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18
Apr

Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC Earth Day Event!

Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:09:15 AM EST

 

By Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

DDOE SDC One Year Report 2014 No Background

DC Environmental Network:

On September 23rd, 2011, almost three years ago, the DC Environmental Network held the first of many forums, conference calls and strategy sessions to advocate for and assist in the direction and design of Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC initiative. Former District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director Christophe Tulou and Former Office of Planning (OP) Director Harriet Tregoning shared Mayor Gray’s plan to make sustainability a cornerstone of District efforts.

On Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22nd, Mayor Gray will be presenting a special first year progress report on the implementation stage of Sustainable DC. This event will be held at the Langley Education Campus, 101 T Street NE, from 6:00 PM until 8:30 PM.

Let us know you are coming! We want to make sure there is a good turnout!

There are many reasons why the DC environmental community should participate in this Earth Day event:

  • DSC_0032-001b5NEW MAYOR IN 2015: Mayor Gray will not be Mayor in 2015 and it is not clear that the current candidates for this office will support a sustainability plan for the District. The environmental community needs a strong showing at this first year progress report and other sustainability focused events over the next 8 months to make it clear to decision makers that we want to make real progress on Sustainable DC now and after the Gray Administration leaves office.
  • LOT’S OF WORK TO DO: Our work has just begun. We all need to work hard to accelerate progress to clean up our rivers; reduce carbon emissions; develop a meaningful zero waste plan that does not include incineration; and continue to pressure our elected officials to promote sustainability principles with every decision that is made.
  • SUPPORT OUR COLLEAGUES: A number of our colleagues in the environmental community will be making pitches on how you can get involved in their good work. These groups include the Anacostia Watershed Society, Capital Area Food Bank, Casey Trees, DC SUN, DC Sustainable Energy Utility, Groundwork Anacostia DC, Neighborhood Farm Initiative and Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

Let us know you are coming! We want to make sure there is a good turnout!

The DC Environmental Network will soon be announcing additional opportunities to discuss and strategize how to both strengthen and continue to move sustainability efforts forward in DC.

Happy Earth Day and hope to see you next Tuesday at 6:00 PM!

Chris Weiss
Executive Director
DC Environmental Network

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6
Apr

Joint DCEN, DDOE, DCFPI Budget Briefing!

Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 06:52:13 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The DC Environmental Network (DCEN), DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) and District Department of the Environment (DDOE) invite you to a special DDOE budget briefing.

DDOE Budget Briefing w No Background

On April 8th, from 1:30 PM until 3:00 PM, join the DC Environmental Network (DCEN) for a briefing on the District Department of the Environment’s fiscal year 2015 budget that was submitted by Mayor Vincent Gray to the DC Council on April 3rd.

Participants will have an opportunity to learn about their priority programs and use the information to prepare for the DC Council DDOE budget hearing scheduled for April 11th.

This DDOE, DCEN, DCFPI sponsored budget briefing will  be held at the offices of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE), 1200 First Street NE, Fifth Floor.

RSVP HERE to let us know you are coming!

DSC_0015bBackground:

Every spring, the Mayor submits the proposed budget and financial plan and Council committees review the request for each of the agencies under their purview.  Agencies are questioned about their budget and public hearings are held to receive testimony from the agencies, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, other organizations, the advocacy community, and private citizens.  Each committee’s chairperson then prepares a budget report that is presented to the full committee for markup and approval.  The reports include recommendations for funding and personnel levels for each agency, policy proposals, and any appropriation language changes.  The reports also identify additional budget needs, legislation required to implement the committee’s recommendations, and any other budget-related analysis that the committees deem appropriate.

You can see a general overview of the process here: http://dccouncil.us/budget/2015

What does DDOE do?

[DDOE WEBSITE] “The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is the leading authority on energy and environmental issues affecting the District of Columbia. Using a combination of regulations, outreach, education, and incentives, our agency administers programs and services to fulfill our mission. We work collaboratively with other government agencies, residents, businesses, and institutions to promote environmentally responsible behavior that will lead to a more sustainable urban environment.

DDOE has about 300 engineers, biologists, toxicologists, geologists, technicians, inspectors, environmental specialists, policy analysts, administrators, public outreach specialists, and support staff. Among their many responsibilities are issuing permits, monitoring environmental conditions, providing funding and technical assistance, assessing environmental risks, developing policies, inspecting facilities, enforcing environmental regulations, working with other entities to solve every-day environmental issues, and informing and educating the public on local environmental trends and their benefits.

The DDOE team promotes public and environmental health by implementing and enforcing District and Federal laws and regulations. We recognize that strong and healthy communities are central to the District’s economic prosperity, and work daily to protect the environment in which its people live, work and play.

DDOE Mission:

The mission of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is to improve the quality of life for the residents and natural inhabitants of the nation’s capital by protecting and restoring the environment, conserving our natural resources, mitigating pollution, and educating the public on ways to secure a sustainable future.”

RSVP HERE to let us know you are coming!

All are welcome.

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4
Apr

Energy Benchmarking & Climate Change

Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 10:18:21 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

DCEN Invites All Metro-Based Environmentalists and to a Brown-Bag Discussion & Networking Opportunity!

Benchmarking Brown Bag TITLE GRAPHIC w No Background

On April 9th at Noon, join the DC Environmental Network for a special climate education opportunity. By far the largest share of the District’s community wide Green House Gas (GHG) emissions (74%) is attributed to building energy use. Building benchmarking, or tracking a building’s energy performance, is a critical part of developing a meaningful plan for reducing carbon emissions.

Join us to learn more about this important part of the climate puzzle and what you can do to help. This briefing will be held on April 9th, 12:00-1:30 PM, at the offices of DCEN/Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor, Washington, DC.

Our Panelists:

- Taresa Lawrence, Deputy Director for the Energy Administration in the District Department of the Environment (DDOE)
- Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT)
- Sam Brooks, Associate Director of the Energy Division for the Department of the General Services (DC DGS)
- Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network (Moderator)

All are welcome to come learn more about the connection between benchmarking and curbing carbon emissions in the District of Columbia. RSVP Here!

Background:

Building benchmarking is the process of tracking a building’s energy and water performance and comparing that current performance to its historical performance, a group of peer buildings’ performance, or a national average.  It’s the foundation of a successful energy management strategy—as the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Nine cities and two states, including Washington, DC, require their large commercial buildings to benchmark and disclose their energy performance—these laws affect 51,000 buildings and 5.8 billion square feet nationwide. They aim to catalyze markets and inform decision makers by making energy data more transparent. DC itself has a policy that covers 1800 buildings and just over half of the total building square footage in the District. The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) has released a rich data set of the first year of private building results earlier this year.  The upcoming panel will focus on the District’s benchmarking law and how it’s making the city, building owners, and other stakeholders smarter about their energy use.

