The CECAP development process is divided into five steps, some of which will take place concurrently. Each step has a distinct purpose and supports the steps that follow. The first two steps outlined below were completed under the original CECAP planning model, which involved the participation of nine Focus Groups and one Task Force. Please see step three for more information on the shift to a Working Group model.
Step I – Project Initiation
- The Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination, in cooperation with ICF and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), will work to establish the nine district-level Focus Groups and the Energy and Climate Task Force. This step encompasses the initial kickoff meetings for each of the groups and the development of guiding documents and charters to steer the work of these groups in the months to come.
Step 2 – Greenhouse Gas Reduction Inventories, Models and Goals
- COG will prepare a comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory for Fairfax County, incorporating the latest available data for the period from 2015-2018.
- COG and ICF will then create four emissions models, including a business-as-usual (BAU) model. Each model will consist of a climate mitigation goal and the key actions or strategies required to meet that goal.
- The models will be presented as graphs, mapped against the BAU projection, with sector-specific emissions reduction scenarios incorporated to help demonstrate what would be involved in reaching each emissions reduction goal.
- The models and goals will be presented to the Focus Groups for their feedback and input, and then to the Task Force for review. The Task Force will meet to discuss the materials provided and to decide on appropriate goals for the county.
- The community at large will also be engaged in step two. ICF will organize and facilitate several public meetings and will develop a community survey to run online in connection with the meetings. The meetings and the survey will offer Fairfax County community members the chance to review the draft goals and offer feedback and input.
- Following the initial round of public meetings, the Task Force will review the input provided by the community and will make any necessary changes to the draft goals.
- COG and ICF will then incorporate all the changes approved by the Task Force and will produce a final version of the mitigation goals for the county and community.
Step 3 – Climate Mitigation Planning and Support
As of October 2020, the CECAP planning model shifted away from a single Task Force and multiple Focus Groups to a Working Group model. This model will be used to complete the CECAP, as outlined in steps three, four, and five below. Please click here for more information on the Working Group.
- The goal of step three is to clearly define actions and strategies that the community can undertake to help meet the mitigation goals set in step two.
- ICF will identify at least 20 possible climate mitigation action options to get the conversation started. These options will reflect different sectors within the community, like transportation, energy, buildings, green/open spaces and waste management.
- With input from OEEC staff, the draft set of actions will be distilled into a summary for delivery to the Working Group. The Working Group will be charged with coming to a consensus on the list of draft actions and strategies and to make recommendations for any additional actions, strategies or sectors.
- ICF will then analyze the economic, environmental and social impacts of each of the proposed actions and strategies and develop an outline of their findings.
- ICF will create a set of criteria to help the Working Group prioritize the action and strategy options by both timing and resource requirements.
- The results of the analysis and the criteria will be delivered to the Working Group for review.
- The Working Group will meet to discuss the options in light of the analysis, criteria and will develop a final list of mitigation actions and strategies for the community.
Step 4 – Community Engagement Planning
Please note, in the original CECAP planning process, step four was to be completed by ICF. In order to streamline the process and create efficiencies, this work will now be completed by county staff within the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination. Please click here for more information on public engagement with CECAP.
- In order to encourage community participation in the actions and strategies identified in step three, county staff will seek to engage community groups, organizations and stakeholders. A list of local and regional cross-sectional partnerships and programs will be created to help support high-priority action items from step three.
- County staff to develop messaging and outreach tools, including online materials, to present the results of the greenhouse gas inventory and to facilitate community engagement.
- Targeted, strategic, evidence-based outreach campaigns will be deployed in advance of both the February 2021 and the May 2021 public meetings and surveys. These campaigns will seek to meet county residents and stakeholders where they are, to assess public opinion on specific strategies and actions as identified in step three, and to prepare the community to support implementation of the CECAP.
Step 5 – Development of the Final CECAP Technical Report
- ICF will draft a CECAP technical report, encompassing the greenhouse gas inventory, goals, actions and strategies approved by the Working Group.
- The technical report will be shared with the Working Group or review.
- The draft will be updated to reflect the input of the Working Group and then presented to the community at large for discussion and input via public meetings and an online survey.
- The Working Group will then meet to review the feedback from the community and to discuss and decide on revisions to the technical report.
- Any additional changes will be incorporated into the report and the document will be finalized for presentation to the Board of Supervisors.