Hermiston Superintendent Named to Energy Efficiency Task Force

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Dr. Tricia Mooney, superintendent of the Hermiston School District, has been appointed to the newly-created Joint Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings to guide the development of the state’s building code policies.

The purpose of the task force is to consider the impact of building codes on energy efficiency, air quality, and public health while reducing the amount of taxpayer income spent on energy costs.

The task force comprises 27 members charged with helping Oregon address long-term economic and environmental savings and benefits by evaluating code policy adjustments for new and existing residential, commercial, and industrial buildings and making recommendations to legislative committees prior to the 2023 Session.

Dr. Tricia Mooney

Mooney was selected to represent building owners and managers, as the Hermiston School District includes 10 publicly-owned school and administrative buildings of varying ages. The school district is also the largest in Eastern Oregon and has among the fastest-growing student populations in the state.

“In Hermiston, our facilities are tested year-round by summers in the triple digits, winters well below freezing, and wildfire smoke that creates health impacts for kids with asthma and other respiratory illnesses,” Mooney said. “Rural school districts and local governments have needs that far surpass our local tax base. We need the state to invest in our local communities. If we work together, we can promote cleaner air while lowering energy costs for local taxpayers and build  public facilities that are healthier for the people who use them.”

Mooney is the only member of the task force representing education. Oregon State Sen. Lynn Findley (R-Vale) and Oregon State Rep. Mark Owens (R-Crane) are the legislative representatives from Eastern Oregon. Other members represent construction trades, residential and commercial builders, utilities, local governments, environmental justice advocates, public health, and more.

The first meeting of the Joint Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings is Tuesday, April 5.