Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY BOARD (EAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

May 10, 2011

 

 

Members In Attendance:

 

Commissioner:

Ruben Blanco

 

Lew Gaiter

Michael Jones

 

 

Kimberly Karish

 

Staff :

Evelyn King

 

Doug Ryan

Ryan McShane

 

 

Earlie Thomas

 

 

 

Discussion Items:

Crystal Fire asbestos management provisions. Doug Ryan provided an update for the EAB about the issue of managing debris from burned structures involved in the Crystal fire.  Common building materials, such as roofing felt, tar paper, drywall, etc contain low levels of asbestos fibers that become friable once they are burned.  An expedited process has been developed to assist property owners in cleanup of ash and debris from structures.  The steps in this process include 1) materials are to be wetted to minimize dust and packaged inside a double 6-mil plastic sheeting liner in an end-dump roll-off, 2) the roll-off can be taken to listed landfills, including the Larimer County landfill, 3) the landfill operator must be notified ahead of arrival so they can be ready to cover the dumped debris with soil to control windblown dust, 4) after the waste has been removed, the site must be inspected by a State of Colorado certified Air Monitoring Specialist to make sure that the building are is visually free of all ash and debris so that the property can be rebuilt without triggering state soils regulations.  The Larimer County Landfill does not normally accept friable asbestos waste, but has received a special allowance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for this project.  A total of 13 residences were destroyed in the fire.  The County Health Department participated in the informational meeting with area landowners that was held on April 21 and provided this information. 

 

Alps Tire Pile cleanup progress.   Doug Ryan offered new information about progress in the Alps Tire pile cleanup.  In summary, the grant funding for waste tire cleanup has been transferred from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  The majority of tires (approximately 2.5 million) were cleaned up under a DOLA grant issued to the County and awarded to a private contractor as outlined in the grant process.  Approximately 25,000 tires remained after the initial grant award was expended.  A new grant from CDPHE has been issued to complete the cleanup process.  The original contractor, Snowy River Enterprises has been awarded the contract and is currently engaged in the cleanup process.  The first phase removal involved shredding the waste tires onsite and hauling off the shreds.  Most of the remaining tires are larger diameter tires from trucks, tractors ect. and are more difficult to handle.  For this final cleanup phase, the tires are loaded onto a semi trailer and hauled off to Snowy Rivers licensed site in Weld County for processing.  The end use includes crumb rubber, playground material, horse arena material and chips for civil engineering applications.  No landfill disposal is allowed. 

 

Bald Mountain radio tower update.   Michael Jones provided an update on the proposed Bald Mountain radio tower.  The purpose would be to provide reliable radio communications for emergency service providers in the Poudre Canyon and Red Feather Lakes areas.  Larimer County is pursuing environmental studies with the Forest Service to determine the extent of evaluation needed for a future NEPA permitting decision.  Mr. Jones briefly outlined the project, which would include a radio tower, base station, fence, access road, and powerline extension.   The Sheriff’s Office provide an update to the County Commissioners on March 31.  Estimated costs range from 1.6 to 5.1 million dollars.  The cost range varies largely on the use of overhead or buried electric service.  The Forest Service asked to County to prepare at least one alternative for consideration.  The alternative selected for study would involve 5 separate cell towers in the Poudre Canyon.  The estimated cost would be 4.7 to 5.1 million dollars not counting property purchase or lease cost.  The need for the project is driven by the current lack of emergency radio coverage in the area, and by an FCC requirement to switch from broadband to narrowband radio frequencies by January 2013.  The switch to narrowband further reduces the limited radio coverage that is available now.  The Commissioners authorized the Sheriff to proceed with their work with the Forest Service on the permitting process. 

 

Uranium mining postponement.  Michael Jones updated the EAB on the plans by Power Tech Corporation to mine uranium on approximately 9,300 acres in northwest Weld County.  The EAB prepared a white paper on in-situ uranium mining for the Commissioners in 2008.  Following recent regulatory updates at the State level, it has been anticipated that a formal permit application for mining in Weld County would be submitted in 2011.  Instead, Power Tech recently announced that it will halt all permitting activity in Weld County in order to focus their efforts on a site in South Dakota that is farther along in the permitting process. 

 

Fort Collins Air Quality Plan status update.   At their March meeting, the EAB reviewed the City of Fort Collins draft air quality plan and provided comments to City staff.  Doug Ryan reported that staff has prepared responses to all of the public comments they received, including those from the EAB.  Mr. Ryan provided a table that outlines the staff response.  On the whole, it was clear that the EAB comments were well received and constructive. 

 

BCC Liaison Comments:

Commissioner Gaiter attended the meeting and participated in the update discussions outlined above.  He also described the regular community meetings or listening posts that Commissioners hold each month at area restaurants or other gathering places.  Those meetings generate considerable feedback to on the kinds of issues the citizens are interested in.  Commissioner Gaiter invited EAB members to attend meetings in their area if they are interested in addressing the Commissioners on issues that they are individually interested in. 

 

Commissioner Gaiter also discussed the topic of issuing open burning bans when the fire danger is high.  Those bans are issued by the Commissioners under guidance from the Sheriff’s office. 

 

Updates:  

Evelyn King indicated that she will check on the anticipated date for adoption of the Denver/North Front Range ozone air quality conformity plan.

 

Kimberly Karish asked the EAB if they would be interested in updates at the next meeting about the NEPA permitting process and about GIS mapping for wildfire danger.  The members indicated they would welcome that information. 

 

EAB Issue Index:

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

 

June  Meeting Agenda:

NEPA process, wildfire mapping and forecasting

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 8:00 PM.

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.