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7
Oct

Meet Metro Washington Council ED Carlos Jimenez!

Fri Oct 07, 2016 at 04:56:17 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network, Global Green USA

All Washington Metro Sustainability Advocates and Organizations, and Others, are Welcome to Our Monthly Networking Event!

On October 24th at NOON, at the offices of Friends of the Earth/Green Cross International (1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor), join the DC Environmental Network as we welcome Carlos Jimenez, Executive Director of the Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO, to the sustainability communities monthly networking opportunity.

Let us know you would like to join this discussion. RSVP Here!

Background:

Earlier this year, Carlos Jimenez became the new Executive Director of the Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO. He most recently worked as a Field Organizer with Jobs with Justice, additionally serving as their Young Worker Project Coordinator. His past experiences also include time as Student Labor Action Project Coordinator for the U.S. Student Association, and organizer for 1199 SEIU MD/DC.

Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO:

The Metro Washington Council is the voice of working people across the region and plays an important role for the broader American labor movement in our nation’s capital city.

From the website:

“The Metropolitan Washington Council is proud to be at the forefront of this movement, working with nearly 200 affiliated union locals and our community, religious, student and political allies to improve the lives of workers and their families throughout the greater metro Washington area.

Each year, the Council coordinates strategy and organizes demonstrations to support affiliated locals organizing workers or negotiating union contracts; provides emergency services and legal counseling for workers and supports activities on behalf of political candidates who support workers’ issues.

The Council’s affiliates represent over 150,000 area union members in every line of work, from service industries, retail sales and communications to transportation, manufacturing, construction trades and, of course, the public sector at all levels.”

Goal of this networking event:

Over the last decade the DC Environmental Network has worked with the Metro Washington Council to promote sustainability on many fronts. We worked together to support a living wage for District residents; opposed efforts by Walmart to bring their anti-worker, anti-environmental business model to DC; and coordinated together, as best we could, on a number of sustainable, pro-worker, initiatives.

As the principles of sustainability continue to bring the interests of labor and the environment closer together, DCEN wants to engage in more communication and consideration of ways we might coordinate our interests to benefit more District residents in meaningful ways.

This discussion is an opportunity for the sustainability community to get to know the new leadership of the Metro Washington Council, and begin this important discussion.

You must RSVP here to attend the October 24th networking event.

All are welcome.

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9
Jul

DCEN Announcements: July 9, 2016

Sat Jul 09, 2016 at 02:02:23 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Global Green USA

Monday Action: People’s Voice & Transparency Rally!

Hello all,

Yesterday, the director of the DC Environmental Network (DCEN), Chris Weiss, and myself met with Jeremiah Lowery regarding the environmental justice initiatives he is currently spearheading in the District. One of these is an action taking place on Monday, July 11th at Freedom Plaza from 6pm-7pm to demand increased transparency, public accessibility, and accountability from our DC Government.

As the current environmental justice campaigner for DCEN, I believe DCEN and related organization’s participation in events such as this action are necessary. This is true for the success and progression of not only environmental but, also, social justice issues.

Please find the information for the action below.

Hope to you see all there!

Claire McLeod, DCEN Well-Being & Environmental Justice Campaigner

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

When: July 11th 6pm-7pm.

Who: DC for Democracy, Community Groups, Church Groups and General Public

Where: Freedom Plaza

What:  Have you ever been slighted or disappointed by the DC Government’s closed door process when it comes to making laws and public policy?

From fast tracking the DC Constitution to no transparency in lead in school water data, to not allowing adequate and timely input into no-bid development or contract process, from refusing to give timely notice of public hearings or votes to publishing the Council budget the day before the public hearing, the DC Government suffers from a Democracy Deficit.

Therefore, as this Council session closes and a new one is set to begin, we want to send a message that the closed door, no public input nature of government has to end. When the council comes back into session in Sept. we want them to commit to close the Democracy Deficit by:

► Opening the government to community voices by giving timely notification of hearings, votes, and budgets, and make a regular practice of hearings in the communit-Ensuring legal, open, proper bidding processes on all contracts, with adequate oversight by the Council.

► Reforming the District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act to allow for more transparency, not less

► Committing to create a new constitution through a proper and legitimate process.

► End Pay-to-Play in DC

If you want to contribute to our list of demands Click HERE . Invite Friends on Facebook by Clicking HERE This effort is fully supported by the DC Environmental Network and we hope you can join us Monday.

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DCEN Report: Sierra Club Composting Facility Tour!

[Photo by Jim Dougherty / Center: Jonathan Schuster, DCEN Zero Waste Campaigner, represented the DC Environmental Network on the tour]

On June 30th, I represented the DC Environmental Network at a Sierra Club sponsored tour of the Prince George’s County Western Branch Composting Facility in Upper Marlboro, MD.

The tour, led by Steven Birchfield, Site Supervisor, explained how composting plays an important part in the circular economy. The bulk of the material composted at the facility is yard waste, primarily leaves and grass, which is placed in large windrows — long “mountains” of yard waste, food scraps, and mulch which, when mixed, compost rapidly and effectively.

The facility is also the only composting center in MD to pilot the use of Gore-Tex in composting. To achieve this, a larger than usual pile of yard waste and food scraps are combined, covered by Gore-Tex (a waterproof, breathable membrane), and the oxygen and temperature levels monitored. Gore-Tex composting take only about half of the time of traditional composting and results in a final product which is significantly more nitrogen and phosphorus dense than compost produced by typical windrows.

