Laguna Niguel cares about our environment and has worked for many years to ensure we have clean air, fresh water, and less pollution. As your mayor, I wanted to take an opportunity to let you know some of the things we are doing to maintain our environmentally-friendly slice of paradise.
You may have heard that California will soon require that we all collect our food and green waste for composting. Laguna Niguel is way ahead of the curve on this effort. In early 2019, the City partnered with CR&R which captures that waste and processes it in a state of the art facility that generates methane gas, which they use to run their fleet of trucks. We understand that this is the only example of this technology being used in the United States and we are proud of our strategic alliance with CR&R.
Since we are blessed with so much California sunshine, Laguna Niguel streamlined its permitting process for homeowners to install solar panels. We have also worked to ensure that even our City facilities are environmentally conscious. During the construction of City Hall, we installed an array of solar panels on its roof which has made a big difference in reducing our overall energy consumption.
Automobile exhaust is one of the world’s primary pollutants and so the City seeks to do its part to reduce carbon emissions. Laguna Niguel was awarded a grant from the State of California to install electric vehicle charging stations at City facilities. Two of these stations will be installed at City Hall in 2020 for public use. We are also continuing our on-going efforts to time and synchronize the City’s traffic signal system during peak traffic hours to reduce braking, stopping, and inefficient traffic circulation. This saves on fuel and reduces emissions from vehicles.
As construction of our new Crown Valley Community Center continues, it is being built with energy saving features including LED light fixtures, automated energy efficient air conditioning and heating system, and variable speed pumps at the new pool to minimize power demands during peak hours. Even the heating of the pool is accomplished by using heat produced from the treatment of waste water. Every effort is made to save energy and stay green.
We also conduct many ongoing water quality programs including our Urban Runoff Management Program which reduces harmful pollutants by reducing illicit discharges of trash and debris into our storm drains. The City has already installed more than 400 filter screens on our catch basins with more planned for the future.
Recycling is still a major component of our environmental efforts. Several times a year Laguna Niguel hosts “Shred Events” where residents bring their unwanted paper documents to City Hall for shredding and environmentally-friendly disposal. Each year we collect and dispose of more than 60,000 pounds of unwanted paper!
Whether it is solar panels or traffic signals, electric vehicle charging stations or eco-friendly City facilities, water quality programs or recycling, Laguna Niguel is proud to take this proactive approach to maintaining and improving our residents’ quality of life. Through amazing water quality, crisp, clean air, increased recycling and energy efficiency, Laguna Niguel is a leader in protecting our environment.
John Mark Jennings is the mayor of Laguna Niguel.