Sustainable Environment for Quality of Life (SEQL)

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Sustainable Environment for Quality of Life (SEQL) is an integrated environmental initiative for the 15-county metropolitan Charlotte region in North and South Carolina. It involves elected officials, local government staffs, business and industry groups, economic development groups and environmental stakeholder groups working together toward viable solutions to regional growth.

The program is regional in its vision and influence, but local in application, and promotes the implementation of specific Action Items on Air Quality, Sustainable Growth and Water Resources and consideration of environmental impacts in decision-making at local and regional levels.

The initiative is funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Centralina Council of Governments (COGs) in cooperation with Catawba Regional COGs.

SEQL Area

Background

The greater Charlotte/Gastonia/Rock Hill region encompasses 15 counties with over 75 political jurisdictions and a population base of 2.1 million people. It is a highly desirable area to live in but faces many challenges: sprawl, air quality problems, and concerns about being the "next Atlanta". SEQL is meant to address these challenges by:

  • Allowing local governments the opportunity to work across jurisdictional lines in regional cooperation and collaboration, setting a standard for the nation.
  • Providing implementation assistance to local governments on environmental "commitment action items" developed under the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Sustainability Demonstration Project.
  • Analyzing multiple air quality issues simultaneously, including ozone, particulate matter, and air toxics while also addressing transportation, water, land use, energy use, and economic development.

SEQL supports the region's efforts to develop integrated, long-range plans to ensure economic development and a positive quality of life for its future.

The project is structured so that it is a cooperative undertaking with the Catawba Regional COGs. Centralina and Catawba Regional COGs will work to bring the metro area together.

The region will demonstrate that planning developed through the grant provides an integrated strategy that other local governments across the country could use to address similar quality of life and environmental issues.