The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced last week that the Village of Croton-on-Hudson has been certified as a silver-level Climate Smart Community.
The DEC’s announcement makes Croton-on-Hudson one of only seven silver-level communities, and one of only two silver-level villages, in New York State. In order to be certified, every community must show that it has an active climate action task force that includes municipal and citizen representatives.
In Croton-on-Hudson, the Sustainability Committee has served as that task force. To reach silver-level certification, a community must earn 300 points by completing various climate actions.
“We appreciate the DEC’s recognition of our village’s contribution to New York’s environmental efforts. The Croton community has heeded the call to think globally and act locally when it comes to climate change,” said Croton Mayor Brian Pugh. “With the help of the volunteers on the Sustainability Committee, the village has taken 43 specific steps to reduce or mitigate climate change. This includes enrolling in Sustainable Westchester’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program and creating a community solar array on the roof of our Department of Public Works. Thank you to the Sustainability Committee, the village’s professional staff, and local community advocates for making our progress possible.”
“Our new community solar array, installed on the roof of our DPW building by Ecogy Energy, serves 53 local households and prevents the emission of more than 100 metric tons of greenhouse gas – equivalent to taking 33 gas-driven cars off the road. This is just one example of what we can achieve when we work together to protect our common home and build for a sustainable future,” said Lindsay Audin, Chair of the village’s Sustainability Committee.
Started in 2009, the Climate Smart Communities program provides guidance and technical support to local governments to take locally driven climate action. The first step communities take is to register by passing a pledge to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. Currently there are 313 local governments that have passed the Climate Smart Communities pledge, representing more than 8.7 million New Yorkers. The certification program was launched in 2014 to document and celebrate the accomplishments of leading communities. Since 2014, New York State has designated 62 certified Climate Smart Communities.