Environmental Advisory Committee close to becoming reality

(Gazette file photo)




The long-awaited Terms of Reference for the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) were approved by Council at the November 12th Regular Council Meeting.

According to the Terms of Reference, the EAC is an advisory committee that acts as the liaison on the flow of strategic advice and expertise among the community, key stakeholders including other volunteer or official environmental organizations and the Corporation of the County of Prince Edward on matters involving environmental sustainability, stewardship, protection and promotion.

The County further states that the EAC will provide both information and advice on how particular environmental and sustainability issues impact the community and other municipalities, while recognizing that many of the issues are within the context of regional, national or global concerns.

The EAC is slated to meet at least four times annually, with further meetings being granted as per the chair.

Membership will consist of Mayor Steve Ferguson, three members of Council, one representative nominated by Conservation Quinte, one youth representative (aged 18-25), and five public representatives appointed by Council.

Upon approval of the motion, the municipality is expected to advertise for applications for public members which will require a cover letter and resume and those who are elected by Council must have demonstrated either history or interest in matters pertaining to the environment.

Council membership on the committee is expected to be determined at the Dec. 17 council meeting.

The EAC chair and vice-chair will be nominated at the committee’s first or second meeting.

The goals of the committee range in scope, and include:

  • identifying and implementing activities (through public engagement initiatives) that will support broadened environmental awareness in the County,
  • draw on knowledge of community members regarding environmental issues,
  • bring together environmental experts and members of the public on initiatives to advance environmental aspect of Council’s strategic priorities, including climate change
  • provide advice and information to Council and the public through the compilation and provision of an annual report that details threats to the environment in PEC; various measures of success of local environmental performance; examine trends in environmental protection and promotion; and provide commentary on challenges and opportunities to prevent the degradation of, and to restore and sustain, our environmental assets
  • to initiate and/or receive submissions and/or delegations from other organizations regarding any other specific environmental concerns.
  • Other activities as per Council

Members of the EAC are expected to comply and work with County procedures, by-laws and provincial legislation.

The EAC is not new to the County, but is instead being revived after a period of dormancy. The need for a committee presiding over environmental sustainability in the County was realized after Council declared a Climate Emergency back in late May.