Louisville Metro Government is moving forward with plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change. The city also will provide a progress report on the goals set out in the city’s first sustainability plan, Sustain Louisville, later this month.
On Nov. 1, Mayor Greg Fischer announced the release of a draft of the Emissions Reduction Plan at the annual Louisville Sustainability Summit. The plan, part of a commitment to the Global Covenant of Mayors, serves as a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Louisville Metro’s Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability, which helped guide the Emissions Reduction Plan, also is developing a climate adaptation plan, Prepare Louisville, to address existing and anticipated effects of climate change. Input on both will be critical to determining the best approach to tackling climate change now and in the years ahead.
“Despite national action to abandon the Paris climate accord, Louisville is listening to our residents, especially our young people who spoke out during the Climate Strike, and are stepping up to keep fighting climate change,” said the Mayor. “The release of the Emissions Reduction Plan and formulation of a climate adaptation plan takes us to the next stage as a community – to an urgent and critical conversation about how we move forward to achieve the necessary greenhouse gas reductions and how we work together to address the current and future impacts of climate change.”
The strategies included in the Emissions Reduction Plan were derived from best industry practices and reflect our best understanding of where current trends will take us in the years ahead. It is intended to be flexible in nature as new technologies and regulatory changes drive change in our community.
Louisville Metro recognizes that since the plan’s 80% emissions reduction target was set, recent scientific reports have expressed the need for more urgent and accelerated action to avoid irreversible impacts of climate change. In response, the city will continue pursuing actions that will propel Louisville beyond the 80% reduction target laid out in the plan.
Residents can submit their feedback on the Emissions Reduction Plan now through Saturday, Nov. 30 at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/greenhouse-gas-inventory .
Residents also are asked to help shape Prepare Louisville, the climate adaptation plan, by sharing their experiences, concerns, and ideas via a short online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/preparelouisville . The deadline to complete the survey has been extended to Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Lastly, the Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability will be releasing a progress report on Wednesday, Nov. 13, updating the goals and initiatives set forth in Sustain Louisville. The report will describe the strides made and highlight the key successes toward these goals, as well as identifying areas for improvement.
For more information about Sustain Louisville, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/sustain-louisville
Joined by more than 250 members of the Louisville Metro Snow Team, Mayor Greg Fischer today declared that the city is battle ready for the 2019-20 snow season. After the announcement, the Snow Team worked through a mock snow event that included driving all road treatment routes.
“I’m honored to stand along with our Snow Team to declare Louisville is ready to tackle significant winter weather,” said the Mayor. “This team will jump into action any hour, any day, to make it safe for the rest of us to get where we need to go when it snows.”
Mayor Fischer also named dozens of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) students as honorary members of the Snow Team.
The students – from Eisenhower, Gutermuth, Jacob, Layne, Sanders and Wilkerson elementary schools – decorated six snowplows to be used in the upcoming winter season. Some of the plows will be part of the Lots of Lights Parade during the Light Up Louisville celebration on Friday, Nov. 29. The plows were displayed during today’s event in the Cardinal Stadium parking lot.
JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said, “We appreciate the diligence and hard work of the Louisville Metro Snow Team in keeping roads safe and passable every winter. We depend on that commitment to ensure students and employees can get to and from school in inclement weather, limiting the number of days that students are away from the classroom.
“I’m also proud of our students who used their artistic talents to show their appreciation in their own way — Louisville’s streets will be both safer and more beautiful this year when the Snow Team is activated.”
The Snow Team is led by Metro Public Works under the leadership of Director Vanessa Burns and Assistant Director for Roads and Operations, Brian Funk. The Public Works Solid Waste Management Division, Metro Parks, the Department of Codes & Regulations, and the Division of Fleet and Facilities are also part of the team.
The Louisville Fire Department also is preparing to help residents combat winter fires and indoor home safety.
“It’s important for the community to play a key role in keeping their home, families and neighbors safe,” said Major Bobby Cooper, Louisville Fire Department. “Simple safety precautions like maintaining home heating equipment, using space heaters and generators with caution, and replacing batteries in smoke alarms can help ensure a warm and safe winter.”