US Benchmark Comparison MAP

Figure 1. Displayed above is a geographical representation of the current existing benchmarking policies. The 2 states and 9 cities that require private building benchmarking are: California, Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Minneapolis, Chicago, DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

US Benchmark ComparisonFigure 2. This table provides greater detail on the specifics of the private building benchmarking policies of the 2 states and 9 cities. The building sector coverage, type of disclosure, and first reporting date are a few of key fields in this table.

To benchmark, building owners need 12 consecutive months of whole-building utility data—this is often difficult to get, especially in separately metered buildings. The panel will also highlight barriers to benchmarking and recent efforts by the utilities and City Council to improve the benchmarking law and make it easier for building owners to comply.

Opportunity to Take Action to Combat Global Warming:

The City Council will be holding a roundtable on the current benchmarking law and regulation to discuss the current state of compliance and what market transformation potential is already being realized after two years of reporting. We encourage those who wish to support this impactful law or learn more about the information that this law makes available to attend the City Council’s roundtable on April 3rd. You can sign up by emailing abenjamin@dccouncil.us. The roundtable notice can be found here.

All are welcome to come learn more about the connection between benchmarking and curbing carbon emissions in the District of Columbia. RSVP Here!

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4
Apr

Delivering Effective Climate Communications!

Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 10:13:21 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

On April 9th, Join DCEN for an Interactive Presentation by Scientist-Turned-Filmmaker Randy Olson on Developing and Delivering Effective Communications.

DSC_0044bThe DC Environmental Network is a participant in the DC Climate and Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP) focused on educating the community about climate change. CUSP will, through a constellation of partners, help people address the short-term and long-term impacts of climate change on the District by working to reduce the city’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and preparing the city to adapt to direct and indirect changes that will likely impact District residents.

The National Geographic Society, who spearhead this initiative, have put together a special interactive presentation that will help us develop better climate focused communications skills.

Scientist-turned-filmmaker, Randy Olson, will share an interactive presentation entitled, The CONNECTION Storymaker Model for Broad Communication. This presentation is scheduled for April 9th, 8:30-10:30 AM at the offices of the National Geographic Society, Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M Street, NW.

All are welcome. RSVP Here!

Background:

Randy Olson, a marine biologist-turned-filmmaker and author of Don’t be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style, will be speaking at National Geographic about how to effectively develop and deliver effective communications for campaigns.

Randy Olson was a humble, mild-mannered professor of marine biology at the University of New Hampshire. But then his brain sort of turned inside out and he shifted from scientist to artist. It happened in his first year as a professor. He hit a point where he realized that after fifteen years of telling stories OF science he had grown more interested in telling stories ABOUT science. Despite his Harvard Ph.D., four years of post-doctoral research in Australia and Florida, and years of diving around the world from the Great Barrier Reef to Antarctica, he tossed it all in, resigned from his tenured professorship and moved to Hollywood to explore film as a medium for communicating science.

Olson invitation_2

Today he is an INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER and no longer considers himself a scientist, but is now fluent in the two languages of science and cinema. In addition to writing and directing his own feature films about major issues in science, he has worked with a variety of clients to assist them with the use of visual media in communicating science to the general public. Through his writings he has both related his journey, and continues his exploration into the role of storytelling in the mass communication of science.

All are welcome! RSVP Here!

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31
Mar

Food & Film with DCEN & Day Eight!

Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:32:05 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

DCEN Invites All Metro-Based Environmentalists, Artists and Others to a Special Dinner & Movie Networking Opportunity!

Life Out of Balance Graphic w No Background

On Friday, April 4th, at 6:00 PM, join the DC Environmental Network, Day Eight and local arts and environment non-profits for a potluck dinner and film screening of Kooyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance! Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, is a 1982 film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke. Our main goal is to get a fun group of people together from the arts and environmental communities, have some food, watch a movie and enjoy the end of the work week together. All are welcome.

Thanks for sharing, and get your tickets by clicking here!

The first five people who send DCEN an email get a free ticket!

MORE ABOUT PROJECT:

By bringing arts organizations into environmental conversations we will encourage public understanding of and connection to critical environmental issues through media as diverse as photography and dance, and produce creative responses to those challenges. By resourcing environmental and arts partners to work together as participants, planners, and performers, the project’s collaborations will increase participation in current and future environmental campaigns. Come meet some of the participants and partners!

936full-koyaanisqatsi-posterFILM: Koyaanisqatsi (“life out of balance”):

- By renowned director Godfrey Reggio, producer Francis Ford Coppola, film composer Philip Glass.

- “The quintessential environmental movie – a trans-formative meditation on the current imbalance between humans and the wider world that supports them.” -Guardian critic Leo Hickman

- An apocalyptic vision of the collision of two different worlds — urban life and technology versus the environment.

- Awarded at the Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Leipzig, Warsaw, and Beijing Film Festivals, this film is also in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and other cultural institutions.

By bringing arts organizations into environmental conversations we will encourage public understanding of and connection to critical environmental issues through media as diverse as photography and dance, and produce creative responses to those challenges. By resourcing environmental and arts partners to work together as participants, planners, and performers, the project’s collaborations will increase participation in current and future environmental campaigns. Come meet some of the participants and partners!

DC Environmental Network (www.dcen.net):

Vision of rebuilding Washington, DC’s neighborhoods and communities for long-term economic stability —by protecting and restoring the Capital City’s urban environment. Our undertaking is a challenge. Major environmental problems in the region include threats to our drinking water, air pollution and dirty energy, congested traffic, neighborhood trash, degradation of the Anacostia River, Potomac River and Rock Creek and the impacts of global warming.

Day Eight (www.dayeight.org):

A leader in local arts programming, Day Eight has a strong track record as a performing arts company and publisher, and Day Eight’s founder, Robert Bettmann, is the author of the book Somatic Ecology: Somatics, Nature, Humanity and the Human Body.

Thanks for sharing, and get your tickets by clicking here!

All are welcome!

Comments (0)

31
Mar

State of Waste Management in DC

Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:18:51 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

DCEN Invites All Metro-Based Environmentalists and Others to a Brown-Bag Discussion & Networking Opportunity!

On April 3rd at Noon, join the DC Environmental Network for a special joint brown-bag with the Sierra Club, Washington DC Chapter (and others) featuring a unique overview of the state of waste management in the District of Columbia and what needs to happen to move towards zero waste.

Learn about the state of waste management in your city and what we need to do to achieve zero waste. RSVP HERE!

Our Panelists:

- David Grosso, DC Councilmember, At-Large
- Hana Heineken, Chair, Zero Waste Committee, Sierra Club (Washington, DC Chapter)
- Jeff Carrol, Director, Humanim/DETAILS
- Sara Polon, Founder and Owner, Soupergirl
- DC Department of Public Works (Invited)
- Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network (Moderator)

The State of Waste Management in DC:

DC currently generates approximately 900,000 tons of waste per year, but only has a recycling rate of 20 to 25% while the rest is largely incinerated or landfilled.

Last year, Mayor Vincent Gray presented a Sustainable DC Plan which commits to achieving zero waste by 2032. As part of this initiative, a ban on the use of Styrofoam was proposed by the Mayor (Bill 20-573). A separate bill introduced by Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Kenyan McDuffie is proposing an overhaul of the City’s various waste policies (Bill 20-0641). At the same time, the DC Department of Public Works (DPW) has commissioned a comprehensive Solid Waste Management Study to identify how to, among other things, meet the Sustainable DC goals.

This event will be an important opportunity to learn about all of these activities in DC and get more involved in how to shape the future of waste management in the District.

Learn about the state of waste management in your city and what we need to do to achieve zero waste. RSVP HERE!

All are welcome!

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21
Mar

Join DCEN for a Mayoral Forum Tonight!

Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:47:46 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

SMALLER CANDIDATE GRAPHIC

The only candidate forum focused entirely on sustainability and the environment is TODAY!

Let us know you will be participating in this forum! Click here.

This will be an educational forum, not tied to any endorsements, to help District residents understand the candidates’ positions on a number of environmental and sustainability issues that are defining a unique moment in our planets history. This is a time when citizens and decision makers are going to have to grapple with environmental and sustainability issues that already impact our quality of life and will influence the future health and livability of our city and planet.

This educational forum is scheduled for TODAY, March 21st at 6:00 PM. It will be held at 300 Tingey Street SE, in the Yards (just behind the twin USDOT buildings and adjacent to the Navy Yard).

Participating Candidates as of Friday the 21st, 11:00 AM:

- Carlos Allen
- Councilmember Jack Evans
- Mayor Vincent Gray
- Councilmember Vincent Orange
- Councilmember Tommy Wells
- Councilmember Muriel Bowser (Invited)
- Other Candidates

Our forum is sponsored by a number of environmental organizations and others including Navy Yard Neighborhood Association, NSC Partners, Capitol Riverfront, Sierra Club and the member organizations of the United for a Healthy Anacostia River coalition that includes the DC Environmental Network, Clean Water Action, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Anacostia Watershed Citizens Advisory Committee, Anacostia Watershed Society, DC Appleseed, Groundwork Anacostia DC, NRDC Action Fund and the Federal City Council.

Let us know you will be participating in this forum! Click here.

Agenda:

 5:30 – Doors Open

 6:00 – Call to Order by Moderator

 6:03 – Welcome by Former Mayor Williams

 6:08 – Introduction & Ground Rules by Moderator

 6:10 – Questions and Comments with the Mayoral Candidates (Two Minute Final Statements by Each Candidate at End of Question Segment)

 7:55 – Final Comments by Mayor Williams

 8:00 – End

All are welcome!

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6
Mar

DC Candidates Sustainability Forum!

Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 06:20:11 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

Mayor Forum Graphic

DC Environmental Network:

I want to invite you all to participate in what looks like the only District of Columbia mayoral candidate forum that will focus on sustainability and the environment.

This will be an educational forum, not tied to any endorsements, to help District residents understand the candidates’ positions on a number of environmental/sustainability issues that are defining a unique moment in our planets history. This is a time when citizens and decision makers are going to have to grapple with environmental/sustainability issues that already impact our quality of life and will influence the future health and livability of our city and planet.

Mayoral Candidate Forum Details:

This forum is scheduled for March 21st at 6:00 PM. It will be held at 300 Tingey Street SE, in the Yards (just behind the twin USDOT buildings and adjacent to the Navy Yard).

This forum is co-sponsored by a number of organizations including NSC Partners, Capitol Riverfront, Sierra Club and the member organizations of the United for a Healthy Anacostia River coalition that includes the DC Environmental Network, Clean Water Action, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Anacostia Watershed Citizens Advisory Committee, Anacostia Watershed Society, DC Appleseed, Groundwork Anacostia DC, NRDC Action Fund and the Federal City Council.

Mencer Donahue Edwards, Founder and CEO of Justice and Sustainability Associates, will moderate this important forum.

Let us know you will be participating in this forum! Click here.

Why should we all participate in this forum?

There are a number of reasons why District residents needs to have a good showing at this forum. The water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe and the neighborhoods we live in are all being impacted by a changing world. The next Mayor of Washington DC needs to understand this and will have to address many critical environmental challenges that will impact our quality of life and maybe even our health. We need to show these candidates that our city is important to us and we want to make sure DC is on a sustainable path were we can have some confidence that the health of our communities will be protected.

We also need to make sure our issues are addressed in this election. Just looking at many of the campaign websites makes me worry that our issues are not being adequately prioritized in the messaging of some of the candidates. [GRAPHIC UPDATED March 6, 2014, 7:00 PM]

Candidate Website InfoIn what many are calling the age of the environment, we need to do what we can to raise the profile of sustainability issues…especially when we are exercising our right to vote for those that would lead our city. That is why I hope you will attend this forum and learn about the environmental, sustainability perspectives of the candidates.

Please let us know you will be participating in this important Mayoral forum! Click here.

Look forward to seeing many of you on March 21st at 6:00 PM.

Chris Weiss
Executive Director
DC Environmental Network

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16
Feb

DCEN Works to Reduce Toxics in the Anacostia!

Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 04:30:58 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

REPORT: DC Environmental Community Commits to New Campaign to Raise Awareness and Work to Reduce Toxics in the Anacostia River!

What happened?

On February 6th, the DC Environmental Network organized a networking opportunity with a spirited group of environmental leaders (and others). The purpose of this meeting was to listen to a panel, anchored by former District of Columbia Mayor Tony Williams, give presentations about a new initiative spearheaded by the Federal City Council to educate and advocate for action to reduce toxics in the Anacostia River. This campaign is called United for a Healthy Anacostia River.

