February 2, 2022

Environmental committee holds first meeting

Photo from Indianapolis Office of Sustainability.

Photo from Indianapolis Office of Sustainability.

The newly established environmental committee met for the first time this week. 

The Environmental Sustainability Committee was approved by the City-County Council last year. Councilor John Barth (District 7) heads the committee.

“My goal today was to lay a base and to start putting information out there and start that process of really building depth of knowledge and experience for committee members and the future work we’ll be doing,” Barth said.

The meeting provided an update from electric company AES, formerly IPL, on its current integrated resource plan and work to upgrade to more renewable energy.  The company is currently holding a series of public meetings.

The new committee also received an overview of the Thrive Plan, the city’s first action plan to create more resilience and sustainability through areas including energy use, natural resources, food and land use.

Office of Sustainability Director Morgan Mickelson said climate change is making Indianapolis wetter and warmer.

“We’ll see more days over 95 degrees. I’m sure you can all understand what kind of public health risk that is to our residents,” Mickelson said.

More flooding is also expected to impact stormwater infrastructure.

The office says the city is meeting energy benchmarks and plans to reduce greenhouse gas emission.

The next meeting of the committee will discuss greenspace issues in Indianapolis.

Other topics that the new committee is expected to tackle are a lack of a robust recycling program and environmental justice.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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