DeKalb County in Georgia is a diverse county within the Atlanta metro area, with a population exceeding 750,000 people. It is renowned for institutions like Emory University and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as its natural sites and historical landmarks. However, due to ongoing development, the County faces challenges in preserving its natural areas. To address this and other issues, the County government aims to reduce its climate impact, prioritize environmental justice, and improve public health outcomes. Through a partnership with FUSE, the County plans to develop and implement policies focused on carbon footprint reduction, stormwater infrastructure planning, fleet electrification, solar energy capacity expansion, and waste management improvement. By leveraging potential funding sources, such as federal grants, and increasing staff capacity, DeKalb County aims to create an environmentally responsive local government that serves as a model for community resilience.
DeKalb County’s initiatives will significantly impact its residents and the environment. By redoubling its environmental justice efforts, the County seeks to prioritize the health of historically impacted communities disproportionately affected by air and water pollution. Engaging in environmental mitigation benefits public health on an individual and community level and addresses preexisting conditions exacerbated during the pandemic. Through the partnership with FUSE, the County aims to build support for these initiatives and create a more sustainable and resilient community, showcasing how local governments can lead the way in improving environmental conditions and promoting the overall well-being of their residents.