The County of Orange was re-certified as a bronze New York State Climate Smart Community in the fall of 2019.
Orange County was the first county in New York State to be designated as a Climate Smart Community. The New York State Climate Smart Communities Certification program represents the next phase in the development of New York’s Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program. The CSC program was first established in 2008 to provide local governments with guidance on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save taxpayer dollars, and advance community goals for health and safety, economic vitality, energy independence, and quality of life. The first step in participating in the Climate Smart Communities program is to adopt the Climate Smart Communities Pledge, to initiate a community’s commitment to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and climate adaptation. Orange County was the first county in New York State to become a municipal member in 2013.
The Climate Smart Communities program is jointly sponsored by six New York state agencies, including the:
- Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
- Department of Health (DOH)
- Department of State
- Department of Transportation (DOT)
- New York State Energy Research and Development Administration (NYSERDA)
- Public Service Commission
The CSC Certification program was established in 2013 by DEC and NYSERDA, with funding from the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. The CSC Certification program was developed to further engage New York State local governments in the CSC program, to provide a more robust framework to guide local governments in their climate protection efforts, and to recognize their achievements as they make progress.