For Immediate Release
January 30, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE Joins Sustainable Skylines Partnership to Protect KC Area Air Quality

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), along with eight other local, state and federal entities, today signed a “Commitment to Sustainability” that establishes a partnership to implement Sustainable Skylines, an initiative aimed at bringing cleaner air to the entire Kansas City metropolitan community.

The Kansas City area is the second community chosen to participate in the nationwide Sustainable Skylines pilot program.

“KDHE is proud to be a part of the Sustainable Skylines agreement,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “This innovative partnership will allow local and state organizations to strengthen working relationships while working together towards the shared goal of a healthier and more sustainable environment.”

Sustainable Skylines is a joint venture that involves completing short-term projects that have long-term environmental, economic, and social benefits for Kansas City. Under the program, cities choose projects that address issues such as climate, transportation, energy, land use, resource efficiency, green building and air quality. Projects are chosen for their ability to address these issues and yield measurable environmental benefits within three years.

The nine partners from both sides of the state line who signed on to the agreement are:

EPA Region 7 Administrator John B. Askew said, “Sustainable Skylines gives Kansas City a way to address complex environmental issues like climate, energy and air quality. The projects undertaken by partners in this initiative will improve the environment and strengthen the economy of the Kansas City area for both the short and long term."

KDHE is helping to publicize an engine idle reduction campaign known as ‘KC Idle Free,’ and is working with public and private organizations in the Kansas City metro area to establish idle-free zones. P rojects planned by other agencies under Sustainable Skylines include: