Green Gov Mandates Threatened by Budget Cuts

November 6, 2011

Budget cuts are scuttling agency efforts to meet green government mandates, such as using more renewable energy and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Many agencies — including the Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services departments — said funding shortfalls prevented them from meeting one recent goal: making 7 percent of their buildings "green" by December 2011.

To be considered green, a newly constructed building must use 30 percent less energy than a typical building of the same size. Renovated buildings must use 20 percent less energy. Also, they must meet specific standards for water efficiency, recycling, indoor air quality and low-emission paints and sealants, among other things. By October 2015, agencies must double that, so 15 percent of their buildings are green. 

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