Tampa on the Sustainability Fast Trackby Cyrus Bhedwar, ICLEI Southeast Manager
ICLEI member Tampa, FL, made the news last week after President Obama chose the city as its place to announce funding for high-speed rail. This major stimulus program that would create a line to connect the city to Orlando, a significant advance for sustainable transportation in the region.
However, Tampa is no stranger to efforts that create a more sustainable future. The proposed rail line adds to a significant number of green steps the City of Tampa has already undertaken, including:
- A policy requiring new city buildings or renovations to meet a LEED Silver rating. The city also provides reduced permit fees as incentive for green commercial and residential construction.
- Using methane produced by the Howard F. Current wastewater treatment plant to generate electricity and power 25% of the plant's needs. The system avoids the need to purchase 1.18 million kWh per year from the grid, saving the city $83,000 in operating costs.
- Retrofitting traffic signals with LEDs in 500 intersections, which is expected to save $840,000/year in energy costs.
- Utilizing B20 (20 percent biodiesel fuel) in fleet vehicles since 2008.
- Replacing lighting at Wellswood Ball Park, reducing energy use and maintenance costs by 50%.
For more information on Tampa's green initiatives, visit the Green Tampa website.