While the Louisville Metro Snow Team is focused on keeping things moving safely on the ground, Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport has a team that’s focused on making sure people can get in and out of the city through the air.
“The dedicated snow teams for both Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport and Bowman Field are prepared and ready to respond anytime inclement weather is in the area,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “As SDF remains strong as the seventh busiest cargo airport in the world with more than 300 daily flights from our cargo partners, plus 80 flights from the passenger airlines, we play an essential role in connecting people and goods around the globe. It’s crucial that our airfield is operational and ready for use 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Just as Louisville Metro takes great care of the city, we remain focused on ensuring the airport is ready for business at all hours of the day.”
Louisville will begin the snow season this year with 38,500 tons of salt on hand. Most of the salt will be stored underground in Louisville Mega Cavern, 1841 Taylor Ave. About 15,550 tons are distributed to four above ground locations where the salt will be loaded onto spreading vehicles as needed. Total salt used in the 2018-19 snow season was 10,505 tons.
The city will also continue to pretreat roads with brine ahead of snowfalls. Brine is a saltwater solution that reduces the adherence of snow and ice to pavement and reduces slick spots.
The city’s snow removal progress can be followed via an interactive online map. During snow events, a snow map will be posted on the city website, www.Louisvilleky.gov, and the Department of Public Works site at www.louisvilleky.gov/publicworks. The latest updates will also be posted on Twitter at LouPubWorks.
Mayor Greg Fischer and the Veterans Community Alliance of Louisville today announced the sixth annual Mayor’s Week of Valor — a series of events to honor and celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of active-duty military, veterans and their families.
Coinciding with Veterans Day, the 2019 Week of Valor will feature 27 educational, patriotic, community or civic events from Nov. 2 through Nov. 13. Residents are encouraged to participate and recognize, support and honor veterans.
Events include a 22 Push-Up Challenge on Nov. 2, a Women Veterans Town Hall on Nov. 7, and a Veterans Wellness Expo + Run/Walk on Nov. 9.
Also on Monday, Nov. 11, the city’s Veterans Day Parade will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in downtown Louisville this year on Jefferson Street, between Fourth and Seventh streets. The parade welcomes all military personnel and veterans, either in groups or as individuals, to participate. (There is no cost to enter; participants are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 502-552-1131.)
“Our freedoms are here for us because of the service and sacrifice of our veterans,” Fischer said. “We’re asking residents from across the community to come out and show support during the Week of Valor to honor the people who’ve helped keep our country free.”
A full schedule of events is attached or can be found at http://louisvilleky.gov/weekofvalor.
Louisville Metro’s Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability, the Louisville Sustainability Council, and the Louisville Zoo will co-host the sixth annual Sustainability Summit on Friday, Nov. 1.
“For all of us, as individuals, as organizations, as a community and a nation, reversing climate change has to be a factor in our decisions every single day,” said Mayor Greg Fischer, who declared a climate emergency during a local Global Climate Strike event in September. “Please join the 2019 Sustainability Summit to work with community leaders and stakeholders on ways we can take on climate change with a sense of urgency, purpose, and focus.”
The Summit will feature keynote speaker Dr. Robert Brinkmann, the vice provost for scholarship and research and director of sustainability studies at Hofstra University, as well as a panel of local leaders on tackling greenhouse gas emissions in Louisville.
“The summit is our annual opportunity to gather together under one roof as concerned individuals, nonprofit organizations, school groups, faith-based groups and sustainability professionals from the public and private sectors,” said Alicia Hullinger, Board Chair of the Louisville Sustainability Council. “It is a day for celebration, collaboration, and exploration that cannot be missed if you are concerned about creating a local climate action in Louisville.”
The keynote speaker, Dr. Brinkmann, is the author of several books and articles, including Introduction to Sustainability, the first major textbook on the topic. His new book, Environmental Sustainability in a Time of Change, will be published early next year. During his speech, he will present seven ways to advance your sustainability agenda in a time of change.
The Summit will also feature a panel of local leaders from Louisville Metro Government, TreesLouisville, Harshaw-Trane, and the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Programiscussing how their organizations are working to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Youth activism and performance group The Mighty Shades of Ebony also will debut their new song on climate change, titled “Anthropogenic.”
