Town report card on environmental improvements

At the April 8 town board work session, staff from the town’s Department of Planning and Environment and Department of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management presented an update on supervisor Ed Romaine’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Initiative. The supervisor announced in 2015 that the town was committed to a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 2020 to become a sustainable, self-reliant, environmentally proactive community. The efforts are to help combat climate change, reduce vulnerability to fluctuating fuel prices and supply and prepare for future economic challenges. In comparing 2018 to 2005 (baseline), the report indicated:

  • Annual electric consumption down 2,392,298 KWh
  • CO2e reduction = 7,396.55 tons
  • Annual gasoline consumption down 122,077 gallons
  • CO2e reduction = 1,413.55 tons

“The town is making great progress to reduce our carbon footprint and I am committed to do whatever I can to protect and preserve the environment for future generations,” Romaine said. “As we move ahead to achieve my goal, I ask all the residents of Brookhaven Town to do their part as well. Together, we can make Brookhaven a cleaner, greener place to live.”

Highlights of the report include:

Street Lighting

  • LED Conversion – began in 2014
  • Realized 12.5 percent decrease in energy use compared to 2013
  • Highway Department to continue conversion to LED bulbs
  • Projected 29.5 percent decrease in energy use 2013 to 2019

Green Fleet

  • Town anti-idling policy and minimum MPG standard (33mpg) were implemented in 2015
  • 7 Hybrid Ford Fusions are utilized in the fleet
  • First all-electric vehicle purchased in early 2017
  • Two additional all-electric vehicles are to be delivered by May 2019
  • Gasoline consumption from town fleet has decreased by 29.2 percent from 2005-2018
  • Electric vehicle charging stations have been installed at three town facilities with more to come in 2019

Town Hall

  • Conversion to efficient LED fixtures includes 2,166 fluorescent troffer lights
  • Approximately $188,000 in PSEG rebates received
  • Converted all parking lot lighting and outside floodlights
  • Solar on roof to be installed Fall 2019
  • Estimated that lighting in building will be 95 percent LED by end of 2019

Renewable Energy Production

  • Solar energy at Town Hall (1.32 MW), Manorville Compost (1.35 MW) and Holtsville Ecology Site (1.75 MW) and future renewable energy at Brookhaven Calabro Airport and the Amphitheater
  • Brookhaven Energy Park at the Landfill
    • 7.4 MW fuel cell in the planning stage
    • Solar development
    • Partnership with American Organic Energy
    • Exploring battery storage option

Continued Recycling Initiatives

  • Brew to Moo: 405,000 pounds of spent grain from local breweries is being used as food for animals at local farms
  • An additional 37,500 pounds of grain and coffee have been used as a compost supplement
  • Half Shells for Habitat: 25 restaurants participating across the region

Sustainability

  • Shellfish Restoration: The Town of Brookhaven’s Mariculture Facility annually grows approximately 1.5 million oysters and 1 million clams.
  • Two eelgrass restoration projects were completed in 2018 within Brookhaven Town waters in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program and area volunteers. One site on the shoal, north of the Bellport Bay channel, has replaced the former John Boyle Island site and the second eelgrass plantings were added to the 2017 plantings in Moriches Bay, west of Swan Island, where the past plantings are thriving.
  • Trees for Tribs Program: Funding was secured in 2018 for the 2019 Reforestation of Bay Avenue Farm in East Moriches consisting of a 100-foot planted buffer along the wetland areas of the property adjacent to the Terrell River, a tributary to the Moriches Bay.
  • Town of Brookhaven designated a Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation as result of the “Greening Brookhaven” initiative. Goal to plant 10,000 trees by 2020 was met in May 2018.

Open Space Preservation

In 2018 more than 70 Open Space acquisitions were completed for a total of 81.6 acres preserved. This program helps protect drinking water supplies, surface water quality and protects habitat for a myriad of species.

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