The Western Branch Composting Facility, under the management of the Maryland Environmental Service, produces and sells compost under the trade-name “Leafgro”. Leafgro is a nutrient-rich and fully-organic compost made of yard waste which otherwise would have simply gone to a landfill. By composting at Western Branch, what would have simply been waste is converted into a sustainable value-added product which contributes to a reduced environmental impact from an everyday product like yard waste and food scraps.

Jonathan Schuster, DCEN Zero Waste Campaigner

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DCEN Report: DC Attorney General Karl Racine Visits DCEN

On June 8th at NOON, the DC Environmental Network, and other environmental organizations and activists, held our monthly networking opportunity featuring, Karl A. Racine, the District’s first elected Attorney General. This event was held at the NEW offices of Friends of the Earth & Green Cross International, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

You can watch his presentation here!

Participants included representatives from Green Cross International, Global Green USA (DCEN), Office of the People’s Counsel, NRDC, Greenpeace, DC Water, Amalgamated Bank, EESI, Just Electric Transportation, MWCOG, ABC Birds, Earthjustice and other individuals and sustainability advocates.

The purpose of the June 8th DCEN networking event was to continue this discussion, and, now that the AG’s office has had a year to get organized, work to create better structures and a stronger focus, within the AG’s office, towards protecting and defending the sustainability interests of the District.

AG Racine gave an overview of some of the issues the office faced the last 12 months and committed to convening stakeholder meetings to discuss issues of common concern with the sustainability community.

We hope to schedule the first Office of Attorney General stakeholder meeting sometime in August.

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28
Jun

Council Passes Sustainable Clean Energy Bill!

Tue Jun 28, 2016 at 03:03:00 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network, Global Green USA

Thank You DC Council 2016 b

Just moments ago, the District of Columbia Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 21-650, the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Act of 2016. This bill does a number of important things including raising the District’s renewable energy targets from 20% by 2020, to 50% by 2032, a significant and meaningful increase.

Additionally, the bill’s Solar for All program supports ongoing efforts of the DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), to bring clean and affordable energy to those that need it the most. It does this by requiring DOEE to develop and implement a plan to reduce the electric bills of 100,000 low income District households with high energy burdens by half by 2032. The net impact of this requirement will be increased utilization of solar energy to help families stay in their homes and use their income for other important essentials.

This bill is the embodiment of a public policy that aggressively embraces sustainability principles that strive to protect the economic and environmental wellbeing of low income residents.

The DC Environmental Network urges Mayor Bowser to sign the bill ASAP!

 

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25
May

DCEN Action! Time Remains to Comment on Bills!

Wed May 25, 2016 at 02:35:45 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

DC Council Holds Public Hearing on Clean Energy Bill!

[Telana Felder, Southern Homes and Gardens Cooperative, testified in support of the clean energy bill, and shared how solar power, installed in her community, helped low income residents save money.]

The DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment, led by Chairperson Mary Cheh, held a very successful Public Hearing on Bill 21-650, the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Act of 2016. This important legislation would increase the District’s renewable energy targets and create a “Solar for All” program that would put free solar panels on the roofs of low-income homeowners.

The DC Environmental Network and Global Green USA, testified in support of the bill.  We were joined by the Capital Area Food Bank, Southern Homes and Gardens Cooperative, DC Working Families, Amalgamated Bank, MDV-Solar Energy Industry Association, Grid Alternatives, Standard Solar, DC Sun, Nixon Peabody, Kenergy Solar, Cesar Chavez School, Direct Energy Solar, Interfaith Power & Light, Moms Clean Air Force, U.S. Climate Action Network, Wentworth Green Strategies, DC Sierra Club, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and others.

[Committee Chair Cheh, and Councilmember’s Silverman and Allen, stayed for the entire 5 hour hearing.]

You still have time to submit comments:

If you are unable to testify in person, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be submitted to Ms. Aukima Benjamin, staff assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 108, Washington, D.C. 20004. They may also be e-mailed to abenjamin@dccouncil.us or faxed to (202) 724-8118.

The record will close at the end of the business day on May 26, 2016.

DCEN Supports a $15.00/Minimum Wage!

The DC Environmental Network has supported Living Wage and Minimum Wage legislation for over ten years. We believe that fair wages, that give District families a shot at living comfortable lives, is a major sustainability issue, and in the end, is complimentary to other priorities like clean water and clean and affordable energy.

We generally support the basic concept of Mayor Bowser’s “Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016” of ramping up the minimum wage to $15/hour and consumer price index adjustments over time,  but would also like to see tipped workers included into the mix. We are currently finalizing our testimony but wanted to pitch to all of you that it is important for all of us to comment on this important policy.

– Here is some helpful information: Bill Language & Hearing Notice.

– Working Families Party Hearing Guide!

– Useful links from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute that speak to “general” benefits of minimum wage increases:

Jobs in Retail and Food Service Grew in the First Year of DC’s Minimum Wage Increase.

Latest DC Minimum Wage Increase Helping Improve Families’ Security. 

DC’s Minimum Wage Increase Will Help Thousands of Residents Make Ends Meet.

Send in Testimony Today!

If you are unable to testify at the public hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. The official record will remain open until close of business Friday, May 27, 2016. Copies of written statements should be submitted to the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs, Council of the District of Columbia, Suite 119 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004.

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19
May

DC Attorney General Karl Racine One Year Update!

Thu May 19, 2016 at 04:18:42 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

Racine_Alternative_Inf_Block b

On June 8th at NOON, join the DC Environmental Network, and other environmental organizations and activists, for our monthly networking opportunity.

Our briefing and discussion will feature, Karl A. Racine, the District’s first elected Attorney General. This event will be held at the NEW offices of Friends of the Earth & Green Cross International, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

RSVP here to attend! The District needs your participation.

Background:

Just under one year ago the DC Environmental Network invited the District’s first elected Attorney General, Karl Racine, to come to our monthly meeting, to discuss how the Office of Attorney General can do more to protect District residents, and our continuously threatened natural resources.

It was a very positive and constructive meeting with about 42 DCEN participants, including representatives from Earthjustice, University of the District of Columbia, Sierra Club (DC Chapter), DC Public Service Commission, DOEE, Groundswell, Office of the People’s Counsel, IMG Rebel, Global Green USA, Friends of the Earth, Green Cross International, Potomac Riverkeeper Network, Restore McMillan, Pathways DC, and others.

You can watch the 2015 video presentation here!

DCEN came prepared to propose a number of recommendations, including, following in the footsteps of California and New York, creating an Environmental Protection Bureau within the AG’s offices. During the presentation, Attorney General Racine stated, “Does the AG have the ability to set up a DC Environmental Protection Bureau? …I think the answer is, in the absence of a statutory bar, why not?” Attorney General Racine also suggested, “I think what we might do is…develop a working group, with the environmental activists, were we can identify certain priorities…”

All in all, it was a great start to an important conversation.

The purpose of the June 8th DCEN networking event is to continue this discussion, and, now that the AG’s office has had a year to get organized, work to create better structures and a stronger focus, within the AG’s office, towards protecting and defending the sustainability interests of the District.

You must RSVP here to attend.

Hope you can join us. All are welcome.

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13
May

Yes, We Still Have Time to Stop Exelon!

Fri May 13, 2016 at 03:52:12 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

Time for one more action to help low-income residents in the District!

May 13, 2015

DC Environmental Network:

Take Time Now Final Web GraphicIs your electricity bill too LOW? Of course not.

But if we don’t keep fighting the attempted takeover of Pepco, we’ll all be paying more to prop up Chicago-based Exelon’s failing nuclear business.

We’re taking the fight against Exelon back to the agency that bizarrely flip-flopped on itself in approving the takeover last month.

Even if you’ve taken action before, I have to ask you again: Tell the D.C. Public Service Commission to stop Exelon.

In reversing its TWO earlier rejections of the takeover, the commission broke its own rules, abandoned its well-founded opposition to the takeover, and dismissed the objections of District residents and officials.

Our allies, Public Citizen, DC SUN and Grid 2.0 have launched a formal challenge against the takeover approval.

And they are not alone.

The D.C. attorney general and the District’s chief consumer advocate are also calling on the commission to do the right thing.

Add your voice — again — to those calling on the D.C. Public Service Commission to reject Exelon’s takeover bid once and for all.

This has been a long fight, and we’ve asked a lot of you.

But local control of our utility, affordable electricity and a path to sustainable energy are all worth fighting for.

Sincerely,

Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

 

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10
May

DCEN Clean River Leader’s Report & Video!

Tue May 10, 2016 at 03:37:00 PM EST

By Chris Weiss, ED, DCEN

[Panel, LEFT to Right: Brent Blackwelder, Brent Bolin, Jennifer Chavez, Emily Franc, and James Foster]

DC Environmental Network:

I wish all of you had been able to join us last Thursday to hear from some of the best clean river advocates in DC.

I think we sometimes forget what talent and passion our fellow Washington Metropolitan region advocates have and bring to their jobs each day.

We had a number of organizations (and others) represented, who all play a role in clean water issues, including the DC Environmental Network, Global Green USA, Green Cross International, Earthjustice, Clean Water Action, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Potomac Riverkeeper, American Rivers, Anacostia Watershed Society, Center for Biological Diversity, City Wildlife, Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, District Department of Energy & Environment, Friends of the Earth, to name a few.

It’s not as good as being in the room, but I thought I would share some special quotes, and videos, so you can spend a little time learning from some of the regions very best.

Bottom line is we have a lot of work to do to restore our rivers from past and current harms. We also need to put the plans and commitment in place, to protect our waterways, as they are threatened from the future challenges that the growth of humanity will no doubt bring our way.

Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

Jennifer Chavez, Earthjustice

Watch Jennifer’s presentation.

Brent Blackwelder, Potomac Riverkeeper Network

Watch Brent’s presentation.

Brent Bolin, Clean Water Action

Watch Brent’s presentation.

James Foster, Anacostia Watershed Society

Watch Jim’s presentation.

Emily Franc, Anacostia Riverkeeper

Watch Emily’s presentation.

Hope you enjoy and are inspired by their great work on behalf of all of us.

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4
May

DCEN Announcements: May 4, 2016

Wed May 04, 2016 at 02:40:17 PM EST

By Chris Weiss, Director, Global Green USA, Washington DC Office

RPS HEARING NOTICE 2017

DCEN Networking, Advocacy & Education!

[Grid Modernization Panel, March 3, 2016]

In the last few months the DC Environmental Network organized two climate related events. We had over 70 organizations and sustainability advocates, participate in these networking, advocacy, and learning opportunities.

On March 3rd, DCEN and DC Climate Action, held a panel discussion on, “Addressing Climate Challenges through Grid Modernization.”

VIDEO LINKS & POWERPOINT for Panelists:

Click Here for the main PowerPoint for all three presentations.

Edward Yim, D.C. Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE): Associate Director, DOEE Energy Administration
Click Here to see Edwards Video!
Nina Dodge, DC Climate Action (DCCA): Chair, DCCA Energy and Utilities Committee
Click Here to see Nina’s Video!
Joe Paladino, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): Senior Advisor, DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
Click Here to see Joe’s Video!

[Climate Adaptation Panel, April 7, 2016]

On April 7th, DCEN and the District Department of Energy & Environment, held a panel discussion on the “DC Climate Adaptation Plan & Global Adaptation Initiatives.”

VIDEO LINKS & POWERPOINT for Panelists:

Kate Johnson, Climate Programs Analyst, District Department of Energy & Environment
Brendan Shane, Regional Director for North America, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

Watch Kate & Brendan’s Video! / Kate’s PowerPoint / Brendan’s PowerPoint

Congratulations and great appreciation for our talented panelists. Apologies we did not share these presentation resources earlier. A lot going on this year!

DCEN Clean Rivers Event – Tomorrow @ Noon!

Tomorrow at NOON, at the offices of Friends of the Earth (1101 15th Street, 11th Floor), join the DC Environmental Network, Global Green USA, Earthjustice, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Anacostia Watershed Society, Potomac Riverkeeper, and many other DC river focused organizations and activists to celebrate the success of advocay and to learn what still needs to be done.

This conversation will be held at the NEW offices of Friends of the Earth & Green Cross International, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

Our Clean River Panelists:

  • Brent Blackwelder, Founder, DC Environmental Network; President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth; Founding Boardmember, American Rivers (1973); and current Boardmember, Potomac Riverkeeper Network
  • Brent Bolin, Chesapeake Regional Director, Clean Water Action
  • Jennifer Chavez, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice
  • James Foster, President, Anacostia Watershed Society
  • Emily Franc, Anacostia Riverkeeper
  • Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network, Director, Washington, DC Office, Global Green USA (Moderator)

You must RSVP here to participate in this clean river conversation.

Hope to see you tomorrow.

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2
May

DC Clean River Leaders Briefing 2016

Mon May 02, 2016 at 02:25:36 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Global Green USA

Some of the Key Organizations and People, Who Are Leading Education and Advocacy Efforts, to Protect Our Rivers in the Washington Metro Region!

This Thursday at NOON, at the offices of Friends of the Earth (1101 15th Street, 11th Floor), join the DC Environmental Network, Global Green USA, Earthjustice, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Anacostia Watershed Society, Potomac Riverkeeper, and many other DC river focused organizations and activists to celebrate the success of advocay and to learn what still needs to be done.

Background:

The health of the Anacostia River, Potomac River and Rock Creek, and the quality of our lives, and sustainability of our economy, are intimately connected. There are a number of DC based organizations that have passionately led local and regional efforts to represent the interests of our rivers, its wildlife, and the people who live near its banks. These groups have been actively working on clean water issues long before government and corporations decided that river restoration was good for voters and for business.  Join us as a number of key organizations share highlights, through pictures and words, of their current work and vision for the future.

PANEL UPDATE: Brent Blackwelder, Founder, DC Environmental Network; President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth; Founding Boardmember, American Rivers (1973); and current Boardmember, Potomac Riverkeeper Network, will be joining the panel. He will share his perspective after decades of working on clean river issues at the local, national, and international level.

You must RSVP here to attend.

This conversation will be held at the NEW offices of Friends of the Earth & Green Cross International, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

Our Clean River Panelists:

  • Brent Blackwelder, Founder, DC Environmental Network; President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth; Founding Boardmember, American Rivers (1973); and current Boardmember, Potomac Riverkeeper Network
  • Brent Bolin, Chesapeake Regional Director, Clean Water Action
  • Jennifer Chavez, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice
  • James Foster, President, Anacostia Watershed Society
  • Emily Franc, Anacostia Riverkeeper
  • Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network, Director, Washington, DC Office, Global Green USA (Moderator)

You must RSVP here to participate in this clean river conversation. 

Hope to see you on May 5th.

 

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30
Apr

DCEN Budget Priorities for DC FY 2017

Sat Apr 30, 2016 at 02:08:19 PM EST

By Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DCEN

The DC Environmental Network (DCEN) Sends Priority Budget Recommendations to DC Council Environment Committee.

This has been a busy budget season for DCEN and the sustainability community:

– The DC Environmental Network (DCEN)DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI), DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), and DC Department of Public Works (DPW), held joint budget briefings to prepare for DC Council hearings.

– The DC Environmental Network participated in both the DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), and, DC Department of Public Works (DPW), Budget Oversight Hearings!

[Picture: DOEE Director Tommy Wells testifies before DC Council Committee on Transportation and Environment, at budget oversight hearing.]

At these events, DCEN expressed support for funding important poverty, wildlife, recycling, and climate programs that the two agencies play an important role in.

Read DCEN’s Testimony & Budget Letter

DCEN TESTIMONY: Council of the District of Columbia, Committee on Transportation & the Environment, Budget Oversight Hearing: District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), April 12, 2016, CLICK HERE!

DCEN TESTIMONY: Council of the District of Columbia, Committee on Transportation & the Environment, Budget Oversight Hearing: District Department of Public Works (DPW), April 14, 2016, CLICK HERE!

DCEN BUDGET LETTER: DCEN FY17 Budget Letter with Recommendations to the Committee on Transportation and Environment. (CLICK HERE):

More to come.

 

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24
Apr

DCEN Announcements: April 24, 2016

Sun Apr 24, 2016 at 11:31:13 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network, Global Green USA

Zero Waste , Pay As You Throw, Training Video!

[DPW Director Shorter (right) and Office of Waste Diversion Staff, participated in this briefing.]

On April 13th, the DC Environmental Network, spearheaded by Global Green USA, organized a Zero Waste training on Pay As You Throw (PAYT), a usage pricing model for disposing of municipal solid waste, that could help District ratepayers save money, reduce green-house gas emissions, and increase DC per capita recycling rates.

This special training was co-sponsored by Green Cross International and the Zero Waste Committee of the Sierra Club, Washington, DC Chapter.

Participants included representatives from the DC Department of Public Works (DPW, Office of Waste Diversion), DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), Council of the District of Columbia, City of Alexandria, National Recycling Coalition, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Alice Ferguson Foundation, Just Economics LLC, Community Research (Zero Waste PG), Northstar Sierra Club, Optoro, Building Materials Reuse Association, Energy Justice Network, Sierra Club (DC & Prince Georges County Chapters), Green Cross International, DC Environmental Network (Global Green USA), and other zero waste advocates.

We greatly appreciated DPW Director Chris Shorter, and Annie White, Manager of the Office of Waste Diversion, for participating in the entire four-hour program.

You can watch DCEN video of the three main presentations:

Jan Canterbury, Former US EPA Project Manager on the “Climate & Waste Connection & Pay As You Throw (PAYT)”

► Watch Jan’s Presentation Here!

► Jan’s PowerPoint Presentation.

Bob Moylan, Former Commissioner of the Worcester, MA, Department of Public Works on “Implementation of PAYT in Worcester, MA”

► Watch Bob’s Presentation Here!

► Bob’s PowerPoint Presentation.

Kristen Brown, Vice President of Municipal Partnerships, Waste Zero, on “Reaching Zero Waste [with PAYT]: A Capital Example”

► Watch Kristen’s Presentation Here!

► Kristen’s PowerPoint Presentation.

The initial feedback for this training was very positive. We believe the District has the potential to make great strides towards becoming a zero waste city. Contact DCEN if you want to join our zero waste campaign to make the District the highest, per capita, recycler in the region.

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DCEN Participates in DC Council Committee, DOEE & DPW, Budget Hearings!

[Committee on Transportation & the Environment Chair, Mary Cheh, and Legislative Director, Nicole Rentz, at the DOEE Budget Hearing.]

The DC Environmental Network participated in both the DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), and, DC Department of Public Works (DPW), Budget Oversight Hearings!

The DC Environmental Network (DCEN), DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI), DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), and DC Department of Public Works (DPW), held joint budget briefings to prepare for these two hearings.

DCEN expressed support for funding important poverty, wildlife, recycling, and climate programs that the two agencies play an important role in.

Read DCEN’s testimony:

► Council of the District of Columbia, Committee on Transportation & the Environment, Budget Oversight Hearing: District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), April 12, 2016, CLICK HERE!

► Council of the District of Columbia, Committee on Transportation & the Environment, Budget Oversight Hearing: District Department of Public Works (DPW), April 14, 2016, CLICK HERE!

With the information we collected at the budget briefings and hearings, we will be sending out a final budget letter to the DC Council Committee on Transportation & the Environment, with our final recommendations, later this week.

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DCEN Well-Being (Happiness) Index Briefing Video!

[Dr. Carol Graham at the DC Environmental Network’s Briefing on the New Science of Well-Being.]

On February 4th, the DC Environmental Network held a very interesting briefing, “Beyond GNP? What the New “Science” of Well-Being Can Contribute to Economics and to Policy.”

This briefing was given by the very talented Brookings Institution economist, Carol Graham, who is the Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow in Global Economy and Development, at the Brookings Institution, & Professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

► Watch Carol’s Presentation Here!

► Carol’s PowerPoint Presentation.

This was the first salvo of a new DCEN initiative to follow in the footsteps of the City of Santa Monica, and develop our very own well-being index project in the District of Columbia.

We will be sponsoring a number of summer webinars on this topic for anyone interested in learning more about what this could mean to economics and public policy in the District and surrounding region. Come join our campaign!

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DCEN’s May Networking Event is Coming Soon!

Come Meet the Organizations and People Who Are Leading Education and Advocacy Efforts to Protect Our Rivers in the Washington Metro Region!

On May 5th at Noon, join the DC Environmental Network, and some of the most active river advocacy organizations in the region, as they share highlights, through pictures and words, of their current work and their vision for how District rivers and creeks will be a more central component in all of our lives looking forward.

This conversation will occur at the NEW offices of Friends of the Earth & Green Cross International, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor. RSVP HERE.

Our River Leader Panelists:

  • Brent Bolin, Chesapeake Regional Director, Clean Water Action 
  • Jennifer Chavez, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice
  • James Foster, President, Anacostia Watershed Society
  • Emily Franc, Anacostia Riverkeeper
  • Rebecca Hammer, Staff Attorney, Water Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network, Director, Washington, DC Office,Global Green USA

You must RSVP here to participate in this clean river conversation.

Hope to see you on May 5th.

 

Comments (0)

17
Apr

DC Clean River Leaders Networking Event!

Sun Apr 17, 2016 at 12:47:17 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Global Green USA

Join DCEN, and Some of the Organizations and People Who Are Leading Education and Advocacy Efforts to Protect Our Rivers, for our Monthly Networking Opportunity.

The health of the Anacostia River, Potomac River and Rock Creek, and the quality of our lives, and sustainability of our economy, are intimately connected.

There are a number of DC based organizations that have passionately led local and regional efforts to represent the interests of our rivers, its wildlife, and the people who live near its banks.

These groups have been actively working on clean water issues long before government and corporations decided that river restoration was good for voters and for business.

On May 5th at Noon, join the DC Environmental Network, and five of the most active river advocacy organizations in the region, as they give participants highlights, through pictures and words, of their current work and vision for the future. You must RSVP here to attend.

This conversation will be held at the NEW offices of Friends of the Earth & Green Cross International, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

Our Clean River Leaders Panelists:

You must RSVP here to participate in this clean river conversation. 