Watch video of panel presentations here (36 min)! Watch discussion segment here (47 min)!

Participating Organizations & Offices:

DSC_0055 flippedDC Environmental Network, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Anacostia Community Museum, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Anacostia Watershed Society, ANC 3DO1, Audubon Naturalist Society, Capital Riverside, Legal Alliance, Clean Water Action, DC Greenworks, DC Office of Planning, District Department of the Environment, Earthjustice, Federal City Council, Friends of the Earth, Georgetown Institute for Public Representation, Georgetown Law School, Global Green USA, Green Cross International, Health & Environmental Funders Network, Living Classrooms Foundation, Lombardi Cancer Center, Marpat Foundation, Metropolitan Church, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, National Geographic, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Offices of Councilmember Grosso, Potomac Riverkeeper, Rock Creek Conservancy, Sierra Club, Summit Fund of Washington, Summit Fund of Washington, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, University of the District of Columbia (C.A.U.S.E.S.), Waterkeepers Chesapeake. (partial)

Our panelists included:

- Anthony Williams, Former District of Columbia Mayor, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Federal City Council
- Doug Siglin, Executive Director, Anacostia River Initiative
- James Foster, President, Anacostia Watershed Society
- Mike Bolinder, Anacostia Riverkeeper
- Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

Panelists defined why toxics are a problem for the Anacostia River as well as the residents in the District and Maryland. Participants were briefed on the current process being led by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and what some of the upcoming priorities should be for the new United for a Healthy Anacostia River coalition.

In addition to watching the presentations, you can look separately at two PowerPoint presentations that will give you a good overview of the issues at hand.

- Anacostia River Toxics Overview presented by Doug Siglin, Federal City Council Anacostia Initiative
- Additional General Overview of the United for a Healthy Anacostia River campaign

Next steps!

The DC Environmental Network has added this campaign to its list of important initiatives designed to make District rivers fishable and swimmable. We urge you to commit to the following two steps.

1. SIGN THE PETITION: Take the first easy step. Sign the petition! Petition language:

The Anacostia River and its surrounding community have the potential to be an extraordinary ecological, recreational, social, cultural, and economic driver for the DC region. However, the nation’s capital cannot reach its potential as long as dangerous chemicals in the riverbed and at certain places along the banks remain unaddressed. I urge you to make a commitment to fully cleaning up the toxic chemicals found in and around the Anacostia.

Specifically, I ask that you pledge to have the toxic cleanup underway by January 2017 – three years from now. Experts say this is aggressive but doable. River toxins have been associated with an increased risk of developmental and behavioral problems as well as cancer. The longer we wait, the longer we jeopardize the health of our community.  Instead, let’s get on track to fully enjoy the benefits from this extraordinary natural resource.

2. ATTEND THE UPCOMING FORUM: Come to our upcoming Mayoral Candidates forum on sustainability issues. The DC Environmental Network is working with the Federal City Council to put a quality environmental forum together. We will be sending more information on this soon.

Committing to these first two steps will go a long way to helping the cause.

Thanks!

Comments (0)

4
Feb

It’s Time for Change in the Anacostia River. Join Us!

Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:12:04 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The DC Environmental Network Invites All Metro-Based Environmentalists and Others to Our Monthly Brown-Bag Discussion & Networking Opportunity!

Reversing the Legacy of Toxics Pollution in the Anacostia River: A New Initiative to Make Real  & Meaningful Progress We Can All Participate In!

On February 6th at NOON, join the DC Environmental Network for our monthly brown-bag networking opportunity featuring a discussion about the Federal City Council’s Anacostia Initiative to educate decision makers and others about bottom sediments polluted by legacy toxics. This brown-bag will be held at the offices of the DC Environmental Network/Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

RSVP HERE!

Our panel will include:

- Anthony Williams, Former District of Columbia Mayor, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Federal City Council
- Doug Siglin, Executive Director, Anacostia River Initiative
- James Foster, President, Anacostia Watershed Society
- Mike Bolinder, Anacostia Riverkeeper
- Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The Anacostia River is a huge part of what is the District of Columbia. Rivers and creeks weave through many of our neighborhoods and define who we are as a people and are a barometer for how much we care about our communities. RSVP HERE!

The state of the Anacostia River:

Even as 17,000 people eat fish caught from the Anacostia River each year the Anacostia continues to hold the sad distinction of being one of the more polluted waterways in the nation. Contaminants (PCBs & PAHs) in the river’s bottom sediments are at levels 2-10 times higher than probable effects thresholds for living organisms. Unlike other rivers 2/3 of catfish pulled from the Anacostia River have tumors or lesions.

Over the last few decades there have been numerous efforts to deal with the raw sewage and polluted stormwater that makes its way into the Anacostia River. There has also been some attention given to land-based toxic hotspots at the Washington Gas Station site, Kenilworth Park Landfill site and Poplar Point site.

It is only in 2011 that stakeholders began to look seriously at addressing contaminated bottom sediment in the Anacostia River but already progress is slow. Even with assurances last April by District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director Keith Anderson that a Remedial Investigation (RI) of the bottom sediments would be complete in February 2014 and a Feasibility Study (FS) would be complete in 2015, environmental stakeholders have concerns about meeting these deadlines. On January 29th, 2014, DDOE released the Remedial Investigation Work Plan for the Anacostia River Sediment Project.

Many are concerned that the current rate of progress may negatively impact Mayor Vincent Gray’s goal of a fishable and swimmable Anacostia River by 2032.

United for a Healthy Anacostia River:

To jumpstart this process, the Summit Fund of Washington recently partnered with the Federal City Council to, among other things, create a framework to increase awareness of the need to clean up toxic chemicals found in the bottom sediment of the Anacostia River. The DC Environmental Network and others are getting organized to support this effort and have joined a new coalition “United for a Healthy Anacostia River.”

On February 6th at NOON, join the DC Environmental Network brownbag luncheon to give representatives of the Federal City Council and all of us an opportunity to learn about and discuss efforts to create new energy and educational opportunities focused on the toxic bottom sediments in the Anacostia River.

This DCEN event will be a special opportunity for all of us to join the new coalition “United for a Healthy Anacostia River” and take action on this important endeavor.

All are welcome. RSVP HERE!

