Delaware County to Host First Sustainability Conference While Receiving $600,000 for Electric Vehicles

The Delaware County Office of Sustainable Development is shaking.

He recently received two Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants totaling $600,000 to be used by the county to purchase new electric vehicles and related charging stations.

Although full for in-person attendants, Delaware County’s first sustainability conference will be held Thursday at Subaru Park. The event scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. can be viewed via the live stream at delcopa.gov/sustaindelco.

It should be an annual event and is vegan, zero waste and free.

Focusing on six areas – health and well-being, climate resilience, natural resources, transport, energy and zero waste, local and regional sustainability experts and advocates will share ideas and discuss climate change, climate stewardship and environmental stewardship. environment, health and sustainability.

Ruth Abbe is the keynote speaker. In November, his California-based company Zero Waste Associates was hired by Delaware County to develop a 10-year solid waste management plan that would create a way to manage the county’s waste over the next decade. The county is required to submit this plan to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection by December 2023. Abbe has also worked with Austin and Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and San Francisco, California.

Among the 27 speakers at the event are Delaware County Council President Dr. Monica Taylor; the mayor of Chester, Thaddeus Kirkland; Francine Locke, Delaware County Sustainability Officer; Elizabeth Drake, director of sustainability at Swarthmore College; Darren A. Spielman, executive director of the Pennsylvania Resources Council; Justin Trezza, director of the community garden program at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; and Melody Mason, tree grower and urban farmer from Harlem, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Among those planning to attend are Bryn Mawr College, Drive Electric Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, City of Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability, Penn State Agriculture Extension, Pennsylvania Resources Council, the Bureau of Environmental Justice, the Delaware County Department of Health, Conscious Connections, Inc., and members of the Chester County Planning Commission, Montgomery County Planning Commission, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

In-person conference attendees can take part in a tour of the stadium as well as its organic garden and electric ‘ride and drive’ demonstration. There will also be a Sustain Delco awards ceremony.

Electric vehicles will soon become even more common in the Delaware County fleet, thanks to the state’s latest alternative fuel incentive grants.

The county is in the process of replacing its fleet with electric vehicles and last week they announced the awarding of two AFI grants totaling $600,000.

This will allow the county to purchase 69 new electric vehicles, including 29 specifically for the Delaware County Health Department, and 22 charging stations.

Last year, the county also received two AFI grants and used them to purchase 15 electric vehicles and three charging stations.

The county’s fleet is made up of more than 300 cars, trucks and specialized law enforcement vehicles, 84 of which are electric vehicles. There are also 25 charging stations.

“The $600,000 in DEP grants will enable Delaware County to accelerate its transition from a fossil fuel-powered fleet to a zero-emissions fleet,” Locke said. “This means we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to rapid climate change, and reduce the exposure of our most at-risk populations to air pollution and its chronic health effects, especially asthma.

With the purchase of electric vehicles under this grant round, 33,253 gallons of gasoline are expected to be replaced per year and 178 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced.

Locke explained how the vehicles will be used once here.

“The majority of new electric vehicles will be driven by environmental health inspectors from the new health department who will visit every neighborhood in the county,” she said.

She added that the grants also mean that $600,000 that would have been used to acquire new vehicles can now be directed to other needs.

Thanks to this funding and these efforts, Locke said, “Residents of Delaware County will be able to breathe cleaner, healthier air!