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City may contract premier consultant

City: Council is looking at top environmental company to create climate action plan

Posted: December 13, 2010 10:27 p.m.
Updated: December 14, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita is considering buying the “Ferrari” of environmental consultants to create a plan to meet state goals on reducing greenhouse gases, a city planner said Monday.

The Santa Clarita City Council is contemplating awarding ENVIRON International Corp. during its meeting tonight with a $160,000 contract to create a climate action plan.

The plan would guide the city in meeting state emissions standards spelled out in the California Global Warming Solutions Act.

ENVIRON literally wrote the book on the subject.

“(We would be) getting the Ferrari of the (climate action plan) world,” assistant city planner Dave Peterson said. “And, since we chose an affordable firm, that would mean we’re getting the Ford Mustang of the (climate action plan) world.”

The 2006 global warming legislation committed the state to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a level equal to 1990 emissions by 2020.

To do that, the state requires cities like Santa Clarita to create plans that evaluate and plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Peterson said Santa Clarita is already ahead of the game with goals spelled out in One Valley, One Vision, the city’s updated general plan. A draft form of One Valley, One Vision is making the rounds at the planning commission level, with public hearings on the document and its environmental review — which together total 8,098 pages — scheduled to spill into next year.

“When we went through the first of these documents and we compared all the goals spelled out in One Valley, One Vision, we found we’re 80 percent compliant already,” Peterson said.

The city received seven proposals and “ENVIRON had a very competitive price,” Peterson said.

Taxpayers will pay ENVIRON $159,990 for the consulting job, if the City Council approves the contract.

Officials from ENVIRON, which is based in Northern California, worked with the state to compile two manuals on how municipalities should reduce greenhouse gases.

“We wrote the book on the process, if you will,” ENVIRON Principal Steve Messnar said. “We know how to translate all those brilliant ideas for community planning ... and how to convert them into meaningful numbers.”

Last month, ENVIRON was recognized as the Contaminated Land Consultant of the Year when it was awarded the Edie Award for Environmental Excellence — a top prize in Great Britain.

The Santa Clarita City Council meets at 7 p.m. tonight in Council Chambers at Santa Clarita City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd. For a copy of the meeting agenda, go to santa-clarita.com.

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