It’s our obligation to create a more sustainable county.
As an environmental justice specialist for the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE), a national, interfaith non-profit, I created environmental educational resources, programmed scholars’ conferences and statewide retreats around the country, edited a compendium on the intersection of faith and the environment, and lobbied Congress for environmental protections.
Currently I serve on the Montgomery County Parks’ Energized Public Spaces committee to create more parks and open spaces to serve areas of the county most in need. Parks and open spaces are a huge quality of life asset. Preserving our natural areas is highly valued by our residents. These spaces are also important to maintaining important ecosystems.
The Agricultural Reserve is a unique and special asset of Montgomery County, which must be protected. We must shutter the Montgomery County waste incinerator located in the reserve and not renew its contract. We must also remove waste incineration from Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard in favor of solar and wind energy. I support the council’s resolution to move the county to 100% renewable energy by 2035.
Solutions for addressing challenges to the preservation of our natural resources are multi-faceted, and connect to many areas of our lives:
- Reducing our carbon footprint by building a more robust public transportation infrastructure
- Protecting the Agricultural Reserve, a remarkable land-use model that sets aside 90,000 acres providing critical habitat, permeable land surface for water filtration, bucolic recreation opportunities and more
- Expanding the use of solar panels for county facilities, school buildings, businesses and homes
- Working collaboratively with communities, developers and road projects to preserve green space
- Providing tax credits for businesses that use environmentally friendly practices, such as telecommuting that reduces car traffic, rainscapes for conservation landscaping, and the Green Building and exemption of electricity generated through onsite solar installation from the tax, and other incentives for companies to use solar
- Closing the Dickerson trash incinerator at contract’s end
- Removing waste incineration from Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard