Frederick County Has Plan To Deal With Climate Change

It calls for elimination of local green house gas emissions by 2050.

Frederick, Md (KM) A Climate and Energy Action Plan has been developed for Frederick County. Shannon Moore, the Director of the Division of Energy and Environment, says the plan was put together to help the county address the affects of climate change. “It includes an assessment of how much we’re emitting from green house gases, and how we’re going to reduce those to acceptable levels,” she says.

Moore says it was put together following a resolution adopted by the County Council in 2020 which  called on the county to address global warming, and reduce local green house gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, and 100 percent no later than 2050.

Some of the recommendations include :”change our electric procurement to clean energy so that we are not using fossil fuels from nations that hate us,” says Moore. “Also, to convert portions of our fleet over to electric vehicles and also to bio-fuels where it’s commercially  viable and affordable.”

Other recommendations call for developing plans to continue operating essential county functions, such as 911 dispatch, with clean energy during power outages.

Moore says there are risks to Frederick County from climate change. One of them is severe storms in a shorter period of time. . “For us, it’s important to be able to address the potential for flooding and making sure we’re preventing open water rescues, that we’re looking at risks to our buildings and to our citizens,” she says.

Frederick County sustained heavy flooding in May, 2018. Former County Executive Jan Gardner said at that  time that some areas which were not prone to high water in the past had flooded.

There’s also the danger for extreme heat. “We’re having three times as many days over 90 degree than we used to; and we’re projected to have upwards of over 100 by 2070,” says Moore. “And that’s kind of hard to contemplate. But that’s what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says is going to happen in Frederick County.”

That will impact people in the county. “Where the heat is going to be and what heat impact is going to be in terms of who’s working outside that could be affected by that,” she says. “People who are living in homes that don’t have don’t have air conditioning and some of the programs we have that serve those folks; and other impacts to our infrastructure by heat.”

By Kevin McManus