With 38 departments, 12,000 employees and 1,640 square miles of parks, Clark County has vast resources and it is important that those resources are used wisely. Below, we have highlighted seven areas where Clark County has made strides in conservation and sustainability.
Air Quality: Clark County’s Department of Air Quality Management implemented a lawn mower swap program so residents can trade their gas-powered lawn mowers for electric models. Exchanging dirty combustion engine mowers with clean cordless electric mowers helps reduces particulate matter.
Clark County implemented an aggressive dust control program to monitor air quality throughout the Las Vegas Valley, stepped up inspections and citations of construction sites that did not adhere to dust control measures and created a public outreach campaign to educate citizens about the need for dust control.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the County certification for its success in reducing the amount of particulates in the air.
The Department of Aviation is reducing air pollution by purchasing low volatile organic compounds like paints and using a fuel hydrant system for the aircraft which also reduces emissions during fueling.
Water Conservation: Clark County invested over $6.8 million to replace almost 1.4 million square feet of grass with artificial turf and xeriscape landscape in parks and medians, conserving an estimated 76 million gallons of water per year and receiving an estimated $741,540 in rebates from the Las Vegas Valley Water District.
Clark County routinely uses water efficient landscaping, high emissivity roofing, water conserving plumbing fixtures with motion detectors, natural lighting, energy efficient lighting fixtures with motion detectors, energy efficient glass, and storm water management.
The Department of Parks and Recreation developed a conservation plan that included placing weather-sensitive water sensors in parks to save on water during rainy days. Nearly 1 million square feet of grass was removed and replaced with drought-resistant material. An additional 277,000 square feet of grass was replaced with synthetic turf. As a result, the parks department has decreased its water usage by 92 million gallons since 2003. Once the water conservation plan is fully implemented, the parks department estimates it will save 250 million gallons a year at a savings of $470,000.
The Water Reclamation District is active in reusing reclaimed water (sewage treated for solids and impurities) whenever possible. It supplies five community golf courses with reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is also used on playing fields, as a coolant at a number of power generation stations and is made available to contractors for dust control.
Land Use/Habitat Protection: The Clark County Department of Comprehensive Planning has made environmental standards part of the planning process to connect land use with transportation to create sustainable communities. The county has also implemented mixed land use principles aimed toward reducing urban sprawl, which in turn will reduce the use of automobiles. Clark County administers conservation program to benefit native species and promotes and maintains the Clark County Trails Program in urban and rural areas.
Waste Reduction/Recycling: Recycling programs are currently in use throughout several county organizations. Those efforts include recycling of all paper, plastic and aluminum materials, cell phones and discarded computers and monitors. The Department of Public Works runs a Pulverize and Pave Program that takes existing asphalt from older streets and grinds it up for reuse. In 2007, McCarran International Airport recycled more than 15,800 square feet of carpet, enough to cover a football field.
Transportation: The Clark County Department of Comprehensive Planning formulates transportation planning policies and guiding principles to encourage mass transit, proper placement of bicycle paths, and pedestrian routes. Clark County’s Department of Aviation has constructed an off-site car rental facility to reduce traffic congestion and emissions and provides satellite check-in facilities to further reduce traffic congestion.
Green Building: The Clark County Department of Comprehensive Planning encourages LEED-compliant designs. Real Property Management is in the process of adopting LEED standards for new building construction and existing structure retrofits. The Department of Aviation requires all new construction to be designed with day-lighting and xeriscaping. Clark County is currently designing two buildings to meet LEED certifications of Silver or higher.
Energy & the Electric Car: Spring Mountain Youth Camp utilizes solar power as a heating source. The Department of Public Works employs energy-saving LED traffic lights and high-pressure sodium street lights throughout the unincorporated county. The Department of Real Property Management has replaced traditional lighting with energy-saving lighting through out County buildings.
The government center solar project consists of photovoltaic panels and structural steel canopy over 20 visitor parking spaces with six of those spaces being electric vehicles charging stations. This location will offer electric vehicles charging for the public. The project includes installation of the public interaction kiosk, to demonstrate the renewable energy production process, which is located across from the commissioners’ chambers.