Has the Mayor Put the District’s Environment at Risk?
by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network
DCEN brownbag discussion on how the recent dismissal of DDOE Director Christophe Tulou may impact our work to create a sustainable DC!
On October 4th at noon, at the offices of Global Green USA (1100 15th Street NW, Suite 700), join the DC Environmental Network for a discussion about Mayor Gray’s recent dismissal of District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director Christophe Tulou.
Our presentation and discussion will strive to answer these questions:
- What happened and why? Does this decision fit into larger political issues the District faces?
- Does this signal a new direction for this administration on sustainability issues?
- Will this change impact the vision and direction of the Mayor’s Sustainable DC initiative?
- Is the Mayor still committed to his stated goal of “making the District the cleanest, greenest, most sustainable city” in the nation?
- What can the environmental community do to make sure we do not backslide on current environmental initiatives and keep the momentum in the District moving forward?
- Who should lead the District Department of the Environment (DDOE)?
On August 31st, DC City Administrator Allen Lew announced the dismissal of Christophe Tulou as Director of the District’s Department of the Environment (DDOE).
Much of the local environmental community was surprised by this decision by Mayor Gray as Director Tulou had in only a few years, improved agency efficiency and recognition. Some of Director Tulou’s accomplishments at DDOE included:
- Sustainable DC: When Mayor Gray came back from the Conference of Mayors and asked Director Tulou to lead efforts to create a sustainability plan second to none, the Director aggressively implemented the Mayor’s directive. Director Tulou was critical to marshaling the energy and support of the business and environmental communities to help develop the Sustainable DC vision statement and implementation plan. Because of his efforts Sustainable DC is off to a very good start.
- Climate Change & Energy Independence: Director Tulou presided over the reorganization of District energy programs to help reduce costs to ratepayers, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.
- Clean Rivers: Director Tulou successfully led programs to reduce the amount of polluted runoff and sewage that makes its way into our waterways, including: proposing a new stormwater ordinance which must not be delayed; enforcement actions against industrial polluters who have released toxics on the banks of the Anacostia River; a voluntary cleanup of toxic river sediments that make fishing dangerous: and initiatives to green and clean our neighborhoods.
- DC’s Reputation: Under his leadership, DC’s reputation for environmental, energy and public health leadership improved locally, nationally and globally. Two days before his firing, Director Tulou accepted on behalf of the District and DDOE two of three national awards by the Environmental Council of the States for innovative state programs. EPA recognized DC as the leading green power purchasing community in the United States. DC surpassed Chicago as the nation’s leading green roof city. DDOE’s Lead and Healthy Homes program is now recognized as the model for protecting the health of our children. And New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg, on behalf of the C40 group of the world’s leading cities and in recognition of DC’s extraordinary environmental credentials, has invited our city to join a concerted worldwide campaign to combat the causes and consequences of changing climate.
The environmental community did not always agree with Mayor Gray and former Director Tulou but gave this administration credit for setting a higher bar for sustainability in the District. It was very clear to everyone that under Tulou’s leadership DDOE strived to work with both the environmental and business community, with the sole purpose of making sure District resident’s interests were well represented.
You can watch Director Tulou when he recently participated in a DCEN discussion on promoting diversity and inclusion in a Sustainable DC. Click Here!
All are welcome. RSVP Here!