost spring and that means the return of one of our favorite annual events– the Intermountain Sustainability Summit held at Weber State University from February 28 – March 2! The Summit brings together a wide range of professionals from business, government, non-profits, and education to discuss and envision a sustainable future for our environment, communities, and economy.
Now in its ninth year, the Summit is geared toward engaging students, sustainability practitioners, and the general public in topics such as clean energy infrastructure, green buildings, urban water, and other sustainability topics.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn something new, mix and mingle with other sustainability folk, and come away inspired by the many goings-on in Utah and beyond.
On Wednesday evening, February 28, the summit officially kicks off with a free musical performance from the Crossroads Project, a collaboration of the Fry Street Quartet with climate physicist Dr. Robert Davies.
The performance weaves art and science together through music, prose, and stunning visual imagery — photographs by renowned environmental photographer Garth Lenz and paintings by Rebecca Allan and the quartet’s commission of Rising Tide by American composer Laura Kaminsky.
The evening performance is free and open to all who are 8 years old or older.
We’re also very excited about the rest of the Summit including this year’s keynote speaker, Naomi Oreskes, who will take the stage on the Summit’s main day, March 1.