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PRESS RELEASE November 09, 2017Contact: Supervisor’s office(631) 283-6055 Connie Conway
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today recognized the Town of Southampton as a model municipality for its actions to strengthen resiliency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In recognition of this achievement, New York designated Southampton as the 16th Certified Climate Smart Community in the State, the second on Long Island. This achievement supports the Governor’s aggressive goals to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by the year 2030 and reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.
New York continues to make significant strides to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and as communities across the state step up to help achieve our nation-leading climate goals, we are laying the foundation for a more resilient, stronger state for generations to come, Governor Cuomo said. “I commend the Town of Southampton for its ongoing efforts to support clean energy initiatives and I encourage all of New York’s municipalities to follow its example.
At a news conference at Southampton Town Hall today, New York State Department of Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos congratulated Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and the Town Board and presented them with two street signs highlighting the Town’s achievement of Climate Smart Communities certification.
Southampton was given the distinction after taking the Climate Smart Communities Pledge and adopting a Sustainability Plan (“Southampton 400+”) as an element of its Comprehensive Plan. DEC Commissioner Seggos said, “I applaud the Town of Southampton for its commitment to preserving natural areas and for reducing greenhouse emissions by improving energy efficiency and shifting to clean energy sources. I congratulate Supervisor Schneiderman, the Town Board, and Town staff on achieving Climate Smart Communities Certification, and I hope other municipalities are inspired by their example.”
The Town of Southampton, a regional leader in sustainable policies and practices, is committed to reducing greenhouse emissions, energy efficiency and shifting to clean, renewable energy sources. The Town’s Sustainability Plan, adopted in 2013, aligns with the Climate Smart Community Program and the Town Board, with input and assistance from the community members of the Southampton Green Committee, has implemented action items ranging from solid waste improvement strategies, water quality improvements, energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as transportation and clean fleet strategies.
Southampton also completed building energy audits for municipal facilities and supports programs like Long Island Green Homes where residents can get a Free Home Energy Audit, rebates, incentives, low interest financing and other assistance to reduce energy use by 30% or more. The Town has partnered with a local nonprofit to launch a “Solarize Southampton” campaign aimed at getting more homes and businesses in one community to go solar. The Solarize Campaign in 2017 resulted in over 1,800 applications for Solar within the Town of Southampton.
Under the initiative of Southampton Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera, the Town is home to the first East Coast municipal park to be certified AGZA Green Zone where routine landscape maintenance is performed using emissions-free manual techniques and electric equipment that draws on New York’s relatively clean power grid. “This program is being emulated by other municipalities around Long Island and the State and we’re proud to have pioneered it here,” said Councilwoman Christine Scalera.
The State has also recognized Southampton’s land-use policies that protect wetlands and Coastal areas, the Pine Barrens and the local aquifer.
In April 2017, the Town was designated a NYSERDA Clean Energy Community-again the second municipality on Long Island to achieve this designation. The Town Board recently set a goal to meet 100% of the community wide electricity consumption needs through renewable energy sources by the year 2025. The Town is currently working with the New York Power Authority for converting 2700 existing Town Street lights to more efficient LED lighting, which has the added benefit of significantly reducing operating costs within the Town.
Southampton, now officially a Climate Smart Community, is poised to continue implementing action items to achieve even greater goals to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourages all other municipalities in New York State to join in showing what is possible with focused effort and community support.
“This designation fits into the plan I have for the Town to achieve 100% renewable sourced electric power by 2025,” said Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “We believe the Town will continue to make great strides to reduce costs and save the environment.”
Governor Cuomo's Press Release