Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson was recently appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Governmental Advisory Committee by EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. The committee consists of 30 state and local elected officials, primarily mayors, and works to provide “advice and recommendations that assist the EPA in developing a stronger partnership with local governments to deliver environmental services,” according to the EPA’s website.
“I was certainly surprised and pleased to hear from the EPA,” Peterson said of her invitation to join the committee. “I realize that as small as Ithaca is, we are very involved in issues that face communities large and small across the country.”
Peterson noted that one of the areas in which the EPA is seeking advice is in working with the public to solve environmental issues. She said that this is one area where she feels she could definitely provide help.
“I think Ithaca and Tompkins County in general have very innovative ideas for reaching out to the community,” she said.
Topics for the first meeting on Nov. 17 and 18 include gulf restoration, air quality, and cleaning up pollutants. Peterson anticipates that being closely involved in prior discussions about previous environmental clean up initiatives, and cites her experience with issues like the clean up of the Ithaca Gun Factory and the high levels of phosphorous currently in Lake Cayuga as valuable to the goals of the meeting.
“I like to talk in general about cleaning up contamination,” she said.
While the issue of hydrofracking is not currently on the committee’s agenda, she hopes to bring that issue up in future discussions.
“It is something I [will] be speaking about,” Peterson said.
Original Author: Joseph Niczky