Recommendations to combat climate change in Prince George’s County include reducing vehicle emissions by 50% starting in 2030 and creating a resident advisory group to interact with county decision-makers.

If residents, business owners and property owners have any other environmental ideas, they can present them during a final virtual session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Portions of a more than 200-page climate action draft plan will also be previewed.

Kim Crews, president of the Cool Spring Civic Association in Adelphi, offered a few remedies such as more adequate pickup times for bulky trash and imposing at least a five-cent plastic bag fee.

Every Saturday, Crews said she and others from various neighborhoods walk up to five miles picking up trash along the northwest branch of the Anacostia River.

“Sometimes we have to wait a month for bulky trash pickup,” she said. “If we had better bulky trash pickup and had the bag tax, you would see a reduced amount of litter refill. We think these would be some easy fixes.”

A table highlights climate hazards and its current impact on Prince George’s County. (Courtesy of Prince George’s County Climate Action Commission)

A 16-member county Climate Action Commission worked on recommendations this year to improve the environment. One piece of data presented this summer showed the combined forest and tree canopy coverage in the county at 52% with a goal to increase that percentage in the next 14 years.

The commission posted a revised plan on Nov. 10. The proposals in the plan with possible adoption by County Council next year include:

• Registering about 15% of vehicles in the county as electric vehicles by 2030, which would be part of a statewide initiative.
• Prioritizing energy projects in underserved communities.
• Expanding and encouraging food and climate education in the county public schools and community college’s agricultural/urban farming curriculum.
• Sponsoring a climate-ready leadership summit that compares what other jurisdictions are doing, analyzing costs to become climate-resilient and assessing health, financial and food shortage impacts on the county.

Monique Taylor, president of the Camp Springs Civic Association, said the county should focus on more economic development and less on residential construction.

“If we are trying to reduce emissions and we are continuing to tear down trees, that is contradictory to helping the environment,” she said. [Economic development is] not impossible, but it is hard. Just have to work harder at bringing it to Prince George’s County.”

Final comments can be submitted Wednesday via email at climateaction@co.pg.md.us, or postmarked by mail to Prince George’s County Department of the Environment; Climate Action Plan – ATTN: Mary Abe; 1801 McCormick Drive, Suite 500; Largo, MD, 20774.

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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