On October 25, 2010, the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs awarded the City of Lowell a nearly $550,000 grant. The grant is a result of the efforts to both obtain a Green Communities Designation, and to submit a successful application. Only 34 other communities among Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns were awarded a grant. There were a number of criteria required for a municipality to be designated a “Green Community”:
1. Adopt as-of-right siting for renewable energy/alternative energy generation, R&D, or manufacturing
2. Adopt expedited permitting process
3. Create an Energy Reduction Plan to reduce energy use by 20% in 5 years
4. Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles
5. Adopt Stretch Energy Code
Councilor Murphy’s motions, votes, and lobbying helped lead the effort:
Motion to report on plans & progress toward city-wide Sustainability Plan, mentioning Green Communities as a means, in part, toward that end.
Motion, as Chair of Environmental Committee, to adopt Stretch Code.