Langley resolves to be Earth, energy friendly

Langley loves it's mother ... mother nature that is.

On Wednesday, Langley Mayor Lloyd Furman brought the city council a resolution in which the city promises to respect the Earth.

Calling it a "feel-good" resolution by Furman, the resolution to endorse a document called the "Earth Charter" has no regulatory impact on Langley. Furman said it is a continuation attitudes and practices the city has been adhering to for years.

The resolution passed unanimously.

Furman said he found the basis for the resolution on the Earth Charter Web site, and thought it was complimentary to what Langley tries to achieve.

"We're doing a good job and we want people to know we're doing a good job," he said. "Our actions have shown that we have done these things."

The city has taken some visible and recent steps to protect resources and the environment within city limits, which are things the Earth Charter encourages. During the energy crunch in 2001, the city swapped out incandescent light bulbs all over city hall in favor of florescent and compact florescent bulbs to save on energy bills.

In addition, the city started an effort two years ago to cut down on storm water infiltration into the city's sanitary sewer system. High storm water levels have caused the city's sewage treatment plant to discharge some untreated sewer water into Puget Sound.

The resolution to endorse the Earth Charter also calls for Langley's continued commitment to preserve the city's quality of life and maintain sustainable development practices.

Jack Lynch, the city's planning official, said Langley is making conscious efforts to be environmentally friendly. He said the city is constantly reviewing their practices to make sure city projects are as energy and cost efficient as possible.

Even little things, such as the efficiency of a flushing toilet, are being considered, he said.

While Lynch hasn't yet seen the new resolution, he said Langley's commitment to preserving Whidbey Island was something new.

"We want to preserve our best natural features," said Lynch.

The city does still have some challenges to face if it wants to live up to the Earth Charter. The city's storm water system remains untreated and drains directly into Puget Sound. However, the city has put effort into cleaning the headwaters of that system by letting permits in 2001 for a wetland restoration project behind Langley Middle School.

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