The Punchlist 1-29-21

The Punchlist is back! Each week at the end of the week, we’ll share some of our favorite sustainability, climate, local, and whatever else – related stories.

This week’s edition features some exciting local and national news about the environment! 

Reforest, Reuse, Recycle: Once atop the list of urban tree canopy (UTC), Pittsburgh had plans to increase their UTC, but instead found its tree cover declining. Recently, Pittsburgh has been chosen by Cambium Carbon and the Arbor Day Foundation to become a “Reforestation Hub.” With the help of Cambium Carbon, Pittsburgh will adopt a new life cycle for urban trees. Instead of ending up in landfills, dead and downed trees will be recycled in order to produce wood products.

Solar Schooling: The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) will install a 540-kilowatt solar panel which will cover the entire roof of the North Campus building in McCandless. This new solar panel joins CCAC’s two solar panels and will save them approximately $27,000 per year. Not only will this panel reduce the college’s carbon footprint and save money, but it will also serve as an educational tool to train future energy professionals.

Long Term Investing: Governor Wolf announced that the FNB Financial Center will be built on a portion of the Lower Hill Redevelopment site. The buildings design will prioritize sustainability and health, incorporating technology that will reduce the spread of viruses. The office tower will create 160 new jobs and the F.N.B. Corporation has committed to achieving more than 45% Minority/Woman-Owned Business Enterprise participation during development.

Take a Breather: After years of strict emission regulations, Allegheny County met all federal air quality standards for the first time. Although the measurements have not yet been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency, this is a monumental step for the region. Because the area still has days in which foul odors and pollution are present, the health department and local environmental officials will continue to work towards cleaner and safer air.

New Rules: President Biden has signed numerous executive orders since his inauguration, one of which includes an aggressive plan to fight climate change. In the week since his inauguration, President Biden has rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, directed the federal government to elevate climate change to a national priority, and made plans to create a commission that is focused on environmental justice and creating green jobs.

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