City Departments May Be Asked To Consider Environmental Implications In Decisions

Apr 20, 2016

Cincinnati Council could approve a resolution Wednesday committing the city to make decisions protecting the environmental health of residents, especially the most vulnerable.  

The Education and Entrepreneurship committee approved the item Tuesday.

It would ask city departments consider the following four-questions when making decisions about purchases or policy:

  • What is the global impact of this policy decision or expenditure on the environment, and specifically on climate change?
  • What is the local impact of this policy decision or expenditure on our city/regional environment and on our environmental health?
  • Can this policy decision or expenditure be made in a way that better advances the cause of sustainability, improvement of environmental health, and reduction of the negative impacts of climate change?
  • Are long-term financial savings possible by prioritizing available options which advance the cause of sustainability, the improvement of environmental health, and the reduction of the negative impacts of climate change?

"You know, whether somebody is buying coffee cups for their department or getting a whole new fleet for their department, we always want to make sure that directors from top to bottom of the city have asked themselves what's in the best interest of the sustainability and the environmental health of our citizens," said P.G. Sittenfeld who sponsored the resolution.

The measure also asks administrators to work with council to adopt and implement programs to address environmental health disparities.

In addition, the resolution also asks administrators and council to recognize environmental health as a high priority for the city in policy-making including budgeting.  

Since it is a resolution, it does not carry the same effect as ordinance, which would require city departments to follow the policy.  A resolution, if passed, would suggest they follow it.