Loveland Bike Trail
 

 

LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH – November 8, 2012

 

The Larimer County Board of Health (BOH) convened its regular meeting at 7:00 PM at the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE), 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO

 

           Members Present:                   C.J. McKinney, Ph.D.

                                                Steve Yurash

N. Mark Richards, M.D., M.P.H.

                                                           

Executive Secretary:               Adrienne LeBailly, M.D., M.P.H.

 

Staff:                                         Marie Macpherson, Avie Strand, Gerald Blehm,

                                                  Doug Ryan, Paula Lady

                                         

1.   The Board of Health meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM. 

2.   Minutes of the October 11, 2012 meeting were unanimously approved.

3.   Report on Air Quality Issues in Larimer County in 2012 – Doug Ryan, our Environmental Health Planner, gave a presentation to the Board on Air Quality in Larimer County.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Colorado is in compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards, with the exception of ozone.   Doug reported that Larimer County is considered to be in a marginal non-attainment area for ozone, the main pollutant that the county is attempting to bring into compliance. Ground-level ozone is important because of its health effects, particularly on the respiratory system.  Ozone peaks in summer months and has both natural and man-made causes. It is not directly emitted into the air but is produced by a chemical reaction between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight.  Pine trees release volatile hydrocarbons into the air which, in the summer sun, contribute to about 50% of the ozone in our area, equal to human-caused sources. Motor vehicles and oil and gas drilling operations are considered some major sources of human-caused ozone.

Ozone measurements are averaged over an 8-hour period, with a previous standard of equal to or less than .085 parts per million (which the county was able to attain). In 2008, the EPA lowered the standard average to .075 parts per million and caused this area to exceed the standard.  Larimer County has four monitors for measuring ozone, three in the Fort Collins area, and one operated by the National Park Service in Rocky Mountain National Park.  In Fort Collins, the monitor on West LaPorte Street usually shows the highest readings, as air is trapped to the west by the foothills. The northern part of Larimer County is not included in the non-attainment area.  Our region has an “ozone action plan” in which Larimer County participates.  The required testing of motor vehicles in our county is called IM 240, a 240-second (6 minute) test through a driving cycle in which a dynamometer measures emissions coming out of the vehicle’s tailpipe. On-board diagnostics of a motor vehicle may be the future of testing, rather than the emissions testing dynamometer. Estes Park has been excluded from the IM 240 program.

Individuals should know the health risks for ozone, understand the ozone alert system, and take reasonable precautions based on their health status on high ozone days. This summer, there were also high particulate levels—which also can be harmful to health—in Larimer County due to area fires.

If a region that is classified as a non-attainment area were unwilling to work cooperatively with the EPA to achieve attainment, the region could see their transportation funding cut off by the EPA, but this has never happened.        

4.   Review of Policy Governance Report for 2012 – Dr. LeBailly went through the Policy Governance Report with the Board.  This report mirrors the expectations of the County Commissioners have of the County Manager.  Steve Yurash suggested posting these reports on the web; Dr. LeBailly will investigate how the County Manager’s reports are handled.

In a separate issue, it was suggested up that the Board should have a discussion of Amendment 64, which allows the personal use and limited cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 and older. Specifically, should the Board begin tracking the effects of this law on the health of the community? Mr. McKinney will draft a letter from the BOH that can be presented to area agencies requesting data that can be tracked over time. 

5.   Review of evaluation form for Public Health Director for December meeting – No changes in the evaluation form were requested by the Board.  Board members are asked to email their completed evaluation forms to C.J. McKinney by December 6th. 

6.   Director’s Report – Dr. LeBailly had no critical items to report.  As the meeting was running late, she deferred any updates to the next BOH meeting. 

7.   Next meeting – December 13, 2012, 7:00 PM.

8.   Adjourn – the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 PM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________    _____________________________________________

Paula Lady, Recording Secretary                      Adrienne LeBailly, MD, MPH, Executive Secretary

 

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.