Hope to see you on May 5th.

 

Comments (0)

2
Apr

DCEN Pay-As-You-Throw Training!

Sat Apr 02, 2016 at 07:17:57 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

Mark your calendars. DCEN Notice of a special 1/2 day zero waste training:

On April 13th, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM, join the DC Environmental Network, Green Cross International, Global Green USA, and Sierra Club, Washington, DC Chapter for a special training on Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT).

This event will be held at the offices of Friends of the Earth and Green Cross International, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

You must RSVP here to attend. (PLEASE NOTE: We are limiting participation to 30-40 participants. Priority will be given to organizations and activists that are actively engaged in zero waste advocacy and recycling activities; Executive and Legislative branch representatives; and others involved in zero waste, recycling initiatives. If interested, RSVP, and we will confirm your participation.)

Our preliminary agenda:

8:30 – Light Breakfast & Networking (Breakfast compliments of Green Cross International and Sierra Club, Washington, DC Chapter)

9:00 – Overview & Introductions (Chris Weiss)

9:15 – PANEL 1: 

– Jan Canterbury, Former US EPA PAYT Project Manager. Jan will present on “PAYT and the Climate Waste Connection.” As someone who played a large role in helping the PAYT movement, resulting in over 7000 municipalities adopting PAYT, she will share some large picture perspectives to participants.

This will be followed by a question and comment opportunity.

10:30 – PANEL 2:

– Bob Moylan, Former Commissioner of the Worcester, MA, Department of Public Works. Bob will present on the “Successful Implementation of PAYT in Worcester, MA.” He will share hands-on details about how he led efforts to design Worcester’s PAYT program, designed and implemented a messaging campaign, and developed workable enforcement guidelines.

– Kristen Brown, Vice-President Municipal Partnerships, Waste Zero. Kristen will present on “How Might We Design PAYT in the District?” Kristen has helped numerous municipalities design and implement PAYT programs that make sense.

This will be followed by a question and comment opportunity.

12:00 – 12:30  Final Comments, Networking, and end of training.

You must RSVP here to attend. (You will be contacted with a confirmation of your participation.)  

Definition of PAYT taken from Wikepedia:

“Pay as you throw (PAYT) (also called trash metering, unit pricing, variable rate pricing, or user-pay) is a usage-pricing model for disposing of municipal solid waste. Users are charged a rate based on how much waste they present for collection to the municipality or local authority.

A variety of models exist depending on the region and municipality. Waste is measured by weight or size while units are identified using different types of bags, tags, containers or even RFID. Services for waste diversion, like recycling and composting, are often provided free of charge where PAYT systems are implemented.”

 

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2
Apr

DOEE Public Briefing on DC FY2017 Budget!

Sat Apr 02, 2016 at 03:35:05 PM EST

By Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

On Monday, April 4th, at 5:30 PM, the DC Environmental Network (DCEN), DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI), and District Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), will be holding a special briefing on DOEE’s FY2017 (agency) Budget. This briefing will be held at DOEE’s offices.

RSVP here to attend this important budget briefing.

This is a special opportunity for sustainability advocates and others, to learn about DOEE’s funding priorities, and other associated budget issues.

Soon after, on April 12th, the DC Council will hold a hearing on Mayor Bowser’s proposed DOEE (agency) budget. This is a great advocacy opportunity to testify on elements of the budget you like or do not like, and things that are not included at all.

Background: 

In 1998, the DC Environmental Network established the goal, in its 1998 environmental agenda, of creating an agency to focus on the key environmental issues of our time. After the passage of the “District Department of the Environment Establishment Act of 2005,” the agency officially came into being in February of 2006. More than any other agency, the District Department of Energy and the Environment’s activities intersect with much of the agenda of the District’s sustainability community. Making sure that Mayor Bowser’s proposed budget for DOEE supports important sustainability goals is key to making the District an environmental leader. DCEN encourages all interested organizations and individuals, to participate as much as possible, in the District’s budget process, and hope to see you at this budget briefing.

RSVP here to attend this important budget briefing.

Background Information on the Primary Functions of the Department of Energy & Environment (Taken from the FY 2017 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan):

Department of Energy & Environment Mission:

Department of Energy & Environment Summary of Services:

Important links to learn more about the District’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget and budget process:

Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget and Financial Plan

Section of Budget that Includes Department of Energy & Environment

DC Fiscal Policy Institute’s Budget Tool Kit

If you have any questions, contact the DC Environmental Network at 202-380-3440 or cweiss@dcen.net.

 

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28
Mar

DC Public Works FY17 Budget Briefing

Mon Mar 28, 2016 at 05:45:25 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

On Tuesday, April 5th, at 1:00 PM, the DC Environmental Network (DCEN), DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI), and District Department of Public Works (DPW), will be holding a special briefing on DPW’s FY2017 (agency) Budget.

RSVP here to attend this important budget briefing.

This is a special opportunity for sustainability advocates and others, to learn about DPW’s funding priorities, and other associated budget issues.

Soon after, on April 14th, the DC Council will hold a hearing on Mayor Bowser’s proposed DPW (agency) budget. This is a great advocacy opportunity to testify on elements of the budget you like or do not like, and things that are not included at all.

This briefing is of particular importance to the DC Environmental Network, and other zero waste focused organizations and advocates, because DPW’s Office of Waste Diversion, is and will be, a critical component of efforts to implement more effective waste diversion strategies and help move the District towards being a recycling leader in the region.

[DCEN is working on scheduling a budget briefing, focused on the agency budget of the District Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), sometime soon.]

RSVP here to attend this important budget briefing.

