LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMETNAL ADVISORY BOARD (EAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

December 13, 2005

 

Members In Attendance:

 

Commissioner:

Sanjay Advani

Tom Sneider

Glenn Gibson

Jack Coleman

Heidi Steltzer

 

David Gilkey

Marcia Van Eden

Guest:

Dale Lockwood

Sherm Worthington

Rob Buirgy

Devin Odell

Bill Zawacki

 

Jim Skarbek

 

Staff:

 

 

Doug Ryan

 

Discussion Items:

Big Thompson Watershed Forum.  Rob Buirgy, Executive Director, discussed the history and current activities of the Watershed Forum.  Water quality concerns on the Big Thompson River first surfaced in the 1980s in relation to fish kills, source water protection for drinking water supplies, and possible impacts from septic systems.  The North Front Range Water Quality Planning Association (the 208 agency) recommended that a watershed organization be formed in the mid-1990s.  This was accomplished in 1997.  The first project of the Forum was to facilitate an on-going collaborative monitoring program.  Based on the results to date, the Forum’s priorities for addressing water quality are: 1) nutrient loading, 2) sediment pollution, and 3) pathogens. 

 

The Forum is currently developing their Water Quality Management Plan.  The two principle activities at this time are to identify all the potentially impacted interests, and assessment of data.  The planning process will result in the development of water quality goals for phosphorus, and plans for implementation to move toward those goals. 

 

Mr. Buirgy noted that the Forum’s annual meeting will be held on February 16th, and that any interested EAB members are welcome to attend. 

 

Atlas 13 Missile Site.  The Advisory Board reviewed the US Army Corps of Engineers plan to cleanup polychlorinated biphenyl  (PCB) contaminated soils associated with the Atlas 13 Missile Silo site, which is located near the mouth of Poudre Canyon.  The extent of PCB contamination has been determined through a soil sampling program.  The proposed removal action will involve excavating the affected area, disposal at an approved landfill, backfilling with clean soil, and final seeding.  The Advisory Board concurred that these actions are appropriate for this phase of the cleanup.  Dale Lockwood raised an issue concerning the seed mixture for the revegetation phase.  The seed mix proposed is a native seed mix (or some equivalent, depending on availability).  These mixes are designed to be very fast-growing, and in some instances can result in the establishment of grasses with undesirable genetic traits.  An alternative in this case would be to plant a sterile hybrid, such as the product Regreen®.  This is a wheat and wheat grass hybrid that is easily established in order to prevent soil erosion.  Because it does not produce new seeds, it would eventually be replaced by the more desirable adjacent native grasses.  It was also noted that monitoring the success of the revegetation process is important; no matter what seed mix is utilized.  Marcia Van Eden moved, and Bill Zawacki seconded a motion to recommend that the Commissioners forward this recommendation to the Army Corps for their consideration.  The motion passed unanimously. 

 

Election of Officers.  By unanimous vote, the Advisory Board elected Dale Lockwood as Chair, and Jim Skarbek as Vice-chair for 2006.

 

 

 

BCC Liaison Comments:

Commissioner Gibson discussed his perspective on environmental issues in Larimer County.  He noted that as an elected official, his views depend on both technical scientific implications and the political interest shown by citizens.  Commissioner Gibson indicated that air quality related to ozone was his main environmental concern at this time.  The Advisory Board did receive an update on the status of the region’s compliance with the 8-hour ozone standard in October.  Because Commissioner Gibson was not able to attend that meeting, Doug Ryan offered to meet separately to review that information. 

 

Chair’s Comments:

Dale Lockwood noted a review in Natural History Magazine about a recent journal article concerning chloride buildup in waterways on the east coast due to road deicers.  The source article is titled “Increased salinization of fresh water in the northeastern United States”, and is available in the Proceedings of  the National Academy of Sciences [2005 Sep 20;102(38):13517-20].

 

Approval of November minutes:

The minutes for the November meeting were approved as presented.

 

Updates: 

Marcia Van Eden noted that the County Commissioners’ presentation of Environmental Stewardship Awards will be Monday, December 19 at 3:00 PM.  Mrs. Van Eden will attend on behalf of the EAB.

 

Heidi Steltzer asked about the proposed Parks Task Force, and the possibility of EAB involvement.  Commissioner Gibson asked Doug Ryan to research the status and report back for him in these minutes.  Mr. Ryan did contact Gary Buffington, Parks & Open Lands Director.  The Parks Task Force will be charged with providing major input to update the County’s Parks Master Plan.  This plan deals with recreational areas that are managed by the County.  The Task Force will consist of 11-13 citizens, and will work closely with staff, the County’s consultant, and the public.  The planning process is anticipated to take about 14 months.  Once the plan is completed, there is a possibility that the County may form a Parks Board with 5-9 members.  Mr. Buffington said that he would welcome EAB review and comment during the development and/or draft comment period for the Parks Master Plan. 

 

Marcia Van Eden brought up the Horsetooth Mountain Park management plan update, and indicated an interest in potential involvement by the EAB.   Doug Ryan will check on the status and report back in January.

 

Dale Lockwood noted that the County’s purchase of land for a potential future landfill made the Coloradoan newspaper.  The parcel is a section of land about six miles north of Wellington (Section 29, Township 10N, Range 68W – north of County Road 76 between County Roads 9 and 11).

 

Commissioner Gibson informed the Advisory Board that some changes will be made in liaison assignments for boards and commissions, and that Commissioner Wagner will be the liaison for the Environmental Advisory Board in 2006.  Commissioner Gibson thanked the EAB members for the valuable information they provided over the past year. 

 

EAB Issue Index:

Doug Ryan will update the Issue Index related to the topics discussed at the December meeting. 

 

January 10th Agenda:

EAB 2006 workplan.

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 8:00 pm.