Comments (0)

2
Feb

DCEN Announcements: February 2, 2014

Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:50:00 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

Snowy Owl & the DC Budget

snowy owl forever
Many of you have been following the recent adventures of this snowy owl as it has spent time in the heart of Washington, DC and was recently hit by a bus and needed special care. One thing that may not be clear is how much better prepared the District has been over the last year to protect Snowy Owls since City Wildlife opened a brand new wildlife rehabilitation center. It is this new facility that is currently taking care of this beautiful creature.

What helped to make this possible, in addition to the hard work of the staff at City Wildlife, was the support and funding that was coordinated by Councilmember Mary Cheh and the DC Department of Heath during last year’s DC Council budget process. The DC Environmental Network will be supporting these funding priorities again this year. Here is some of the latest media from the Washington Post and Huffington Post on the snowy owl!

UPDATE: The snowy owl continues to remain in stable condition at City Wildlife. Blood results show the owl is anemic. The owl is brighter today then yesterday; however its prognosis is still guarded as it recovers from its anemia and injuries.

Many thanks to City Wildlife for this exclusive photo of snowy owl! We are all hoping she pulls through.

Sea Dumped Chemical Weapons

Sea-Dumping

Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons: The Case of the Baltic – The Global Challenges of Military Munitions Dumping at Sea

On Wednesday, February 5th at 3:00 PM, join Green Cross International/Global Green USA and the DC Environmental Network for a briefing on sea dumped chemical weapons. This briefing will be held at 1100 15th Street, NW, 11th Floor. All are welcome. Seats are limited. RSVP Here!

Panel:

- Dr. Hans Sanderson, National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus, Denmark
- Dr. Paul F. Walker, Director, Environmental Security and Sustainability, Green Cross International (Chair)

Background:

One of the largest environmental clean-up challenges facing humanity is the widespread dumping and land burial of deadly chemical agents and military munitions in all of the oceans of the world, and in most of the northern hemisphere, throughout the past century. Hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic chemicals were dumped by the warring powers of the 20th century, including ships and barges packed with these dangerous weapons.

Recent attention has been brought to this issue by ongoing commercial fishing accidents, by old chemical weapons washing up on beaches, by the new Russian-German pipeline in the Baltic Sea, and by increasing interests in oil and gas off-shore drilling and in off-shore wind farms.

The United Nations General Assembly has recently passed resolutions calling for increased attention by all countries in how best to address and mitigate these potential risks to the environment and public health.

After World War II thousands of tons of chemical weapons were dumped by most warring countries in the Baltic, one of the shallowest ocean-dumping sites.  These legacy weapons have injured and killed dozens of fishermen in recent decades as fishing rigs go deeper and ocean currents dislodge dumpsites.

This roundtable discussion will address recent studies on the Baltic Sea, in which Dr. Sanderson has first-hand experience, including the recent MERCW, NordStream, ChemSea, and MODUM projects. The seminar will also discuss the ongoing work of Green Cross and Dr. Sanderson on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, to identify toxic contaminants and potential public health impacts from 60 years of US and allied naval bombardment and munitions dumping on and around the island.

Dr. Hans Sanderson is a senior environmental scientist working at the National Environmental Research Institute at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.  He is well known internationally in risk management of toxic chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and has served on the US EPA Scientific Advisory Board, among many other private and national boards and studies.

All are welcome. Seats are limited. Please RSVP here.

Support Wind & Solar, Not Black Liquor!

2014 Climate Action Graphic

Reminder: Join the DC Environmental Network and 15 environmental community leaders as we deliver a coalition statement calling on the DC Council Committee on Government Operations Chairman, Kenyan McDuffie to do what is necessary to fix our broken Renewable Portfolio Standard and pass Bill 20-418, the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Amendment Act of 2013.” Currently this bill is stalled.

Coalition Statement Click Here b2Organizations, representing thousands of District residents, who signed our statement include the DC Environmental Network, Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, DC Divest, Global Bees, Global Green USA, Green Cross International, Interfaith Power & Light, Sierra Club and Washington Parks & People.

By passing this bill, the DC Council will stop the waste of District ratepayer dollars that are being used to incentivize 50 year old and dirty black liquor and inefficient biomass, something that is clearly inconsistent with the goals of renewable portfolio standards across the country. Those same ratepayer dollars that are now being wasted can be used to support wind and solar energy.

Details: This event tomorrow is just one of many activities planned to get Bill 20-418 moving in early 2014. We will meet outside of Councilmember McDuffie’s office, Room 506, promptly at 10:AM. We will deliver our statement to his office and to the offices of the other members of the Committee on Government Operations. (The other members are Mary Cheh, Muriel Bowser, David Catania & Vincent Orange.) We should be done in an hour.

Let us know you are coming.

Help us take this first action in 2014.

Upcoming Hearing on Waste!

DSC_0007b

The DC Environmental Network recently learned about an upcoming Committee on Transportation & the Environment Public Hearing that is scheduled for this Wednesday, February 5th at 11:00 AM in Room 412 (John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW).

The purpose of this hearing is to give interested parties an opportunity to testify about Bill 20-641, the “Waste Management Modernization Amendment Act of 2014.”

The goal of Bill 20-641, introduced by DC Councilmember Mary Cheh, is to update and modernize recycling laws and policies in the District. This legislation also has some potential impacts on Mayor Gray’s proposed polystyrene ban which many in the environmental community testified in support of last month.

- Click here to read the public hearing notice.
- Click here to see the text of the bill.

The DC Environmental Network recently organized meetings with the offices of Councilmember Cheh and Grosso, to discuss this new bill and Mayor Gray’s polystyrene ban. Organizations that participated included the Anacostia Watershed Society, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Alice Ferguson Foundation, Energy Justice Network and others.See picture of Councilmember Grosso and DC zero waste advocates!

Hope you can participate!

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31
Jan

Suppport Clean, Not Dirty Energy!

Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 01:13:45 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

On Monday, February 3rd at 10: AM at the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, join the DC Environmental Network, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Center for Biological Diversity, DC Divest, Global Green USA, Green Cross International, Interfaith Power & Light, Sierra Club, Washington, Parks & People and others as we call on the DC Council to take action and pass Bill 20-418, the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Amendment Act of 2013.  Sign-Up to Participate Here!

Our Statement

We write to convey the environmental community’s serious concerns about the slow progress being made to pass Bill 20-418, the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Amendment Act of 2013.” This bill is an important modification to the District’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). We urge the Committee on Government Operations to schedule a mark-up soon and send this bill to the full Council.

On July 10th, 2013, over six months ago, DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced B20-418, the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Amendment Act of 2013,” at the request of the DC Environmental Network, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club and others. Councilmember David Grosso co-sponsored this legislation.

