Portland is hiring its first sustainability coordinator, using a federal energy efficiency grant.

City Manager Joe Gray announced the hiring of Ian Houseal, who has been working as special assistant to the Lewiston city administrator, according to a press release today.

Houseal is charged with developing policies and projects that promote environmental sustainability and energy conservation and working to reduce climate change.

The grant will fund the position for three years.

Houseal had previously worked as a sustainability consultant for a consulting company in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, according to the release.

“The … grant is welcome news for the city as it allows us to move our sustainability efforts forward,” said Gray.

“Ian brings with him a wealth of experience and an understanding of how to engage both employees and the public in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage,” he said. “As the city looks to the future, it is clear that as a community we need to embrace sustainable practices that ensure a healthy community, economy, and environment.”

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