SPOKANE, Wash. — As the City of Spokane continues to work toward making our home more environment-friendly, the city council president said a new ordinance could mean faster action.
On Monday night, the city council will vote on an ordinance that would create a "Sustainability Action Commission" to make recommendations for Spokane's future.
Spokane city council president Ben Stuckart said the "Sustainability Action Plan" the city adopted in 2009 is not enough.
According to Stuckart, the city has invested $200 million in the last four years on efforts to make the city more environment-friendly.
Some of these efforts include the city's combined sewer overflow tanks to keep the river cleaner, the banning of different harmful insecticides used on city property and the city's efforts to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles.
However, he said the Sustainability Action Plan is not creating recommendations for the city fast enough, and added that the city needs to get the ball rolling and actually start making some of these recommendations a reality.
"Over the last few years we have seen the effects of climate change and whether you believe if it is man-made or not, climate change is happening and so people can disagree all they want about who is causing it, but we better be doing something to mitigate those effects," Stuckart. said.
"One of the things the Sustainability Action Plan is going to look at is really how do we mitigate the effects of wildfires in our region? If we have air quality that is constantly suffering every single summer during the month of August --- and I think that we can probably agree that 20 years ago this was not a problem in Spokane --- you didn't have an August where you couldn't breathe outside and it was unhealthy to go outside, and so we need to be looking at everything we possibly can do," he added.
Stuckart said he also hopes the city will also adopt the goal of clean energy for the entire city of Spokane by the year 2030 on Monday night.
If the ordinance is passed, it would make it possible for the mayor to appoint 11 citizens to the commission, which would then need council approval.
One member would come from Avista, another would have a financial background and one would be from a local environment-friendly group.
If the ordinance is passed, it could become law in 30 days.