As you know, this simple and long overdue bill is an important and necessary update to the Renewable Portfolio Standard passed in 2005 to increase the amount of clean energy District residents use and to clean up some of the loopholes that have made it possible to incentivize dirty forms of energy, including black liquor and other combustibles, which are not consistent with the RPS’ original intent.

On October 16th, 2013, your committee held a hearing in which the DC Environmental Network, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, DC Divest, Sierra Club, Interfaith Power & Light, Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition, Office of the People’s Council and others testified in support of this legislation. The District Department of the Environment, which had originally planned on introducing the same legislation, and the Public Service Commission, gave excellent testimony on how this bill could be implemented in a timely manner.

The environmental community worked in November and December to keep the momentum going and pushed hard for support and a mark-up of the bill.

Today, already a month into the New Year and even as Maryland moves positively towards passage of a similar bill, the District’s effort to fix this flaw in our RPS seems to be stalled.

As some of us communicated in our testimony last October, there is no credible reason for delaying the passage of this legislation despite what opponents have suggested:

- Opponents of the legislation argue that Bill 20-418 would remove the entire category of biomass from the District’s RPS. That is incorrect. Rather, the bill places common sense standards on the eligibility of biomass by removing decades-old paper mills and old, inefficient biomass facilities from the top Tier of DC’s RPS while continuing to support new high-efficiency biomass systems. District residents should be getting the most bang for their RPS buck by incentivizing the construction of new clean energy facilities instead of sending money to faraway paper mills and power plants that would be operating even without a subsidy.

- Opponents also argue that that black liquor and other paper mills residues are “carbon neutral” and that the District should wait for guidance from the EPA. Unfortunately, the EPA report on biomass carbon emissions may not come out for several months, and it will not offer any useful guidance on how jurisdictions should manage their RPS laws.  The fact remains that the biomass facilities that qualify as Tier 1 energy in DC’s RPS were built decades ago and cannot, therefore, contribute to reducing CO2 or any other pollutants below current levels. Paper mills will continue to burn black liquor regardless of “carbon neutrality.” The only way to reduce pollution below current levels is to build new clean energy facilities to displace high-emitting fossil fuel generation.

More importantly, evidence for the need to take action keeps piling up every day.

Eugene Robinson, opinion writer at the Washington Post, recently cited a new study in the journal Nature that demonstrates “the eventual effect of human-generated carbon emissions could be greater than anticipated. Because of the impact of warming on cloud cover, the researchers calculated, average global temperatures could rise a full 7 degrees by the end of the century. This “would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous…” (Dire Signs from a Warming World, Washington Post, January 27, 2014)

The District of Columbia should be using all the tools at its disposal to incentivize the use of clean energy, including wind and solar, and to address climate change and carbon emissions. We already have a Renewable Portfolio Standard.  If we pass Bill 20-418 and fix the loopholes, we can take a positive step towards helping create a clean energy economy, a critical component of the city’s Sustainable DC plan.

Our Ask:

We urge the Committee on Government Operations to quickly move Bill 20-418, the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Amendment Act of 2013,” and send it to the full Council. This is something we should be able to do quickly and it will have a positive impact on the District’s efforts to become a clean energy leader in the nation.

Sign-Up to Participate Here!

All are welcome!

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13
Jan

United for a Healthy Anacostia River!

Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:56:10 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The DC Environmental Network Invites All Metro-Based Environmentalists and Others to Our Monthly Brown-Bag Discussion & Networking Opportunity!

On February 6th at NOON, join the DC Environmental Network for our monthly brown-bag networking opportunity featuring a discussion about the Federal City Council’s Anacostia Initiative to educate decision makers and others about bottom sediments polluted by legacy toxics. This brown-bag will be held at the offices of the DC Environmental Network/Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor. RSVP HERE!

Our panel will include:

- Anthony Williams, Former District of Columbia Mayor, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Federal City Council
- Doug Siglin, Executive Director, Anacostia River Initiative
- James Foster, President, Anacostia Watershed Society
- Mike Bolinder, Anacostia Riverkeeper
- Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The Anacostia River is a huge part of what is the District of Columbia. Rivers and creeks weave through many of our neighborhoods and define who we are as a people and are a barometer for how much we care about our communities. RSVP HERE!

The state of the Anacostia River:

Even as 17,000 people eat fish caught from the Anacostia River each year the Anacostia continues to hold the sad distinction of being one of the more polluted waterways in the nation. Contaminants (PCBs & PAHs) in the river’s bottom sediments are at levels 2-10 times higher than probable effects thresholds for living organisms. Unlike other rivers 2/3 of catfish pulled from the Anacostia River have tumors or lesions.

Over the last few decades there have been numerous efforts to deal with the raw sewage and polluted stormwater that makes its way into the Anacostia River. There has also been some attention given to land-based toxic hotspots at the Washington Gas Station site, Kenilworth Park Landfill site and Poplar Point site.

It is only in 2011 that stakeholders began to look seriously at addressing contaminated bottom sediment in the Anacostia River but already progress is slow or stalled. Even with assurances last April by District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director Keith Anderson that a Remedial Investigation (RI) of the bottom sediments would be complete in February 2014 and a Feasibility Study (FS) would be complete in 2015, it is unlikely DDOE would meet these deadlines as a work plan has not yet been released.

This stalled schedule also begins to impact Mayor Vincent Gray’s goal of a fishable and swimmable Anacostia River by 2032.

United for a Healthy Anacostia River:

To jumpstart this process, the Summit Fund of Washington recently partnered with the Federal City Council to, among other things, create a framework to increase awareness of the need to clean up toxic chemicals found in the bottom sediment of the Anacostia River. The DC Environmental Network and others are getting organized to support this effort and have joined a new coalition “United for a Healthy Anacostia River.”

On February 6th at NOON, join the DC Environmental Network brownbag luncheon to give representatives of the Federal City Council and all of us an opportunity to learn about and discuss efforts to create new energy and educational opportunities focused on the toxic bottom sediments in the Anacostia River.

This DCEN event will be a special opportunity for all of us to join the new coalition “United for a Healthy Anacostia River” and take action on this important endeavor.

All are welcome. RSVP HERE!

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7
Jan

Pushing the Sustainability Envelope?

Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 12:01:04 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

On Wednesday, January 8th at 11:00 AM, join the DC Environmental Network and testify at a DC Council Public Hearing and help fix Mayor Gray’s “Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2013!”