Background Information on the Primary Functions of the Department of Public Works (Taken from the FY 2017 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan):

Department of Public Works Mission:

Department of Public Works Summary of Services:

Solid Waste Management Division Responsibilities:

Important links to learn more about the District’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget and budget process:

Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget and Financial Plan

Section of Budget that Includes Department of Public Works Information

DC Fiscal Policy Institute’s Budget Tool Kit

If you have any questions, contact the DC Environmental Network at 202-380-3440 or cweiss@dcen.net.

 

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27
Mar

Climate Change in DC…What Can We Do?

Sun Mar 27, 2016 at 05:46:48 PM EST

by DC Environmental Network

DCEN April Networking Event: Briefing/Discussion on District DRAFT Climate Adaptation Plan.

Do you want to learn what climate change means for the District of Columbia? Do you have ideas for how DC can prepare for hotter temperatures, more severe storms, and rising tides?  As part of the District’s Climate Change Adaptation Planning, DOEE has been assessing these risks and has proposed solutions to help us prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. Come to a DCEN meeting to learn how climate change may impact your neighborhood and provide input on the draft plan for a Climate Ready DC.

Mark your calendar. On Thursday, April 7th at NOON, join the DC Environmental Network (DCEN) for our monthly networking event featuring a briefing and open conversation about the DC DRAFT Climate Adaption Plan.

You must RSVP here to attend this special program.

The District Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) has generously made themselves available to us, as part of extensive public outreach efforts, to give DCEN participants a chance to give advice, and share our thoughts, on what will become the final plan. We also hope to learn about what other U.S. and international cities are doing.

The event will be held at the offices of Green Cross International and Friends of the Earth, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

Our panelists include:

  • Kate Johnson, Climate Programs Analyst, District Department of Energy & Environment
  • Brendan Shane, Regional Director for North America, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
  • Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network (DCEN), Global Green USA – Moderator

You must RSVP here to attend this special program.

All are welcome!

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10
Mar

DCEN ANNOUNCEMENTS: March 10, 2016

Thu Mar 10, 2016 at 05:54:25 PM EST

by DC Environmental Network

  • DCEN Participates in Committee Chair Mary Cheh’s DPW Performance Oversight and Director Confirmation Hearing.

[March 7, 2016, Chris Shorter, Acting Director, Department of Public Works Testifies before DC Council Committee] 

The DC Environmental Network (DCEN) participated in both the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment’s Public Oversight Hearing on the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Public Roundtable on the Confirmation of Christopher Shorter as DPW’s Director.

See Witness List here.

DCEN testified in favor of the confirmation of Christopher Shorter as DPW Director. Even in the short time Shorter served as “Acting” Director, DCEN sensed a meaningful, positive shift towards embracing transparency and zero waste recycling policies. Early on Shorter institutionalized quarterly zero waste stakeholder meetings with the new Office of Waste Diversion. Many in the local zero waste movement participated in the inaugural meeting in January.

You can read DCEN’s testimony here.

DCEN is working to generate more support for Acting Director Shorter’s confirmation. You can send statements of support to Aukima Benjamin at abenjamin@dccouncil.us . The record closes March 18th.

  • There’s still time: Tell Mayor Bowser to stop the Exelon deal!

DC Environmental Network:

Exelon is losing and D.C. residents are winning.

On Monday, Exelon and Pepco made a last-ditch attempt to save their failing deal with a new offer. Importantly, the companies were unable to get any of the settling parties, including Mayor Bowser, to agree to their new scheme.

Tell Mayor Bowser it’s time to end this deal for good.

D.C. residents are ready to unify around our shared goals of affordable rates, reliability, and sustainable energy. We can’t do this until Exelon leaves the picture.

Add your voice to the chorus of D.C. residents who are telling Mayor Bowser to put and end to this bad deal.

Thank you,

The PowerDC Coalition

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5
Mar

DCEN Happy Hour March 11th!

Sat Mar 05, 2016 at 12:33:26 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network, Global Green USA

The DC Environmental Network invites you to our first DCEN “Happy Hour” of 2016. It will be held on Friday, March 11th, 5:30-7:30 PM, at our Capitol Hill office (322 4th Street NE). Come hang out, network, and share your thoughts and ideas about Councilmember Cheh’s new solar, sewage waste heat bill. RSVP Here to Attend!

Quick background on the bill: 

Last Tuesday, March 1st, at a DC Council legislative session, Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced what is now officially called B21-0650, the “Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016.”  The bill was co-sponsored by Councilmember’s Silverman, Grosso, Allen, Bonds, Alexander, and Chairman Mendelson.

According to Cheh staff this legislation:

  • Raises and extends the District’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to achieve the Mayor’s Sustainable DC Plan target of 50% by 2032. It also doubles the solar carve-out by 2032;
  • Extends the higher solar alternative compliance payments through 2032, with a more gradual ramp down; and
  • Proposes a program that would have the goal of installing solar systems on every eligible home owned by low-income families in the District, and would be funded by a 25% increase in the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund fee and allocations from the Renewable Energy Development Fund.

DCEN’s early thoughts:

DCEN is pleased Councilmember Cheh has put forward a legislative proposal to basically establish a ramp-up of renewables that conforms with the Executive Branch Sustainable DC plan. That’s a good start. The other elements of the bill, including the low-income solar program, look like they have the potential to move the District forward in an equitable manner.

