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West Mifflin Borough Champions Climate Conscious Municipal Planning; Councilman Encourages Fellow Officials to ‘Dip a Toe In’

West Mifflin Councilman Dan Davis said that over the last few years, he could just “see the tide changing.”


Davis, an environmental consultant, said a stream of new grant funding opportunities emerged aimed at helping local municipalities mitigate the burgeoning impacts of climate change.


The borough eagerly sought those opportunities, he said, and were awarded with grants and entered community partnerships that have made West Mifflin a cleaner, greener community.


Grant funding helped West Mifflin purchase three electric vehicles - two Chevy Bolts for code enforcement and a pickup truck for its police department.


And a 2023 partnership with Duquesne Light Company landed the community six EV charging stations that are available for public use in addition to supporting the borough’s electric fleet.


That wasn’t the only good grant news the borough received last year: It also applied for and received a $748,339 grant through Allegheny County Health Department’s Clean Air Fund to replace its existing 2007 diesel-powered refuse truck with an electric rear-loading garbage packer.


That funding will also be used to install two electric vehicle charging stations and an electrical service upgrade that includes the installation of new electric infrastructure to ensure “that the planned conversion to an all-electric municipal vehicle fleet is practicable for the borough.”


When talking about current and future sustainability projects - whether it be the conversion to LED lighting or the development of a state-of-the-art community park and recreation center - Davis stressed that two things make a big difference: Being proactive and collaborative.


Both, he said, have been instrumental to West Mifflin’s green renaissance.


He credits CONNECT and the relationships that started there with helping him and fellow West Mifflin officials understand the emerging Climate-related issues facing municipalities (like flooding, aging infrastructure, and landslides), navigate funding opportunities, and foster key relationships leading to intermunicipal collaboration.


Through CONNECT, for example, he was introduced to GASP. He attended our air quality bootcamp for municipal officials and won a PurpleAir monitor for his community for attending.


Davis said making the connection not only  helped him garner a new piece of technology for the borough, but also inspired him to learn more about local air quality, inversions, and sources of pollution.


His advice to local municipal officials who haven’t yet taken the sustainability plunge?


“Dip a toe in,” he said with a laugh. “It’s easy to incorporate when you really start looking at it.”

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