The Fraser River near Chilliwack, during freshet as the water levels were rising on May 10, 2018. (Paul Henderson/ Progress file)

Chilliwack is set to have climate and energy plans updated

The RFP closes Nov. 27 to update the City of Chilliwack’s AQ, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Action Plans

City of Chilliwack has both corporate and community plans to help it navigate climate change and air quality efforts, but the plans require review and updating to take Chilliwack into the next decade.

A request for proposals (RFP) closed Nov. 27 at Chilliwack city hall, in a quest for qualified consultants to review the city’s ‘Corporate and Community Air Quality, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Action Plans.’

“Chilliwack has been experiencing significant growth (five year growth rate of 7.5%), and the population is expected to reach 132,000 by 2040,” according to the RFP background document. “Growth is accommodated through redevelopment and densification on the valley floor within the urban containment boundary and through new development in surrounding hillside areas.”

Growth is part of the reason, but also that the plans are overdue for updating. The consultants will prepare updated climate/AQ and energy action plans with revised targets and inventories.

City officials adopted the integrated plans, with a community plan approved in 2011, and a corporate action plan on its heels in 2012.

“An integrated approach was taken on these inter-related issues since Chilliwack is situated within the sensitive Lower Fraser Valley Airshed,” according to RFP documents.

Chilliwack Secondary student Mace MacGowan, 16, started a petition recently to ask that Chilliwack officials acknowledge there is a global climate crisis and to draft “a climate action plan” with a local focus.

The petition had 433 signatures by Nov. 28.

But that planning work by Chilliwack officials is already underway to some degree.

READ MORE: Climate change could raise flood risk

The city “measures its corporate GHG emissions and reports on community-wide and corporate GHG reduction initiatives” through the provincial Climate Action Rebate Incentive Program (CARIP), but it does not measure community emissions on a regular basis, although some data is available through the provincial government.

The city has achieved Level 3 recognition for “accelerating progress on charter commitments” with further details are at www.chilliwack.com/ClimateAction.

The updated plans will look at best practices of other cities, legislative tools to help get it done, and more.

READ MORE: Climate change needs to be addressed at city level says student


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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