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A federal grant is funding work on a climate change action plan for Greater Cincinnati

A view of Downtown Cincinnati from southwest. A sea of trees is in the foreground.
Bill Rinehart

A federal grant is funding work on a climate pollution reduction plan for Greater Cincinnati. The $1 million grant is part of the Inflation Reduction Act and there are several recipients, including the city, Hamilton County, Green Umbrella, and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

"Right now we're in the community engagement portion, which Green Umbrella is leading," said Cincinnati Director of Environment and Sustainability Ollie Kroner. "They have a web portal where we're beginning to collect ideas for what should be included in what will be the Regional Climate Action Plan."

RELATED: The 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan sets ambitious goals, including 100% carbon neutrality by 2050

Kroner says Cincinnati is the only local jurisdiction with an office focused on the environment, but this grant is allowing Hamilton County to hire a sustainability manager for the first time.

"The hope is that this creates a ripple effect across the 15-county region and helps some of these smaller jurisdictions staff up to pursue additional federal dollars, because that capacity is so critical for making progress," Kroner said.

The new position is accepting applications now and is expected to be filled in early 2024. Hamilton County Commission President Alicia Reece says the new sustainability manager will take a comprehensive look at the climate crisis.

"I'm excited to have this position and be able to report to us on a regular basis — and report to the administrator as well — to see some of the things that we're looking at the trends for the future," Reece said. "How do we become a county of the future? And how do we deal with the the environment in a holistic way?"

RELATED: The 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan sets ambitious goals

Officials approved a five-year update to the Green Cincinnati Plan last year, which sets the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. The federal grant-funded plan will set pollution reduction goals for the whole region.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.