Legislation & Hearing Notice:

- Text of “Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2013.”

- DC Council Joint Hearing & Sign-Up Information.

Background:

As the new year begins District residents have important work to do to make sure we make progress towards making DC a more sustainable city. In early October, the DC environmental community was alerted to the introduction, by Mayor Vincent Gray, of legislation that is described as “supportive” of his vision to make the District of Columbia, “in one generation,” the “healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States.”

On November 7th the DC Environmental Network held our monthly networking opportunity giving over 50 environmental leaders and District residents an opportunity to to hear District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director Keith Anderson talk about the goals of Mayor Gray’s legislation. Participants also had an opportunity to comment and ask questions about the proposal.

The Mayor’s proposal claims to do a lot of things including (partial):

- Ban polystyrene.
- Improve public engagement in the operation of District energy programs and improve benchmarking.
- Protect public health by making sure contractors who perform radon mitigation services meet professional standards.
- Create standards for beekeeping.
- Improve current tree protection laws.

Although some of the provisions are a positive step forward it is clear that we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work to make sure this legislation results in real, meaningful benefits for District residents and the environment they live and work in.

DCEN will be opposing some of the provisions.

The DC Environmental Network (DCEN) has identified numerous problems with Mayor Gray’s legislation and will be testifying in opposition to some of the provisions including (partial): abolishing the Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) Advisory Board; requiring implementation of a polystyrene ban in 2018 (DCEN would like to see implementation a bit sooner); and ability to use tree funds for maintenance and other non-tree canopy expansion efforts. DCEN will be working to secure amendments to some of these provisions and will, when possible, score votes for appropriate amendments in our 2014 DC Council report card.

On Wednesday, January 8th at 11:00 AM, testify at a DC Council Public Hearing and help fix Mayor Gray’s “Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2013!” The Hearing will be in Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. You can either testify or just listen to the proceedings.

Learn more by watching some of the discussion from our November 7th DCEN networking event:

- Keith Anderson, DDOE Director, outlines what is in Mayor Gray’s omnibus legislation. Click Here!
- Maisie Hughes of Casey Trees describes key concerns about the Mayor’s bill as it relates to urban forestry issues. Click Here!
- Open Discussion Segment Part A. Click Here!
- Open Discussion Segment Part B. Click Here!

DCEN will be hosting a conference call on Monday, January 6th at 3:00 PM for anyone interested in testifying and need a little more information about what might need to be said at the hearing! If you are interested in participating, contact Chris Weiss. Click Here!

Hope to see some of you on January 8th!

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4
Dec

Promote Environmental Science Programs at UDC!

Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:52:25 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

FINAL EMAIL FOR December 5th Event b

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19
Nov

UDC Budget Pressures Threaten Environmental Science Programs!

Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:22:07 PM EST

by Joe Libertelli, University of the District of Columbia (UDC)

DCEN Invites All Metro-Based Environmentalists and Others to Our Monthly Brown-Bag Discussion & Networking Opportunity!

UDC Discussion Graphic

A Call to Action from Joe Libertelli:

Dear Friends,

We need your help!  The UDC Environmental Science undergraduate major, an integral part of the exciting new UDC College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), is facing the budget axe.   See Washington Post article HERE.

screen capture of quote 2To learn more about CAUSES, click HERE.  To read the bio of Dean Sabine O’Hara, click HERE.  We think you will be impressed!

As you may know, UDC as a whole is under tremendous budget pressure.  After years of not-so-benign neglect, the District budget ax has fallen hard – our own local “Sequester” on steroids.  UDC programs and majors that are considered under-enrolled and not currently cost effective are in jeopardy.  This is the case with the UDC Environmental Sciences undergraduate major.

However, given the dramatically increasing need for environmental science, particularly in an urban context, rather than cutting this major, we should be rallying to build it.  Please join us, therefore, not only in urging University and District leaders to maintain and build the environmental sciences program, but also in pledging our assistance!

Here’s what we can do:

- Attend the meeting on December 5th, RSVP HERE;
- Commit to “spreading the word” about the exciting green programming at UDC and, in particular, about the Environmental Science major;
- Commit to working with CAUSES to identify internship placement opportunities for UDC students in your own and other organizations, businesses or agencies;
- Commit to helping to publicize the many important green educational and community building events that take place at UDC each year;
- Commit to working with CAUSES to identify grant and other funding opportunities.

With your help, we can turn this crisis into opportunity – for both the DC environmental community and the University of the District of Columbia!

Thank you for your consideration,

Joe Libertelli
JLibertelli@udc.edu

Joe Libertelli is an environmental and social justice activist. He is the Alumni Director at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, a public interest law school.  He co-founded and served as Director of the Metro DC Environmental Network from 1990-1997

All are welcome! RSVP HERE.

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11
Nov

Drink to the Arts and the Environment!

Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 02:36:56 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

Day Eight Support Letter WEBSITE

DC Environmental Network:

Over the last year Day Eight and the DC Environmental Network have been convening discussions to figure out how we might find a shared mission and focus to develop an innovative nexus between the arts and environmental advocacy. A connection that we believe can feed new energy into our movement to help save our communities and the broader planet from ongoing environmental degradation. To learn more about Day Eight check out www.DayEight.org.

To begin this process we thought it might be good to start bringing a little resources into the picture and to celebrate the beginning of this new partnership. Come have a drink to support us Friday November 15th, from 6:30 – 9:00 PM at Petworth Citizen, 829 Upshur Street NW. All are welcome!

Buy your tickets here!Petworth Citizen B

- $15 donation: includes admission and one drink ticket
- $25 donation: admission for two and two drink tickets
- $50 donation: admission for two and five drink tickets
- $100 donation: admission for two and five drink tickets and a copy of the book Bourgeon signed by the editor

In the coming year Day Eight will launch a new project to connect the arts and the environment in partnership with the DC Environmental Network. Your donations are crucial to help us get this project started!

Click here to purchase your tickets from Day Eight to attend this event.

Just to give you a sense of recent accomplishments of our new partner Day Eight:

- Completed the third year of their DC Student Arts Journalism Challenge, a competition to identify and support talented young arts writers. Judges for the third annual competition included Philip Kennicott (Washington Post culture critic, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for criticism)

- Published a book of arts writing. Michael Kaiser, President of the Kennedy Center said: “Bourgeon takes you on a fascinating journey through the minds of dozens of artists… I highly recommend it.”

I am very proud and inspired by the work of our new partners. We’d love to have you join us and be on the ground floor of this new beginning!

