Nevada ranked sixth in the nation for 2015 in a U.S. Green Building Council national ranking of top states in the country for LEED green buildings, according to a press release from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. Data used for the USGBC’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study also show LEED construction is expected to support 96,000 jobs in Nevada and impact state GDP by $8.55 billion from 2015-2018.
Arizona and New Mexico did not place in the Top 10.
“Building LEED-certified spaces will help our cities and communities grow in a smart, energy-efficient way and helps maximize the potential of the state’s thriving renewable energy industry,” says Sandoval in a press release. “[It’s] important that we integrate sustainable measures in our growth to ensure preservation of our precious natural resources.”
In Nevada, 30 commercial and institutional projects became LEED certified in 2015, which equates to 6,534,960 square feet of real estate. LEED projects in Nevada include the Levi Strauss & Co.’s Sky Harbor Distribution Center, Clark County Wetlands Park Nature Center, and The Chefs’ Warehouse Las Vegas. “Nevada’s success in attracting LEED certified or equivalent buildings shows the commitment our state has taken to lead the way in integrating energy efficiency and conservation with growth and new development,” says Angela Dykema, director of the governor’s office of energy.
Congress Passes Tax Credits for Solar and Wind
The House and the Senate recently passed a spending package that includes multi-year extensions of solar and wind tax credits and one-year extensions for a range of other renewable energy technologies.
Recently, the New Mexico Environment Department, the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors signed two settlement agreements in order to resolve the New Mexico Environment Department’s claims against DOE and its contractors in relation to the February 2014 incidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad and the associated activities at Los Alamos National Laboratory. These newly signed agreements provide funding and scheduling parameters for a set of Supplemental Environmental Projects in both the Carlsbad and Los Alamos communities and ensure that New Mexico’s roads, water infrastructure, and emergency response infrastructure will receive critical improvements.
According to a press release from the New Mexico Environment Department, these projects include making necessary repairs to New Mexican roads used for the transportation of transuranic waste, enhanced training and capabilities for local emergency responders (including local mine rescue teams), and the funding of construction and equipment for an offsite emergency operations center near WIPP to be operated by DOE are estimated at a total value of $74 million.
The finalized settlement agreements are based on the State of New Mexico’s and DOE’s General Principles of Agreement signed by the parties on April 30, 2015.
“The funds New Mexico will receive through this agreement will help ensure the future safety and success of these facilities, the people who work at them, and their local communities. We look forward to continuing to work with the federal government to ensure the safety and success of both LANL and WIPP,” says New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.
WaterNow Alliance Inaugural Summit in Tempe
Tempe, Arizona will hold the first WaterNow Alliance summit March 30 and 31 at the Arizona State University Memorial Union. Water leaders, innovators, and experts will meet for the two-day summit to discuss advancing water solutions in communities across the west.