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MoCo Celebrates Earth Day With Landmark Legislation

To mark Earth Day, the Montgomery County Council yesterday passed a far-reaching legislative package of bills designed to reduce energy consumption and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

When debate began yesterday, it was unclear whether the leading sponsor of the bills, Council member Roger Berliner, had enough support to push through the most significant of the measures - a requirement that new home construction meet federal energy efficiency standards.

In committee, Council members Valerie Ervin, Nancy Floreen and George Leventhal recommended against the measure. But Berliner crafted a compromise that would delay the start of the requirements by one year to January 2010 to give the building industry time to prepare.

That won over skeptics and the bill passed unanimously. A spokesman for County Executive Isiah Leggett said he would sign the bills. If that happens, Montgomery officials said the county would become the first in the nation to enact the federal Energy Star standards for home building.

By Ann Marimow  |  April 22, 2008; 7:30 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow  
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