The City of Dallas has joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Performance Track program to reduce total water and energy use. As part of this program, the city plans to reduce total water use at its facilities by nearly 50 million gallons, or 5%, and reduce its total energy use by more than 95 million kilowatt hours, or 13%. The city plans to reduce total non-transportation energy use through energy performance contracting.
“Dallas continues to raise the bar when it comes to environmental stewardship,” said EPA acting regional administrator Larry Starfield. “Not only has it taken a program that delivers real results for the environment and made it a fundamental part of how it operates, but it is also serving as a model for how other cities can do the same.”
Dallas has committed to do the following over the next three years:
Reduce total water use by expanding the water recycling program, continuing the leak detection and repair program, and upgrading irrigation systems and landscapes. In addition, Dallas will use an internal outreach program to improve conservation awareness.
The city will use future savings from increased energy efficiency and energy conservation measures to finance structural upgrades that, over time, will save energy and money. Dallas also requires all municipal facilities over 10,000 square feet to be constructed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The LEED program serves as the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
Reduce total transportation energy use by 10 million kilowatt hours, or 4%, through the use of cleaner fuels and cleaner vehicles, while continuing to grow its fleet of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles.
Increase land and habitat conservation by 61 acres, or 10%, through implementation of the city’s Trail Master Plan. The plan calls for 230 miles of multi-use hike and bike trails at full build out. There are currently eight miles of trails in design, with funding for an additional 10 miles of new trails. The city will also continue to acquire land to put aside for park and trail development.
As a City, we believe in leading by example. So with 800 facilities, we are constantly looking for ways to make our operations greener,” said Mayor Tom Leppert. “We are thrilled the EPA is honoring the City of Dallas for these efforts by accepting us into the Performance Track program.”
Dallas is a pilot city for EPA’s Sustainable Skylines Initiative. Sustainable Skylines involves completing several 3-year projects to reduce air emissions. The initiative is also expected to produce benefits to water and land quality. The success of the Dallas pilot is now serving as a national model for other cities.
Green power purchases help reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide. Dallas is purchasing 40% of its power – nearly 334 million kilowatt-hours – from renewable sources, primarily wind.
“I am extremely proud of our environmental sustainability efforts over the past several years and our ‘Green Team,’” said city manager Mary K. Suhm. “This recognition just goes to show that our efforts are paying off.”
The Performance Track program recognizes and drives environmental excellence by encouraging facilities with strong environmental records to go above and beyond legal requirements. To earn membership, applicants must demonstrate and commit to maintaining a strong record of environmental compliance, set three-year goals for continuous improvements in environmental performance, have internal systems in place to manage environmental impacts, engage in community outreach and consistently report results.
Since the launch of the program, Performance Track membership has grown to 548 members in 49 states and Puerto Rico, and members have set more than 4,000 goals to benefit the environment. As a result, members have reported greenhouse gas reductions of 310,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, reductions in nitrogen oxides of 13,000 tons, and reductions of hazardous waste of 52,000 tons.