Let me know you are coming.

Sincerely,

Chris Weiss
Executive Director
DC Environmental Network

 

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22
Oct

Mayor Grays 2013 Sustainable DC Legislation

Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 04:50:28 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

DCEN Invites All Metro-Based Environmentalists and Others to Our Monthly Networking Opportunity!

Come join Keith Anderson, Director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and other panelists to discuss Mayor Gray’s 2013 Sustainable DC legislation.

Our panelists:

- Keith Anderson, Director, District Department of the Environment (DDOE)
- Maisie Hughes, Director, Planning & Design, Casey Trees
- Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network (Moderator)
- Other panelists invited. More updates soon.

Our November 7th at Noon discussion will be held at the offices of the DC Environmental Network/Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor.

All are welcome.

RSVP to this important discussion here.

Background: In early October, the DC environmental community was alerted to the introduction, by Mayor Vincent Gray, of 11 pieces of legislation that are described as “supportive” of his vision to make the District of Columbia, “in one generation,” the “healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States.”

The Mayor’s Proposed Legislation:

JOBS & ECONOMY

The “Aggregate Benchmarking Data Access Act of 2013” and “Benchmarking Data Transfer Improvement Act of 2013” will support the District’s cutting-edge building benchmarking program by making data on energy and water use more accessible to building owners through direct electronic reporting by utilities. They further require transfer of utility records when a property changes ownership to ensure the new owner can track the building’s performance and make informed decisions about the cost of operating a building in addition to the price of the building.

The “Clean and Affordable Energy Public Engagement Enhancement Amendment Act of 2013” will promote greater public engagement in the operation of District energy programs, including the market-driven Sustainable Energy Utility and federally-funded grant programs administered by DDOE to allow comprehensive planning across all programs.

HEALTH & WELLNESS

The “Radon Contractor Proficiency Amendment Act of 2013” will ensure, through new DDOE regulations, that contractors performing radon mitigation services meet professional certification standards to preserve the health and safety of homes in the District.

The “Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Act of 2013” will provide new, partial tax rebates to vehicle owners who convert a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle to run on alternative fuels such as compressed or liquefied natural gas, biodiesel, propane, fuel cells or electric power. Encouraging the conversion of gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles to lower emission vehicles will help clean the air and provide relief to residents with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

The “Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Incentive Act of 2013” will provide new, partial tax rebates to promote installation of cleaner fuel fueling stations for compressed or liquefied natural gas, propane, or electric recharging when the site is accessible to the public. These incentives will further encourage residents and businesses to switch to cleaner-operating vehicles.

EQUITY & DIVERSITY

The “Transit Benefits Requirement Act of 2013” will reduce the cost of transit for employees across the city by requiring District employers – in medium and larger businesses as defined by regulation – to provide access to transit benefit programs, such as a pre-tax payroll deduction.

The “Environmental Literacy Plan Adoption Amendment Act of 2013” creates a new program and staff within the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to further develop and implement the Environmental Literacy Plan first developed under the Healthy Schools Act. The Environmental Literacy Plan will bring environmental education, including meaningful outdoor experiences, to District youth.

CLIMATE & THE ENVIRONMENT

The “Anacostia Pollution Prevention Act of 2013” would prohibit the sale, use, or provision of polystyrene containers for food services and encourage the use of compostable or recyclable containers. Through regulation, the Mayor would define the range of compostable and recyclable materials that could be used for food services. Reducing the use of polystyrene, which cannot be recycled or composted, will help clean the Anacostia and other waterways of polystyrene trash.

The “Sustainable Urban Agriculture Apiculture Amendment Act of 2013” will allow the Mayor to define through regulations, rather than statute, standards for beekeeping in the District to reflect the needs of local beekeepers and an effective level of agency oversight.

The “Urban Forest Amendment Act of 2013” will increase the quality of the District’s tree canopy by requiring payment to immediately offset the destruction or removal of a tree. This change will allow the District Government to plant replacement trees on public space throughout the city to more rapidly replace lost trees and help achieve the citywide 40% tree canopy goal.

Keith Anderson will give the big picture on the design and intent of these bills. We will then have a discussion and strategy session focused on whether Mayor Vincent Gray can move his vision forward with these particular initiatives and how we might engage in advocacy on them.

RSVP to this important discussion here.

All are welcome.

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30
Sep

Green Groups Oppose DC Mayor’s OAG Changes!

Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 06:22:16 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

Environmental Groups Oppose Mayor Gray’s Changes to Office of Attorney General (OAG):

The DC Environmental Network, Friends of the Earth, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Global Green USA, Potomac Riverkeeper, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Clean Water Action, Center for Biological Diversity, DC Divest & Global Bees sent a letter to DC Council members today in opposition to Mayor Gray’s proposed changes to the structure of the Office of Attorney General.  Click Here to Read Entire Letter!

AG Coalition Letter Pic 9 30 13

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25
Sep

Save Ten Mile Creek!

Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:00:59 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The DC Environmental Network Invites All Metro-Based Environmentalists to Our Monthly Brown-Bag Discussion & Networking Opportunity!

Come hear a distinguished panel of experts discuss the impact of planned large-scale development on the emergency drinking water supply for the DC metro area’s 4.3 million residents. There’s still time to take action to save Ten Mile Creek and the Little Seneca Reservoir – attend this luncheon to see how you can help.

SPEAKERS:

- Diane Cameron, Audubon Naturalist Society
- Mike Gravitz, Audubon Naturalist Society
- Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

Other speakers invited to participate. Update on Friday.

Our October 3rd discussion will be held at the offices of the DC Environmental Network, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor. All are welcome.

RSVP to this important discussion here.

Details: The Montgomery County Planning Board is currently finalizing a plan for development in and around Clarksburg MD that will be sent to the Montgomery County Council for a vote later this fall. The Planning Board says in its own draft that the plan fails to protect the last clean tributary to the region’s emergency drinking water supply – the Little Seneca Reservoir. This reservoir has been used twice in recent years and has been prepared for use another time. In an era of increasing drought cycles the reservoir will become even more critical to the region. In addition, the degradation of Ten Mile Creek threatens area groundwater – on which nearly 60 percent of northern Montgomery County residents rely.

The DC Environmental Network submitted testimony to the Montgomery County Planning Board. Click Here!  Find additional information on the Save Ten Mile Creek website. Click Here!

Speakers will present about these issues and answer your questions. We will then engage in an open discussion about how we can all work together to protect our region’s water supply.

All are welcome. Spread the word. RSVP Here!

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