The Sustainability Summit is proud to receive support from Patron Sponsor Yum! Brands; Champion Sponsors Genentech, TARC, Humana, and PNC Bank; Summit Friend Sponsor CMTA; and Supporting Sponsors Harshaw Trane, K. Norman Berry Associates, Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District, the Partnership for a Green City, WestRock, and Stantec.
The summit will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, at the Louisville Zoo. Tickets are available to Louisville Sustainability Council members for $45, to the general public for $60, and to college students with an ID for $30.
More information and registration can be found on the Louisville Sustainability Council website: http://louisvillesustainabilitycouncil.org/2019-sustainability-summit.
Louisville Metro residents not mulching autumn leaves into their lawns or using curbside collection will have the option to dispose of them at one of three drop-off sites beginning November 5.
Metro Public Works is offering a free leaf drop-off service November 5 through November 30. Drop-off will not be available on November 28 and 29 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Only loose leaves will be accepted. Containers used to bring leaves to the drop-off sites must be disposed of off-site by residents.
Leaf drop off sites:
President David James (D-6) is encouraging anyone who would like to help to come out for a community wide cleanup which is set for the Old Louisville area on Tuesday October 22nd.
“I want to encourage anyone who would like to help us to come out and join us,” says President James. “Cleanups are a great way to show community pride in our neighborhoods.”
The 160 volunteers from the University of Louisville are volunteering as a part of their “Cards Come Together Week of Service 2019,” which Is part of this week’s upcoming homecoming activities.
The volunteers will meet at Fourth and Oak Street to begin a cleanup of the Old Louisville area starting at 1:00pm. From there, volunteers will fan out across Old Louisville to collect trash and spruce the area up for the fall season.
“I wish to thank U of L and Dr Neeli Bendapudi for her continued and dynamic support for our neighborhoods around the university. This is another example of her great leadership,” says President James.
For more information about the cleanups, contact President James Office at 502-574-1106.
The Department of Public Health and Wellness is reminding people that despite cooler weather, mosquitoes are still active and continue to pose a threat for transmitting diseases such as West Nile virus. People should continue to guard themselves by wearing insect repellant and long sleeves and pants when going outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
This year there has been one death reported from West Nile in ZIP code 40211 and one other non-fatal case in ZIP code 40215. Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile in ZIP codes 40204, 40205, 40206, 40211, 40213, 40214 and 40215. It is also important to note that we have had no mosquitoes test positive for any diseases other than West Nile virus.
The Department of Public Health and Wellness is continuing countywide mosquito control actions, including treating catch basins, monitoring mosquito traps and testing mosquitoes for diseases, and fogging when necessary.
“Even though we can expect mosquito populations to begin to decrease as the weather gets cooler, West Nile positive mosquitoes may continue to be present throughout the entire community until the first hard frost,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “If you go outdoors during dusk and dawn, you should wear long sleeves and pants and insect repellant to protect yourself. We advise everyone to take the appropriate precautions no matter what ZIP code you live in.”
The Department of Public Health and Wellness advises people to take the following precautions:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Last year there were four human West Nile cases in Louisville and no deaths. In 2017 there was one non-fatal human case. In 2016 there were two human cases and one death. In 2015, there were three human cases with no deaths.
In most instances, people infected with West Nile virus either show no symptoms or relatively mild symptoms. However, less than one percent of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Serious illness can occur in people of any age. However, people over 60 years of age are at the greatest risk for severe disease. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk for serious illness.
The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness has operated a mosquito control program for more than 60 years. The department does surveillance of mosquito populations with traps strategically located throughout the community, and tests mosquitos for such diseases as West Nile, La Crosse, Eastern Equine and St. Louis Encephalitis.
In the spring the department pre-treats potential mosquito breeding sites with larvicide to prevent hatch offs. In the summer it treats catch basins and performs mosquito fogging in response to West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.
For more information on mosquito control and prevention, visit https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html or www.louisvilleky.gov/health. If mosquitoes are bad in your neighborhood, file a complaint by calling MetroCall 311 or 502.574.5000.