City of New Castle will spend the summer collecting information about community-wide and local government operations greenhouse gas emissions as part of Indiana University’s Resilience Cohort.

Findings from the community-wide greenhouse gas inventory will be used to help residents and local officials understand the city’s current emissions profile and to help city employees create an action plan to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and improve air quality.

Findings from the local government operations inventory will be used to help City of New Castle employees identify greenhouse gas reduction strategies for municipal activities.

A greenhouse gas inventory is a fundamental first step for Hoosier cities, towns and counties committed to combating the climatic changes communities in Indiana are already experiencing, such as heavier rainfalls in spring and winter, more river and flash flood events and more freeze-thaw events wreaking havoc on transportation infrastructure and potholes. The inventory process will provide 2020 data on the amount of energy consumed, the diversity of energy supplied to the grid, vehicle fuel use within the city boundary, the amount of waste generated within the city boundary and more.

The City of New Castle anticipates that the inventory will be completed by the end of the year. This opportunity was brought to the council, and the project will be led by Krystal Stanich, Aaron Dicken, Jeff Ray, and Helen Steussy-Williams, in conjunction with the city and Healthy Communities of Henry County.

“I am very excited for this opportunity for the City of New Castle,” said Mayor Greg York. “We are thankful to partner with IU’s Resilience Cohort Program to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency, and improve air quality. It is important now more than ever to focus on a ‘greener’ community and this program will allow us to focus on just that. The collaboration with City Council, NCHC Public Library, and Healthy Communities are the perfect key units in completing this program successfully.”

The Resilience Cohort program was established in 2019 by IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute to match Indiana local governments with the tools, training, and expertise needed to measure and reduce local greenhouse gas emissions. This year, more than 30 Indiana local governments will be participating in the program to measure local emissions, ratify greenhouse gas reduction plans, and enact green projects to reduce emissions. As part of the greenhouse gas inventory cohort, City of New Castle has access to technical resources, a peer network, and training through ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, a nonprofit that specializes in helping local governments with emissions inventories.

“We are delighted so many Indiana communities are taking steps to reduce carbon emissions and enhance local air quality,” said ERI Implementation Manager Andrea Webster. “The findings from these greenhouse gas inventories will provide a roadmap for local officials to address emissions produced in their own backyards, improve public health, and strengthen the resilience of Hoosier communities.”

Other 2021 Resilience Cohort participants include. Bloomington, Carmel, Cedar Lake, Chesterton, East Chicago, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Gary, Goshen, Highland, Hobart, Huntington, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Lake County, Lake Station, LaPorte (city), LaPorte County, Merrillville, Munster, New Albany, Porter County, Richmond, Schererville, South Bend, Terre Haute, Tippecanoe County, Valparaiso, West Lafayette, and Zionsville.