Since 1989, the City of Paramount has implemented various best practices as outlined by the Institute of Local Government’s (ILG) Beacon Program in order to promote sustainability and environmental health. Because of its efforts, the City has earned and maintained a silver-level Sustainability Best Practices Beacon Spotlight Award.
The Beacon Program provides a framework for cities and counties to implement and share best practices that create healthier, more efficient, and sustainable communities. The program honors voluntary efforts by cities and counties to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and adopt policies and programs that promote sustainability.
The City Council passed a resolution on March 6, 2018 to authorize the City’s renewed participation in the Beacon Program and other programs that promote sustainability. In the coming months, Paramount will seek to implement a new energy efficiency or sustainability program, policy, or procedure that achieves measurable greenhouse gas reductions and promotes energy conservation activities in the community.
The City’s sustainability projects over the years include:
Energy Efficiency & Conservation
- Upgraded all traffic signals to LED signal heads. Saves approximately $1,000 per year in energy costs per signal. (2001)
- When doing City facility upgrades, replaces lighting with LED. (2015)
Water & Wastewater Systems
- Wide-scale use of reclaimed water to irrigate most parks and many landscaped setbacks and traffic medians. (1992)
- Use a weather-based irrigation control system to regulate and improve the efficient irrigation of City facilities. (2008)
- Long-standing program of installing catch basin screens and inserts to prevent trash and other debris from entering rivers and oceans. (2008)
- Promotes water conservation and modified water use practices at City facilities. Installed water-saving devices and waterless urinals at many facilities. (2015)
- Residents and businesses may participate in the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE), which allows them to obtain financing for energy and water efficiency products that can be repaid through annual property tax payments. (2010)
- Requires developers of new and significantly rebuilt facilities to install storm water management infrastructure to address and treat runoff. (2013)
- Adopted a “Green Street” ordinance that requires street resurfacing and reconstruction projects to incorporate ways to slow, filter, and cleanse storm water runoff from impervious surfaces (streets, sidewalks). Includes vegetation, soil, and engineered systems like permeable pavements. Green streets are designed to capture rainwater at its source where rain falls, rather than direct storm water runoff from impervious surfaces into storm sewer systems (gutters, drains, pipes) that dischrage directly into rivers and streams. (2013)
Water Reduction & Recycling
- Requires all contractors to recycle concrete and asphalt when doing resurfacing or concrete replacement work in the City. (2006)
- Via curbside recycling programs, reducing the number of pounds of waste produced per resident. (2007)
- Ongoing internal review of office practices to reduce impacts on the environment and reduce waste has led to employees replacing Styrofoam cups with reusable coffee cups and all departments working toward eliminating paper memos by using only emails. (2007)
- Partnered with contract tree trimmer, West Coast Arborists, for the Urban Wood Pathways program to recycle wood chips from City trees and to replant trees that are removed. (2016)
- Used rubberized asphalt in street resurfacing work. Approximately 4,000 old tires recycled per mile of each lane paved, and kept out of landfills. (10,000 were recycled in 2017 on Alondra Blvd.) (1989)
- When possible, purchases low- or zero-emission, hybrid, or alternative fuel vehicles for the City fleet; currently at 30% of total fleet with a goal of 50%. (1996)
Renewable Energy & Low Carbon Fuels
- Installed solar panels on roof of City Yard warehouse. (2010)
- Applied for and received a grant to extend a dedicated bike path for further greenhouse gas reductions. (2017)
Land Use & Community Design
- Developed a comprehensive Bike Master Plan that encourages greenhouse gas reductions. (2016)
Open Space & Offsetting Carbon Emissions
- Implementing focused tree planting program for neighborhood and parks. (1997)
- Participating in the Gateway Cities/COG Climate Action Plan. (2017)
- Joined Community Choice Aggregation program (Clean Power Alliance) to provide 50% cleaner, renewable, energy to residents and businesses reducing GHG impact to providing energy. (2017)
Community & Individual Action
- Started annual “Clutter-Free Paramount” event for residents to responsibly dispose of e-waste, large-items, green waste, and documents. (2018)
The City may qualify for additional awards in the energy-savings categories and is working in partnership with the Gateway Cities Council of Governments on a Climate Action Plan to address its greenhouse gas reductions.
Paramount will be awarded the Silver-Level Sustainability Best Practices Beacon Spotlight Award at the League of California Cities Annual Conference and Expo in September 2018.