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Southern Tier planners aim for dramatic emissions cuts

Regional planning agencies in the Southern Tier are working toward a goal ofcutting 80% of their greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.The plan is called Cleaner Greener Southern Tier and is due by the end of the year. In addition to seeking major cuts from 1990 emissions levels by the middle of this century, it will be used to pursue funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA).

The projects that would help the region reach 80 percent cuts are ambitious: an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in the eight participating counties, more energy efficient power generation through wind farms and solar power, the expansion of inter-city mass transit and a region-wide electric vehicle infrastructure, among many others.

Marcia Weber is the executive director of the Southern Tier Central Regional Development and Planning board. She says the plan includes ideas from organizations and governments across the region.

“We’re talking about livable communities, economic development, energy, transportation, waste in terms of recycling and landfills, water quality,” says Weber.

The project includes the Southern Tier East and Southern Tier Central planning boards and Tompkins County. NYSERDA will administer funding for the projects that are ultimately chosen.

So far, they've established their goals and have drafted an action plan. At three public meetings this week, officials are seeking public input on the draft plan.

Residents can offer their ideas starting October 9 in Corning.

For more from the Innovation Trailand Matt Richmond, visit their website.

The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between six upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), helps the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of the upstate New York economy.

Matt Richmond comes to Binghamton's WSKG, a WRVO partner station in the Innovation Trail consortium, from South Sudan, where he worked as a stringer for Bloomberg, and freelanced for Radio France International, Voice of America, and German Press Agency dpa. He has worked with KQED in Los Angeles, Cape Times in Cape Town, South Africa, and served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon. Matt's masters in journalism is from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC.