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Projects Updates for Contribute to Regional Climate Action Plans

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  1. archived info - prior project description

    In coordination with the Chancellor’s Office work with representatives from Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, MTD, and the Regional Planning commission to evaluate the potential for a region-wide Climate Action Plan.

    By working with businesses, community members, and local governments to develop a Regional Climate Action Plan, the University can foster solutions to regional sustainability issues.

    prior name: Contribute to a Regional Climate Action Plan

  2. Nexamp Offers Information Sessions on Community Solar

    The City of Urbana is now partnering with Nexamp to bring solar savings opportunities to the community. This program is available to low and moderate income residents, including renters who do not own local property. The program provides solar power, through the existing electrical distribution network using solar panels that are being installed at the closed Urbana landfill.

    Nexamp is holding two information sessions for Illinois residents to learn how they can enroll in a community solar program. These events will be held on:

    The flyer for these events can be found in the attached files below.

  3. iSEE discussion with iMatterNow representatives

    iSEE Director Evan DeLucia and Associate Director Madhu Khanna met with student representatives from the iMatterNow organization.  iSEE connected these students with on-campus student groups, including the Student Sustainability Leadership Council and the Students for Environmental Concerns.  The original email inquiry is below:

    "Hello, Dr. DeLucia.

    My name is Rebecca Laurent, and I am a sophomore studying NRES and Political Science. I wanted to talk with you about an initiative that I am working on.

    I currently serve as the Regional Organizer for the Central US for an organization called iMatter, which was founded by a 13 year-old with the vision of giving young people a voice on the climate crisis. We recently kicked off a campaign, called iMatterNow, that is focused on achieving progress at the city-level. At the core of the campaign is a "Report Card" that assesses how well a city is doing in reducing emissions to the level needed to prevent the worst effects of climate change (based on a report by Jim Hansen that we must reduce emissions by 6% annually). Students complete the report card with municipal data in categories such as waste, carbon removal, and GHG emissions.

    Eventually, the students present the results of the report card along with petition signatures they have collected in their school and community and ask that they pass a resolution or ordinance. The ultimate aim of the campaign is to have cities adopt a more aggressive Climate Action Plan in the context of achieving a higher grade on the "Report Card".

    Students are doing the iMatterNow campaign in various cities across the US and in Toronto. I am working with high school students at Champaign Central and Urbana High School to bring this campaign to Champaign-Urbana. I hope to get UIUC students involved in this effort in the community as well as on campus. Recently, we have discussed making adjustments to the Report Card to evaluate universities as opposed to cities. 

    If you are interested and available, I would love to speak with you or someone else at the ISEE about the local iMatterNow campaign and your thoughts on the report card and introducing the campaign to college campuses. Please let me know if this is a possibility! I will be on campus all summer, and I'm pretty flexible.

    Thank you,

    Rebecca Laurent

  4. Household Hazardous Waste Report

    Today’s RPC Technical Committee meeting included an overview of the study completed by RPC to identify a strategy to improve household hazardous waste (HHW) collection options in a seven-county east central Illinois region. Work on the study began in 2013 and was completed in 2015.

    The take-away product of the RPC study is the Local Government Toolkit: Improving HHW Collection Options in Illinois. (The Toolkit and accompanying Background Report may soon become a published report by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center).

    The problem of providing a viable HHW collection option to our citizens has been a longstanding one. In Champaign County we waited six years before receiving the opportunity to hold an IEPA one-day HHW collection at significant cost in September 2012. We are waiting still (four years and counting) for another IEPA one-day HHW collection opportunity. In the meantime, no collection options exist for citizens for safe disposal of:

    • Oil-based liquid paints, paint strippers, and thinners
    • Herbicides and pesticides
    • Lawn chemicals
    • Insecticides
    • Old gasoline
    • Mercury-containing devices
    • Drain and oven cleaners
    • Spot remover
    • Antifreeze
    • Pool chemicals
    • Household cleaning products
    • Car cleaners
    • Personal care products

    Fortunately, some strides are being made locally by providing local options for safe disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals.  We have a long way to go with regard to HHW collection options.

    As an initial action, please distribute the attached Local Government Toolkit: Improving HHW Collection Options in Illinois for review to all stakeholders with a potential interest, including your planning agency, public works department, and local officials.

    The Champaign County Sustainability Practitioners group recommended to form a leadership team to engage in the search for funding sources to support an agreed-upon strategy as a logical first step.

    I look forward to receiving  your questions or comments about this upcoming initiative.  Thank you.  

    Susan Monte, AICP


    Champaign County Regional Planning Commission

  5. Green Apple Day of Service letter from iSEE to local schools

    The USGBC Green Apple Day of Service ( was September 26, 2015, and iSEE Associate Director Madhu Khanna sent a letter to local schools encouraging them to participate.  The letter is attached here, and the outcomes are shown on the USGBC website at

  6. Madhu Khanna to lead efforts for regional climate action plan

    Hi Madhu,

    Thanks for being willing to guide the discussion about a regional collaboration for sustainability efforts.  I had a chance to talk with Al Stratman about this, and he agrees that it is appropriate for iSEE to lead this discussion on behalf of the university.  Al asked that I remain on the team as his representative, so please continue to include me in the meetings.

    I’ve attached the (unedited) notes I took during our meeting at the end of May.  Also, Stephanie and I will investigate the impacts of expanding the iCAP Portal to include community/county sustainability efforts.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

    Thank you,



    Ms. Morgan B. Johnston

    Associate Director of Sustainability, F&S

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Facilities & Services, 141 PPSB, MC-800

    1501 S. Oak, Champaign, IL 61820


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Khanna, Madhu
    Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2014 12:34 PM
    To: Tess, Scott; Johnston, Morgan B; Andrew Levy; Jane Sullivan
    Cc: Evan DeLucia
    Subject: RE: MCAP meeting

    Dear All

    It was great meeting you yesterday and learning about the sustainability efforts and challenges for the cities. Thanks to Morgan for arranging it.   iSEE stands ready to facilitate and coordinate these efforts as we move forward. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

    Best wishes


    Madhu Khanna, Professor

    Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics/Energy Biosciences Institute Editor, American Journal of Agricultural Economics Associate Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 1301, W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801

    phone: 217-333-5176; fax: 217-333-5538



  7. Urbana receives an energy award

    Urbana Awarded for Business Energy Efficiency

    Contact: Scott R. Tess
    706 S. Glover Ave.
    Urbana, IL 61802
    Tel. (217) 384-2381
    Email:         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—April 28, 2014

    Ameren Illinois has honored the City of Urbana and its businesses with Ameren’s 2013 Most Progressive City award.
    The annual award is given to cities demonstrating extraordinary accomplishments in energy efficiency.  Forty-five Urbana Businesses participated in Ameren Illinois’ energy efficiency rebate program, ActOnEnergy, in the 2013-2014 program period.  These businesses completed 94 energy saving projects totaling 2,253,926 kWh of electricity and 148 therms of natural gas. 
    By participating in ActOnEnergy, Urbana businesses received $99,872 in incentives and will save $157,920 in annual energy costs.
    The City of Urbana’s Climate Action Plan has been guiding a number of energy saving activities including Tax Increment Financing incentives for energy efficiency upgrades to buildings as well as training and technical assistance through the Urbana-Champaign ENERGY STAR Challenge.
    As part of the award, Urbana received four street signs to place at entrances to the city identifying Urbana as Ameren Illinois’ 2013 Most Progressive City.
    For more information, please visit or contact Scott Tess at 217-384-2381 or


  8. Illinois Bike Summit


    Dear Summit attendee,


    Thanks for being part of the 2014 Illinois Bike Summit!  We're thrilled at how many bicycle advocates and interested professionals came to advance your agendas in your communities.  Hopefully it was time well spent.    


    The presentations, attendee list, printed program, and more are all available now at the Summit webpage,  


    For those who did not fill out a printed evaluation sheet, please complete our evaluation survey to help us make the next Summit even better!


    Thanks again for attending! 

    Ed Barsotti, League of Illinois Bicyclists 

    Jeff Yockey, Champaign County Bikes 


    League of Illinois Bicyclists | 630-978-0583 | |


  9. County e-waste collection

    Tomorrow, April 12, Champaign County will be holding a free residential electronics collection event. Note that this one will take place at Parkland College, rather than the News-Gazette Distribution Center, which was the location for past collections. See for further details, including the list of acceptable items.

  10. requesting participant list

    Hi Andrew, Jane, Scott, Rob, and Stephanie,

    At the last Sustainability Practitioners discussion, Jack Dempsey asked about a Regional Climate Action Plan.  After that brief discussion, he talked with campus leadership.  Mike DeLorenzo then talked with the “IAC” about the idea.  Reportedly, Laurel Prussing was enthusiastic and the Champaign City Manager liked the idea and wanted to get a little more info.  I do not know if Bill Volk or Deb at RPC have heard of this yet. 

    What I’d like to do is meet with the six of us and talk about this idea.  We can flesh out the idea more, develop a list of pros and cons, and consider the different options for moving forward.  Jane and Andrew, would you please let me know if you can and will participate in this discussion?  Scott, can you confirm that you are the right person to include for Urbana?



  11. contact person for City of Champaign

    From: Dorothy Ann David
    Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 3:33 PM
    To: DeLorenzo, Michael T
    Cc: Rob Kowalski; Joan Walls
    Subject: Climate Change Plan

    Mike - I don't think that I ever followed up on last month's request about our interest in participating in a discussion about a Regional Climate Change Plan.  I have asked Rob Kowalski, Assistant Director of Planning and Development to serve as the City's rep on any group you choose to convene.  I have copied Rob so you have his email address. 

  12. approval to investigate

    Just spoke with Mike DeLorenzo and you have the go ahead from the IAC to have discussions with the Sustainability Practitioners from Urbana and Champaign. As you might have guessed Mayor Prussing is strongly in favor of the idea. The Champaign city manager like the idea but wants to learn a little more before committing. Deb was not at the meeting, but you should be able to contact the RPC. Of course, given bill Volk’s history of commitment to environmental issues I suggest you also reach out to their people.

    Next step is to develop the pros and cons of such an undertaking.

    -Jack Dempsey

  13. potential regional CAP projects

    • Energy
      • Currently, we are collaborating with the cities to encourage building managers to sign up for the U-C Energy Star Challenge to encourage energy conservation.  UI students volunteer to assist the building managers with data entry into the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, and SEDAC provides technical support to the program.
      • The City of Champaign includes data about the CO2-e emissions from Abbott Power Plant in their sustainability plan.
      • We all have renewable energy interests, so there may be a potential to collaborate to encourage the renewable energy adoption around this county.
    • Land & Space
      • I am not sure if there is a project/collaboration already underway with this topic, except through UI Extension’s outreach to the 102 counties.
      • This is an area where we could potentially collaborate to facilitate in-fill development and additional greenspace.
    • Procurement & Waste
      • The UI Waste Transfer Station was built after the Community Recycling Center was closed a few decades ago.  Now, however, both cities have recycling programs in place with more acceptable recyclable content that we accept on campus.  Perhaps the UI could increase the types of materials that we recycle through a collaboration with the cities. 
      • Also, the City of Urbana’s Landscape Recycling Center is piloting food composting, and we could potentially work together to compost materials from campus that are not recyclable.
    • Transportation
      • Currently, we are collaborating on transportation planning through CUUATS.  This works very well and should continue to be supported.
      • To encourage alternative fuel vehicles, the UI is installing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, and the cities may be interested in collaborating on a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling station.  If there were a CNG filling station available in this area, the UI Fleet could be converted to using CNG rather than traditional gasoline.
    • Water
      • Currently, we are collaborating on stormwater management through the MS4 program.  This includes the Green Infrastructure conference and the Boneyard Community Clean-up Day.
    • Education/Outreach/Promoting
      • Perhaps there could be a promotional effort to educate community members about general sustainability practices and encourage people to choose Champaign-Urbana as their permanent home.

    Urbana is updating their existing Climate Action Plan, and Champaign has recently completed their Sustainability Plan.  With the proposed update efforts for the Illinois Climate Action Plan, this is good timing to start this discussion.