We call upon local leaders to Create a Climate Action Committee tasked with creating the Climate Action Plan. The committee should include:
• One member of each Hamilton and Wenham Select Boards
• One member of the HWRSD School Committee and Capital Finance Committee
• Two residents from each Hamilton and Wenham
• One liaison to MAPC to support this committee & connect with / learn from the climate action efforts afoot in other towns.
We anticipate forming 5 community HWCAT subgroups to support the work of this committee in creating a climate action plan:
• Municipal solar, heat pumps and Community Aggregation Energy
• Residential solar and heat pumps
• HWRSD Energy Use including energy reduction, solar and heat pumps
• Waste Reduction - to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions
• Education and outreach
FINAL DRAFT AUGUST 2022
VERSION AS OF 8/3/22
TOWN OF HAMILTON
Environmental Impact Committee Charter
Purpose. There shall hereby be established an advisory committee to the Select Board to be known as the Hamilton Environmental Impact Committee (herein after referred to as the “Committee”). The purpose of this Committee is to codify the Town of Hamilton’s commitment to reducing our overall environmental impact and supporting the work towards our net zero carbon energy goal as outlined in the Hamilton-Wenham Climate Action Team Resolution.
The primary responsibilities of the Committee are to:
· Assess the environmental impact of climate change to understand how Hamilton can be more resilient to the coming change;
· Develop and coordinate a strategic plan that accomplishes our net zero carbon energy goal by 2040;
· Prioritize and recommend specific short- and long-term action items based on the results of our Municipal Vulnerability Study; and
· Serve as a liaison and representative for the interests and goals of the Town of Hamilton as it pertains to environmental initiatives relative to our regional and shared services.
While the primary purpose of this group is to guide our town towards our net zero carbon goals, the Committee will also be responsible for working with our Town Energy Manager to assess opportunities across a range of factors, including, but not limited to:
· Conservation and efficiency: Reducing energy use through conservation and efficiency measures (e.g. lowering thermostats in winter, adopting programmable lights and thermostats, LED lights, Energy Star rated appliances);
· Alternative energy: Replacing fossil fuels with non-carbon energy sources (solar, wind, etc.);
· Infrastructure and fleet electrification: Preventing the expansion of fossil fuel usage through “net zero” requirement; and
· Waste management and composting: Reducing our consumption of plastics and reliance on burning our waste through composting and alternative waste management efforts.
(See duties for full overview.)
Composition. The Select Board shall appoint five (5) at-large voting members who shall be Town of Hamilton residents. The Town Manager shall serve as an ex officio member of the Committee. It is preferable that Town residents seeking appointment have interest and/or experience in one or more of the following areas, but is not required: alternative energy use and procurement, compost and waste management, and/or strategic planning and benchmarking. Appointment to the Committee remains within the sole discretion of the Select Board. A sitting Select Board member shall serve as a liaison.
Term. The five (5) members who are residents of the Town shall be appointed initially as follows, and thereafter for terms of two years: three members for a two-year term and two members for a one-year term. Any at-large member may be removed with or without cause by the Select Board. Any vacancy that occurs other than by the expiration of a term shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term. The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.
Duties. The Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Select Board and shall have the following duties.
The Committee shall:
1. Serve in an advisory capacity to the Select Board in matters of strategic planning and recommendation of policies, procedures, and opportunities that will:
a. Improve our long-term energy viability and resiliency and reduce our negative impact
b. Ensure we reach our net zero carbon by 2040 goal
c. Qualify the town/region for grants or funds relevant to these efforts
2. Oversee and recommend improvements to waste management processes
3. Prioritize municipal vulnerability action items, as well as feedback from residents and other commissions and committees as they pertain to our environmental impact.
4. Report quarterly to the Select Board about progress towards net zero carbon goals, as well as other priorities and initiatives
5. Work with the town Energy Manager to increase visibility and encourage collaboration across town functions and the region
6. Communicate with the community at large about opportunities, efforts, and requests for input to ensure visibility and transparency
Procedures. The Committee shall annually select from amongst its members a chair, vice chair and clerk, and may decide whether to select from amongst its members a liaison to the Town of Wenham’s Environmental Impact Committee, or similar body, if any. The clerk shall be responsible for the preparation of meeting minutes, agendas, and other administrative matters for the Committee. The Committee shall decide on a preliminary calendar of meetings for the year, supplemented as desired by meetings with the Wenham Environmental Impact Committee, or similar body, if any, all of which shall be posted in accordance with the Open Meeting Law. A majority of members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum, and a majority of those present and voting shall be sufficient for any action taken by the Committee, unless otherwise required by law. The Committee shall be subject to and governed by the requirements of the Open Meeting and Public Records Laws.
This policy may from time to time, be amended by a vote of the Select Board.
This policy was adopted on ________, 2022, by a vote of the Select Board.
(Certified by the Town Clerk)
Shawn Farrel, Chair
Jamie Knudsen, Vice Chair
Caroline Beaulieu, Clerk