Press release: Regional Climate Alliance Holds Second Meeting: Project 46 Steering Committee in Bloomington

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian Tuesday:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 12, 2023

For more information, please contact:

Shawn Miya, Assistant Director for Sustainability, Economic and Sustainable Development

[email protected] or 812-349-3418

Angela Van Rooy, Interim Communications Director, Office of the Mayor

[email protected] or 812-349-3505

Regional Climate Alliance Holds Second Meeting: Project 46 Steering Committee in Bloomington

Bloomington, Ind. – On Monday, December 4, 2023, the Project 46 Steering Committee met in Bloomington to identify and pursue solutions that effectively address our shared challenges and opportunities related to climate change. Project 46 is a bipartisan, cross-sector, regional climate alliance linking the communities of Columbus, Nashville, and Bloomington, named for the state highway that links them together.

Members of the Project 46 Steering Committee include the Mayors and Town Manager from all three communities, as well as representatives from businesses and community organizations such as Cummins, Inc., Indiana University, Tasus Corporation, IU Health, and Heritage Fund, as well as youth. The committee began meeting in person on a quarterly basis, rotating among the three cities.

At the December meeting, the Steering Committee made great progress to move the initiative forward, including agreements to hire a consulting firm to support the collaboration, develop a public, tri-county, regional greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, and set specific goals for 2024.   

A preliminary list of priority climate actions includes generating renewable energy, building energy efficiency and electrification, increasing the number of electric fleet and public transit vehicles, improving electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and reducing waste. Climate resilience strategies related to flooding and extreme heat were also discussed.

“This regional collaboration is good for Bloomington, and our region.” said Mayor John Hamilton. “We’re all working toward common goals of improving energy efficiency, reducing waste, and improving climate resilience. Together we can be more effective and faster, doing our part for the planet and for our residents by promoting equity, sustainability, and a higher quality of life.”

One potential funding opportunity for Project 46 priority climate actions is the EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG). The CPRG program provides $5 billion in grants to states and local governments to develop and implement ambitious plans for reducing GHG emissions and other harmful air pollution. The grants are aimed at benefiting local communities, creating jobs, and improving air quality. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has received a $3 million CPRG grant for planning the State’s Priority Climate Action Plan which is due to the EPA early next year. The Steering Committee has provided IDEM with the list of Project 46 priority climate actions and will continue to communicate with IDEM about the next steps in the grant application process.

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