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How can Lafayette mitigate environmental hazards (for example, climate change, air quality issues, and water quality issues)?  

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How can Lafayette mitigate environmental hazards (for example, climate change, air quality issues, and water quality issues)?

All new builds should have some minor infrastructure that allows them to easily be upgradable to solar. Right now, new developments are going in and it is very expensive to retrofit these homes for solar. However if the design just includes conduit for wiring, and space for junction boxes, then the upgrade process is much easier. Also, all new homes should at least be plumbed for all electric utilities. This is another thing that would just include conduit in the design, to allow future home owners to remove their gas appliance and go fully electric.

Maybe also require air sealing. That's one of the most common things recommended from an energy audit, and it's almost never done during construction. Maybe also mandate more insulation.

Large unbroken southerly roof planes support solar panels; dormers, vents, and hip roofs do not. We should encourage and reward those who build solar capable roofs. we should adopt and ordanance like Denver's for larger roofs. https://www.denvergov.org/content/dam/denvergov/Portals/771/documents/BEH/2019/Rules_Regs_Gov_GreenBldgReq.pdf

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As with clean energy, I think many of these areas are areas in which Lafayette needs to be a follower.  Lafayette is not a closed system for, for example, air quality.  Whatever Lafayette does to improve air quality should be part of an overall state-wide or nation-wide effort if it involves expenditure of resources.  No matter what percent of our local resources we devote to air quality improvement, it won't make any appreciable difference if we're the lone contributor.  We need to be a team player in these areas because any air improvement we make gets swept into the vast ocean of air around the world.

On the other hand, we can address resources that we can reliably reuse within the city -- like water.  If we treat water for reuse, we can treat that as a closed system and make a difference for Lafayette. 

We need to focus on improving things in Lafayette -- not fixing the world.

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Everyone has to do all they can to mitigate climate change. Lafayette can promote solar energy with new building standards, solar charging stations for electric cars. The city should only purchase electric cars and proved incentives for people and businesses to purchase electric cars.

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Make it easy for businesses and households to become part of a solar/wind conglomerate.

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Adopt building standards for rainwater capture (like Stapelton.)

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I guess this goes here:

 

I just came across the article at this link:

https://www.aol.com/article/lifestyle/2019/07/29/this-is-why-you-never-see-mosquitoes-at-disney-world/23781924/

Obviously, aside from visiting Disney World once, I have no personal experience with this, but it seems like an interesting piece, and maybe Lafayette should include these kinds of proactive efforts to control mosquitoes as we go forward with our Comprehensive Master Plan. I know that many people object to using insecticides sprays (those evil chemicals), and Disney doesn't do that. They work at avoiding stagnant water and they use a garlic spray (okay, technically, garlic is a chemical, but I'm betting very few people will object since it's apparently not strong enough to smell). If successful, this would line up with Environmental Stewardship.

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The primary step to mitigate water and air problems is to prevent fracking. After that, stepped-up education emphasizing how an individual's choice adversely impacts the community. An example, what you put on your lawn or directly in the gutter costs money to clean up. That money could be used elsewhere while saving the homeowner time/labor and the cost of excessive fertilizer, possibly resulting in a lower monthly utility bill. Another example would be a small personal sacrifice or inconvenience (like wearing an extra layer of clothing instead of warming the car for 10 minutes) so that the community benefits.

We can mitigate some of these environmental hazards by keeping more of the actual environment and not exploiting every square inch of it.

 

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Include more details in water bills about how your usage compares to others. 

 

Don't allow businesses in Lafayette to sell round up. Stop using it on public property. 

Use marketing campaigns to popularize alternatives to seas of green lawns. 

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In leu of requiring builders and residents to recycle building waste,  we should have a mechanism (and culture change)  by which builders and residents,  can notify a group of volunteers of a construction project, or other major activity that creates waste,  like evictions or home improvements.  The volunteers will then be allowed to take as much of the waste as they can and bring it to recycling facilities, re-use stores, or compost.  I have seen many construction projects in the city throw away perfectly usable materials and products.  I have also seen evictions where landlords get a large construction waste bin and fill it with perfectly usable items that could have been donated or even sold.  Instead they are now sitting in a landfill. 

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Trees answer all three issues by cooling and cleaning the air, capturing carbon and providing cooling shade and comfort.  They are the counter balance to cars. We should insist that asphalt be shaded by trees. Current tree standards and as a result many developments do not provide enough ground to grow full size trees so we see parking lots with tiny planting beds and small dying trees. Let's raise the standard so that cannot happen. 

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