This Week at The Board of Supervisors

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On February 28, the Board of Supervisors heard several important and exciting presentations from County staff: on Net Neutrality, the elimination of the use of glyphosate, and our new Green Building Ordinance.

You can watch the full meeting, and here are some highlights:

Net Neutrality

Don’t make a librarian mad! Sara Jones, the Marin County Director of Library Services, presented the Board with a resolution to advocate for the restoration, preservation, and protection of net neutrality, essential for equitable access to online information and services. If net neutrality is repealed, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be able to censor the internet by slowing internet speeds, charging more for access, and even blocking content. This is a threat to open and equal access to sharing information, ideas, and opinions, and could ultimately threaten our democracy. I hope you will contact Congress and urge them to vote against the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality protections.

Read the Resolution here.

Getting Rid of Glyphosate

It’s been a long road, but the County of Marin has been able to reduce and now ban the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, at all County parks and County-owned buildings. While County Parks has eliminated our use of this product, I urge everyone to also consider adopting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies. We launched YardSmartMarin last year, and focused on the use of weed killers with the “Think Before You Spray” campaign.

If the County can control weeds for the health of the environment over the many acres that we manage, I have confidence that every business and resident can manage weeds on their own property, as well without using poison!

Here are links to the IPM Annual Report and to the YardSmartMarin campaign website for more ideas about what you can do to reduce toxic products around your own home and business.

Green Building! What Does This Mean?

The County’s Sustainability Team has been hard at work revising and updating the County’s Green Building Code to implement the County’s Climate Action Plan in unincorporated Marin County. The amended code supports the transition away from natural gas and towards all-electric buildings, adding zero-net energy standards for large, new single-family homes, and increasing adoption of green building practices, such as reducing water use and increasing EV charging access and options. The proposed standards include three major elements: 1) energy efficiency requirements that exceed state code for new single family, multi-family, and commercial projects; 2) green building requirements for new construction, remodels, and additions; and 3) electric vehicle charging requirements.

The new standards were developed with flexibility and clarity, with applicants in mind, and it is hoped that they will facilitate a broader effort to create consistent countywide green building codes so that the transition is as swift as possible to energy-efficient, all-electric buildings powered by renewable energy.

See the PowerPoint presentation here.