February 11, 2020
Five of QCAN’s Ward 5 residents met with City Councilor Chuck Phelan during his office hours on February 5th to discuss local issues related to climate change. We encouraged Councilor Phelan to vote for an amendment to the single-use plastic bag ban that would incorporate a modest surcharge for single-use paper bags, which contribute several times more climate-warming gases than single-use plastic bags. We hope that such an amendment can be proposed and approved before the plastic bag ban takes effect on March 1st.
We also discussed a possible separate ordinance banning single-use liquor bottles, or “nips,” which are generally not recyclable and pollute Quincy’s environment.
Looking to the future, QCAN members advocate converting the MBTA’s entire Quincy bus fleet to battery electric vehicles as soon as possible. The project that is tied to a new bus barn that may be built on Burgin Parkway, since the existing barn on Hancock Street in Wollaston is too small to accommodate the newer, cleaner buses. We also urged Phelan to support our proposal to require a “net-zero analysis” for all new city buildings in Quincy, just as is done in Boston. That is, Quincy would need to study what it would take for any proposed government building to source all of its energy from renewables. The payback for net-zero construction is about three years, making it a no-brainer both fiscally and environmentally.
We appreciated Councilor Phelan’s openness to speaking with us and hope to see these measures move forward.