2009 Alachua County Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory
In March 2011, the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department completed an updated Alachua County Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for Calendar Year 2009. (Click Here). This community-wide inventory includes emissions associated with fossil fuel consumption by the utility sector, transportation sector, industrial process sector and the waste sector of the County.
2008 and 2009 Alachua County Government Greenhouse Gas Inventory
In April 2010, the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department completed an updated Inventory of Alachua County Government Greenhouse Gas Emissions for calendar years 2008 and 2009. This inventory provides an update of the previous inventory completed for calendar year 1998 and estimates the emissions from the County's building and facilities, vehicle fleet, solid waste and other energy sectors.
Greenhouse Gas May 11 2010 Presentation to County Commission
Air Pollution in Alachua County
Outdoor air quality is affected by many human and natural activities. Manufacturing companies, power plants, small businesses, automobiles, and forest fires are all sources of air pollution. Air pollution can be defined as a condition in which any foreign or natural substance is discharged into the atmosphere at levels that produce a measurable and undesirable effect on humans, animals, vegetation or materials. Any activity that releases materials into the air affects air quality.
Factors that contribute to air quality include the primary emissions in the area, secondary pollutants formed in the atmosphere, pollutants transported into the area, meteorological conditions and geographical conditions. Alachua County generally enjoys good air quality with the exception of ozone (mainly in summer) and fine particulates.
Air Quality Monitoring for Ozone and Particulates (both PM 2.5 fine particulates and PM10) in Alachua County is performed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). Recent Alachua County air quality data can be found at the USEPA and FDEP websites at the following links:
A summary of the Air Quality Index for Alachua County for the Years 2005-2006 and 2007 can be seen at the following link:
Alachua County Air Quality Index 2005-2006-2007
What Are Greenhouse Gases?
Greenhouse gases absorb radiation from the earths surface, which has the effect of warming the surface and lower atmosphere. The primary greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), and nitrous oxide. The most abundant greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is produced from both natural and man-made sources. Plant respiration and decomposition of organic matter are estimated to release more than ten times the carbon dioxide released by human activities, such as from the combustion of fossil fuels.
The average concentration of carbon dioxide has increased since the industrial revolution began. Additionally, the average global temperature has increased during this century, especially over the past 15 years. There is a growing body of evidence that the additional greenhouse gases produced from man-made activities have enhanced the heat-trapping capability of the earths atmosphere, thus contributing to an increase in temperature.
However, uncertainty remains as to how the earths climate responds to additional greenhouse gases or how these gases act in conjunction with other atmospheric constituents. Nonetheless, several global campaigns are underway to reduce greenhouse gas production, because even a slight average temperature increase could produce extreme outcomes such as draught and flood, sea level rise and tropical disease spreading.
Cities for Climate Protection
In April 1999, the County Commission adopted a resolution allowing Alachua County to join the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign. The CCP program is a global campaign to reduce greenhouse gas. As part of the countys participation in the campaign, the County has voluntarily committed to undertake the following tasks:
- Develop a greenhouse gas inventory for Alachua County
- Forecast of emission growth until 2010
- Implementation of an emission reduction target action plan