Climate Action Commission
@(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- Joseph P. Gill, Director, Prince George's County Department of the Environment, Chair of the Commission
- Stephen Walz, Director, Department of Environmental Programs, Metropolitan Council of Governments (MWCOG)
- Tom Dernoga, County Council Member-District 1
- Rey De Guzman, Chief Engineer, Prince George's County Department of Permitting, Inspection and Enforcement
- Erica S. Bannerman, REP, Manager, Sustainable Energy, Prince George’s County Office of Central Services
- Elizabeth Miller, Chief Engineer Services, Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation
- Evelyn Hoban, Associate Director, Division of Environmental Health/Disease Control Prince George's County Health Department
- Kim Finch, Master Planner, Environmental Planning Section, Countywide Planning, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC)
- Donald Belle, Environmental Outreach Educator- William S. Schmidt Center, Prince George’s County Public Schools
- Mayor Collin A. Bryd, City of Greenbelt, Prince George's County Municipal Association
- Will Ellis, Director of External Affairs, Pepco, Energy Industry (appointed by Chamber of Commerce)
- Scott Lupin, Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Maryland
- Dr. Alan J. Anderson, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences and Associate Professor of Chemistry at Bowie State University
- Dr. Janet Gingold, MD, Prince George’s County Sierra Club, Community Representative, Citizen
- Dr. Hank S. Cole, Ph.D., President, Henry S Cole Environmental Associates, Inc., Community Representative, Citizen
- Gary Allen, Maryland Forestry Foundation, Community Representative, Citizen
- Dr. Ernest Carter, MD, Ph.D., Prince George's County Health Department, Health Officer (Commission Alternate)
- Terry Bellamy, Director, Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (Commission Alternate)
- Andrea Lasker, Chief Engineer Services, Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (Commission Alternate)
- Mayor Bennard J. Cann; Town of Morningside; President, Prince George's County Municipal Association (Commission Alternate)
- Brian Smith, State Government Relations and Public Policy Manager at Washington Gas, Energy Industry (appointed by Chamber of Commerce) (Commission Alternate)
- Dawn Hawkins-Nixon, Associate Director, Sustainability, Prince George's County Department of the Environment (Support Staff)
- Mary Abe, Section Head, Environmental Enhancement Programs, Sustainability, Prince George's County Department of the Environment (Support Staff) @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
What is a climate action plan?
A climate action plan is a comprehensive roadmap to address the challenges of climate change. It outlines the specific activities a community will take to:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
- Respond to the impacts of climate change (strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity),
Why is this plan important? How are communities affected by Climate Change Impacts?
Climate change is happening now. It is not a future issue that can be neatly tabled and considered for possible future action. Climate change has already had observable effects on the environment and our County’s residents. Frequent extreme precipitation events like the recent storm event on September 10, 2020, that unleashed anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of rain in less than two hours on the Hyattsville/Riverdale/ Mount Rainier area of Prince George’s County, will continue. Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come. In 2020, our County had the hottest summer on record for Prince George’s County when we experienced 26 straight days of 90-degree heat or greater.
Every resident in our County needs to understand and prepare because climate change impacts have no geographic boundary. Residents in our more suburban and rural areas of the County will also experience flooded roads and overwhelmed bridges during extreme rain events. Homes and communities which never flooded before may now flood or suffer from higher water tables with constantly wet basements. What is key to understand, this is not solely a County infrastructure capacity issue. This is a regional and nationwide problem. Our nation’s infrastructure was simply not designed or intended to handle these types of extreme events. Fifty years ago, when many of our nation’s bridges, highways, and drainage infrastructure were built or improved, extreme events maybe happened once in a lifetime. With climate change, extreme events could happen every year or even more frequently regardless of where you live. The problem is incredibly complex and troubling with also a direct correlation to health and environmental injustices issues.
Background and Purpose
The Commission’s charge is set forth in Council Resolution CR-07-2020. This legislation established the Prince George’s Climate Action Commission to develop a Climate Action Plan for Prince George’s County to prepare for and build resilience to regional climate change impacts and to set and achieve climate stabilization goals.
The overarching goal of the Commission is to provide actionable County strategies to both mitigate climate change through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and help protect our County’s communities, including the County’s natural resources, from the increasing likelihood of significant climate change impacts.
CR-07-2020 defines the Commission membership and requires that members represent:
- Director of the Department of the Environment to serve as Chair of the Commission;
- Member of the MWCOG appointed by the MWCOG’s Board of Directors;
- One(1) County Council member appointed by the Chair of the Council;
- Director or designee of the Department of Permitting, Inspection and Enforcement (DPIE);
- Director or designee of the Office of Central Services (OCS);
- Director or designee of the Department of Public Works and Transportation;
- County Health Officer or their designee;
- Representative from Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission;
- Representative designated by the Chief Executive Officer of Prince George’s County Public Schools;
- Representative designated by the Prince George's County Municipal Association;
- Representative of the business community affiliated with energy production or transmission designated by the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce;
- Representative of the University of Maryland designated by the President of the University;
- Representative of Bowie State University designated by the President of the University;
- Three (3) representatives affiliated with non-profit environmental and/or social justice organizations in the County, designated by the Chair of the Council;
The primary pillar of most climate action plans has been to focus on the mitigation of greenhouse gases. However, due to growing knowledge that the worst-case scenarios of climate change impacts will most likely become the new reality, as a local government tasked with prioritizing the health and welfare of our communities, the Commission will prioritize community-wide climate adaptation and resiliency strategies to prepare for the worst of climate change. The Climate Action Plan will also recommend local strategies to reduce our community’s own carbon footprint at a local scale to combat climate change.