It’s early, but here are some things to consider as we go through the legislative process:

  • Should We Ramp-Up this Bills RPS Targets?: DCEN, CCAN and others, proposed an ambitious but achievable RPS expansion of 40% by 2025 to Mayor Bowser’s transition team in December of 2014, advocated for this target during 2015, and had hoped to talk to Councilmember Cheh about our proposal in 2016. Councilmember Cheh’s bill only establishes a goal of “no less than” 26% by 2025. Climate focused organizations and activists should consider whether we want to advocate for a more agressive ramp-up of RPS targets.
  • Should Sewage Waste Heat Be a RPS, Tier 1, Renewable Source?: The bill also would allow sewage system waste heat to qualify as a Tier 1 renewable source. We are excited about the possibility of taping into this clever source of energy, as a number of other countries have, but some questions need to be answered. Since Councilmember Cheh is also looking to increase the solar carve-out targets of our RPS, it will be important to understand if incentivising waste heat, as a Tier 1 renewable source, could undermine incentives to grow more proven renewables like wind and solar. The sustainability community spent a whole year working to eliminate black liquor from the District’s RPS to help narrow the renewables field. We need to understand more about how sewage waste heat might impact the District’s RPS targets and make sure whatever we do gives us the biggest, cleanest, energy bang for our buck.

There are many questions DCEN and others will have about these, and other, provisions over the course of the next few months. Some of this could probably have been dealt with had there been more preparatory consultation on the specifics.  Of course we will have a few opportunities to comment during the legislative process. Many climate focused organizations and activists, many who worked on the orginal 2004 RPS bill, are ready and willing to help.

Join our March 11th DCEN happy hour and help get this conversation and RPS expansion campaign started.

All are welcome, but you must RSVP here!

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2
Mar

DCEN March Networking Event Tomorrow!

Wed Mar 02, 2016 at 12:31:47 PM EST

By Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

Join the DC Environmental Network and DC Climate Action for DCEN’s Monthly Briefing and Networking Opportunity!

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 3rd at NOON, join the DC Environmental Network (DCEN) and DC Climate Action, for DCEN’s monthly briefing and networking opportunity.

Our program is entitled: “Addressing Climate Challenges through Grid Modernization and Integration of Renewables:  New Trends & Best Practices:  DistribuTech 2016 Highlights”

EXTRA! Allison Archambault, of Power DC, will also give a brief Exelon-Pepco merger update before the main program begins.

The event will be held at the offices of Green Cross International and Friends of the Earth, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

You must RSVP here to attend this special program.

Our panel:

  • Joe Paladino, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE):  Senior Advisor, DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
  • Edward Yim, D.C. Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE): Associate Director, DOEE Energy Administration
  • Nina Dodge, DC Climate Action (DCCA):  Chair, DCCA Energy and Utilities Committee
  • Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network (DCEN), Global Green USA – Moderator

Overview:

The three panelists will report back on new developments in energy distribution issues featured at the national DistribuTech Conference held in Orlando, in February 2016. These highlights will provide helpful context for the current DC Public Service Commission’s open, multi-party investigation into “Modernizing the Energy Delivery Structure for Increased Sustainability.”

You must RSVP here to attend this special program.

All are welcome!

 

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1
Mar

Mayor Bowser, Attorney General, and OPC Oppose Alternative Settlement.

Tue Mar 01, 2016 at 12:26:53 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

► Exelon/Pepco Merger UPDATE – Mayor & People’s Counsel Oppose Alternative Settlement: 

The merger continues to unravel. In just the last few hours both Mayor Bowser and the People’s Counsel, Sandra Mattavous-Frye, both expressed opposition to the alternative settlement agreement proposed by PSC Commissioner Fort and supported by PSC Commissioner Phillips.

Mayor Bowser’s statement: 

“From the start, we focused on affordability, reliability and sustainability. We pulled everyone together to negotiate an agreement that was a great deal for DC residents. The Public Service Commission rejected an agreement that had the support of the Peoples Counsel, Attorney General, DC Water and others.

The PSC’s counterproposal guts much needed protections against rate increases for DC residents and assistance for low-income DC rate payers. That is not a deal that I can support.” SEE Washington Post.

Earlier in the day the Office of the People’s Counsel released this statement:

“People’s Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye today said the Office of the People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia (OPC) has carefully and fully reviewed the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) revisions to the Pepco-Exelon settlement agreement announced on this past Friday and concludes that she cannot support the revised settlement agreement. The Commission has taken a principal benefit of the merger away from residential electricity customers by removing the guarantee of no rate increases for residential ratepayers through March 2019.” SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE.

The DC Environmental Network believes there may still be much to do to stop this merger completely.

Give some credit to the Mayor and People’s Counsel for seeing this latest Public Service Commission proposal as unacceptable, and even more harmful to District ratepayers.

► DCEN March Networking Event: Grid Modernization & Renewables!

On Thursday, March 3rd at NOON, join the DC Environmental Network (DCEN) and DC Climate Action, for DCEN’s monthly briefing and networking opportunity.

Our program is entitled: “Addressing Climate Challenges through Grid Modernization and Integration of Renewables:  New Trends & Best Practices:  DistribuTech 2016 Highlights”

The event will be held at the offices of Green Cross International and Friends of the Earth, 1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

You must RSVP here to attend this special program.

Our panel:

  • Joe Paladino, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE):  Senior Advisor, DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
  • Edward Yim, D.C. Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE): Associate Director, DOEE Energy Administration
  • Nina Dodge, DC Climate Action (DCCA):  Chair, DCCA Energy and Utilities Committee
  • Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network (DCEN), Global Green USA – Moderator

The three panelists will report back on new developments in energy distribution issues featured at the national DistribuTech Conference held in Orlando, in February 2016. These highlights will provide helpful context for the current DC Public Service Commission’s open, multi-party investigation into “Modernizing the Energy Delivery Structure for Increased Sustainability.”

You must RSVP here to attend this special program.

All are welcome!

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