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Environmental Health


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Environmental resources policies emphasize pursuing partnerships and opportunities for multi-functional open lands. The Canal Importation Ponds and Outfall (CIPO) Drainage Improvement Project, shown above, is an example of such partnership that will reduce flooding risk, improve water quality, and restore and enhance the Red Fox Meadows Natural Area.

VISION

A healthy and sustainable environment:

  • Conservation of resources including energy, water, wildlife, habitat, biodiversity, and other natural resources.
  • Responsible stewardship for open lands and natural areas.
  • A comprehensive and connected system of open lands.
  • Integration of renewable energy and new technologies for the electric grid.
  • Continuous improvements in air quality.
  • Investment to meet the goals of the climate action plan and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Solid waste reduction and diversion and hazardous materials management.
  • Healthy urban watersheds and ongoing best-practices floodplain management.
  • A lasting water supply.
  • Meeting or exceeding standards for stream water quality, drinking water quality, and water reclamation.
  • Local and regional cooperation, coordination, and leadership on environmental matters.

KEY PRINCIPLES

  • Protecting and enhancing natural habitat/ecosystems (wildlife, wetlands, and riparian areas) within the developed landscape of Fort Collins.
  • Conserving, preserving, and protecting open lands and natural areas within Fort Collins, the Growth Management Area.
  • Using open lands to provide a well-defined edge, establish community separators, direct development, and conserve rural character.
  • Pursuing opportunities to provide multi-functional open lands.
  • Reducing net community energy use of existing buildings and homes and for new construction from conventional fossil fuel sources, (e.g., coal, natural gas), by expanding on current efforts and developing new strategies for increased energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.
  • Pursuing efforts to modernize the electric grid to provide a safe, reliable and secure grid, and to allow for integration of smart grid technologies.
  • Continually improving Fort Collins’ air quality.
  • Reducing total mobile source emissions by focusing on both technology (e.g., i.e., tailpipe emissions) and behavior (e.g., i.e. driving patterns).
  • Protecting and improving the air so it is healthy to breathe and free of levels of pollutants that harm human health (and public welfare).
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
  • Planning and integrating strategies to adapt to a changing climate into City operations, and promoting climate adaptation actions in the community.
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We recognize that discarded materials, such as recyclable commodities, reusable products, and organics, can be an economic resource for the community.

  • Providing information and education about waste management including waste reduction, and diversion, and proper disposal.
  • Applying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s integrated “hierarchy” of waste management to help protect all environmental resources, including air, soil, and water, using source reduction as the primary approach.
  • Recognizing that waste discarded materials, such as recyclable commodities, reusable products, and organics, can be an economic resource for the community.
  • Collaborating with other organizations to develop infrastructure that will accommodate larger quantities of waste discarded materials.
  • Acting as a steward of the environment and public health.
  • Minimizing potentially hazardous conditions associated with flooding, recognizing and managing for the preservation of floodplain values, adhering to all City mandated codes, policies, and goals, and complying with all State- and Federally-mandated laws and regulations related to the management of activities in flood-prone areas.
  • Pursuing opportunities to protect and restore the natural function of the community’s urban watersheds and streams, as a key component of minimizing flood risk, reducing urban runoff pollution, and improving the ecological health of urban streams.
  • Developing an integrated stormwater management program that addresses the impacts of urbanization on the City’s urban watershed, including strategies for multi-functional stormwater facilities that support density goals for development and redevelopment at a sub-watershed level.
  • Continuing to meet or exceed customer expectations for drinking water quality, quantity, and reliability, and strongly encouraging water conservation.
  • Continuing to meet or exceed state and federal water quality standards, treatment practices, and procedures that to ensure applicable regulatory standards are achieved.
  • Carefully managing adjacent land uses to ensure that the diverse community values of the Poudre River Corridor are protected and enhanced.
  • Supporting a healthy and resilient Cache la Poudre ecosystem, and protecting, enhancing and restoring the ecological values of the River.
  • Providing enhanced recreation opportunities within the Poudre River Corridor, with an emphasis on scenic values, heritage education, and interpretation while avoiding or minimizing impacts to environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Managing the Poudre River floodplain to minimize potentially hazardous conditions while promoting natural processes associated with flooding, erosion, and channel migration to occur over time as appropriate.
  • Protecting historic landmarks, cultural landscapes, and scenic and aesthetic qualities within the Poudre River Corridor.
  • Collaborating with gravel mining interests to ensure that mining operations are conducted to meet community values and restore ecological function.
  • Encouraging learning and community awareness of the Poudre River’s historic, cultural, and natural heritage through education and interpretation.

PRIORITY ACTIONS

The following is a partial list of implementation actions identified as priorities in the Action Plan. Please refer to the Action Plan for a complete list of implementation actions.

  • Develop a policy that defines the parameters for appropriate agricultural activities on lands managed by the Natural Areas Program.
  • Convene an inter-departmental team to explore new opportunities to partner on acquiring and managing various open lands for multiple uses (e.g., natural areas, recreation, stormwater, trails, agriculture, etc.).
  • Convene and interdepartmental team to watershed to explore and pursue new opportunities to partner on stream restoration, enhancement and water quality projects.
  • Convene an inter-departmental team to explore options for addressing new vehicle types and fuel sources.
  • Adopt the Urban Drainage and Flood Control Rules with an exceptions manual denoting issues specific to Fort Collins.
  • Update the 2003 Water Supply and Demand Management Policy.
  • Form an inter-departmental team to explore and pursue ways to improve access to the Poudre River and improve wayfinding signage.
  • Expand educational campaigns about reducing waste at the source and diverting material from landfill disposal.
  • Develop an assistance program to enable the building industry to achieve higher rates of construction waste diversion.
  • Identify and begin the planning and design process for a “green street” demonstration project.
  • Develop an on-bill financing option for energy efficiency improvements and income-qualified incentives for energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Update the 2008 Climate Action Plan.
  • Update the 2009 Energy Policy.
  • Update the 2004 Land Conservation and Stewardship Master Plan.
  • Consider an ordinance that would amend the pay-as-you-throw system to all commercial customers.
  • Pursue funding opportunities to construct and implement the “green street” demonstration project.
  • Invest in infrastructure to support the use of alternative fuels and/or highly efficient vehicles.
  • Improve street lighting efficiency.

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