The Conservation Committee has been meeting with newly elected Cincinnati City Council members and our new Mayor on a variety of issues. These priorities include:
- Implementing a plastic bag ban and ensuring the city participates in the development of the county-wide Solid Waste Plan including removing organics from the landfill and reducing uncontrolled carbon dioxide, methane releases and odors. Substantive work toward zero waste needs to be part of the plan.
- Set limits on PFOAs and PFAS in municipal drinking water and ban use of forever chemicals. Ensure de-icing compounds are safe.
- Adopting a complete streets policy. “Complete Streets is an approach to planning, designing, building, operating, and maintaining streets that enables safe access for all people who need to use them, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.”
- Accomplishing goals of the current Green Cincinnati Plan and updating and funding the plan.
- Stop virus- and pathogen-laden sewage from backup up into homes, businesses and going into streams and rivers.
- Make it a priority to reduce stormwater entering the MSD system and preventing basement backups.
- Establish an equitable fee for stormwater entering the sewage system, separating stormwater fees from sanitary sewer rates and making the sanitary sewer rates equitable.
- End the city/county conflicts and extensive delays over MSD priorities and having only one governmental agency running the district.
- Establish independent oversight of MSD plans, and greatly increase transparency and civic involvement including review of MSD plans.
- Expediently produce a Phase II plan (long overdue) for the Consent Decree with both public input, transparency and ensure it is approvable by USEPA and meets community needs.
- Replace lead pipes, improve home energy efficiency and incentivize solar installations on homes and businesses.
- Clean energy, fixing sewers, and eliminating waste should all be viewed as job creation opportunities and ensuring training programs for unemployed and underemployed residents will also help improve the economy.
- Equity and environmental justice are key parts of all the above priorities.
We have a very pro-environmental council and Mayor. We are working with this council and mayor to enact much needed equity and action on the above issues. Many thanks to the Political Committee for many years of educating candidates and supporting their election! And thanks to our leaders on these environmental issues whose efforts have made these city priorities. Anyone wishing to join any of these initiatives please email Marie Kocoshis for issue and lobbying work and Gail Lewin for political/electoral work.