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County's Green Thinking Earns Award

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February 3, 2010

From holding departmental staff meetings online to insulating a park’s visitor center with recycled blue jeans, the County of San Diego is finding more ways to protect the environment and save money.

Through policies set by the County Board of Supervisors and programs administered through the County’s 57 departments, the County has become a regional leader in green business practices, and received awards for its innovations.

The latest recognition: the California Sustainability Alliance has awarded the County a 2009 Sustainability Showcase Award in the category of local, large governments.

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“The County of San Diego is proud of our programs that build strong and sustainable communities including the Energy Management and Green Building Programs,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price.

“We plan to continue setting an example for governments nationwide,” she said.

County officials will receive the award later this month in Los Angeles. Among the County programs recognized by the Alliance:

  • Green Building Program: Streamlines approvals and reduces fees for incorporating green features into private development.
  • Synthetic turf for ball fields: Saves water and maintenance costs.
  • Electronic paper reduction: Avoids physical transfer of files for health and legal purposes.
  • Electronic flush valves in detention facilities: New flushometers at the George Bailey Detention Facility are saving the County 31 million gallons a year – 12 percent of the water used at that site, or 4 percent of all the water used by the County.

“Our policies and operations affect the air we breathe and the food we eat, the roads we drive on, our safety and health and how we build our communities,” said Peter Livingston, the County’s sustainability manager.

“We have a responsibility to be leaders in this area, but we also have to walk the walk. And now, it seems like everywhere you look within our organization, someone is doing something green.”        

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