April 19, 2004

Green Municipal Funds invest in projects from BC to Halifax

Eleven projects in British Columbia have been allocated nearly $41 million in funding from the Green Municipal Investment Funds (GMIF). This brings the total GMIF investment in BC to just over $61 million, in turn leveraging more than $399 million in funding through participating municipal governments and their partners. At the other end of Canada, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) will use $275,000 in grants from the Green Municipal Enabling Fund (GMEF) help achieve its commitment to the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program.

The GMIF and GMEF together make up the $250-million Green Municipal Funds, a federal endowment set up and run by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The 11 new BC projects, along with their proponents, total value and GMIF investment, are listed below.

TransLink, in partnership with the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority and the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) will put its $20-million GMIF loan toward the purchase of 228 electric trolley buses; the total project value is $256 million.

In addition, TransLink will maximize the environmental benefit of the low-interest GMIF loan by using 50% of the savings in loan interest to buy 10,000 Power Smart green power certificates from BC Hydro per year for ten years. This will purchase enough green energy to power approximately one-third of TransLink's electric trolley bus fleet each year.

The Capital Regional District's $2.73-million Hartland landfill gas utilization project is receiving a loan of $682,078.

A $16.7-million loan will support the city of Kamloops' River Street water treatment plant, a project valued at just under $67 million.

The city of Revelstoke is receiving a loan of nearly $1.35 million to support the heat component of its Community Energy Project, valued at $5.39 million. Revelstoke is also receiving a $13,000 grant toward the $30,000 cost of the remaining components of its Community Energy Project.

The village of Telkwa is receiving a GMIF grant of $94,095 to be applied toward its $188,190 water treatment project.

A grant of $115,174 will help Sperling Hansen Associates carry out a characterization of landfill methane generation and fugitive emissions by stable carbon and hydrogen isotopes. The $401,700 project is a partnership involving Sperling Hansen along with the Capital Regional District, the city of Vancouver, and the regional districts of Okanagan-Simikameen, Thompson-Nicola and Fraser-Fort George.

The North Okanagan waste management and resource recovery project, a partnership involving Bifano Dairy Farms and the regional district of North Okanagan, is receiving GMIF grants to support Phases I and II of the project. Phase I, valued at $60,000, is receiving a $30,000 grant, while Phase II, valued at $2.75 million, is receiving a $300,000 grant.

A $60,000 transit station precinct parking study by the city of Burnaby is receiving a $30,000 grant.

A $32,500 grant will help the district of Saanich develop and implement its transportation demand management plan, a project valued at $65,000.

North Vancouver's energy management and greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan, a project valued at $31,200, has been granted $15,000 from the GMIF.

More information on these projects is available from Lucille Hodgins at the FCM, 613/241-5221, ext 299.

The two HRM projects include:

the Healthy Sustainable Community project ($75,000), which will update HRM's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory (Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) Milestone 1), establish reduction targets (PCP Milestone 2) and develop preliminary strategies for local action plan and implementation plan (PCP Milestones 3 and 4); and

the $200,000 GMF Climate-SMART (Sustainable Mitigation and Adaptation Risk Toolkit) project, in which HRM will launch the first prototype of the leading edge Climate-SMART collaborative partnership, involving both public and private sectors.

Based on ClimAdapt tools, its development will help municipalities integrate GHG emission reduction and climate change mitigation impact/adaptation practices into the decision making process of policy makers, practitioners and vulnerable communities. Lessons learned can be replicated in other Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada communities, as well as, in municipalities across Canada.

"A key to Halifax Regional Municipality's sustainable community planning is to work in co-operation with all levels of government and the private sector," said Mayor Peter Kelly, who went on to acknowledge the other Climate-SMART stakeholders, "in particular, Natural Resources Canada's Climate Change Action Fund/Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations ($150,000), Environment Canada ($50,000), the Nova Scotia Department of Energy's Climate Change Division ($50,000) and the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour ($25,000)."

The GMF is a $250-million endowment from the federal government which is administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The Funds support partnerships and leveraging of both public and private sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection. Within the GMF, The GMIF is a $200-million permanent revolving fund providing grants and low-interest loans to support the implementation of highly innovative environmental projects. The GMEF is a $50-million fund providing grants to support feasibility studies (including demonstrations and small pilots). Operating from 2000 to 2007, GMEF expects to support a large number of studies, demonstrations and small pilots to assess the technical, environmental and/or economic feasibility of innovative municipal projects. Grants cover up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $350,000.

Since its launch in August 2000, GMF has invested in 297 feasibility studies, field tests, pilots and projects with a total value of more than $124 million. In turn, these activities have leveraged more than $769 million in investments for cleaner air, water, soil and climate protection.

More information on the HRM projects is available from John O'Brien, HRM's corporate communications officer, 902/490-6531, FAX 902/490-4044, E-mail: obrienj@region.halifax.ns.ca. More information about the Green Municipal Funds, including details of the approved projects and studies, is available on FCM's Knowledge Network, http://kn.fcm.ca.

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