Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD (ESAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

June 10, 2014

 

 

Members In Attendance:

 

Guests:

Cassie Archuleta

 

Connie Marvel

Melissa Chalona

 

Karen Hare

Michael Jones

 

Meghann Shaffer

Kimberly Karish

 

Elena Duraux

Ryan McShane

 

 

Joseph Wilson

 

Commissioner:

 

 

Lew Gaiter

 

 

 

 

 

Staff :

 

 

Doug Ryan

 

Introduction of Members and Guests:

Those in attendance introduced themselves.

 

Citizen Comments:

 

Maghann Shaffer and Elena Duraux spoke about Touchstone Health Partner’s Colorado Spirit Mountain Outreach Team.  The Team supports Larimer County’s recovery from the September 2013 flood through outreach, crisis counseling services, and connections with/ referrals to community resources.

 

The Mountain Outreach Team goes door-to-door to offer emotional support to residents of flooded areas and to inform survivors of resources offered by the community. Other objectives include:

  1. Making contact with affected residents to offer in-person assistance to all individuals and families.
  2. Distributing support, informational, and educational brochures and flyers.
  3. Supporting communities as neighbors rebuild and connect with their neighbors to co-create a “new normal.”
  4. Making formal presentations to inform individuals and groups about support services and systems in their community.
  5. Facilitating informal community support events for survivors to share their experiences and get emotional support, answers to questions, and connections with other resources.
  6. Offering referrals for individuals who desire ongoing counseling services for mental health and substance use concerns.

 

Connie Marvel and Karen Hare are active community members concerned with the air emissions from the Martin Marietta Asphalt Plant.  On this date they addressed the Advisory Board about another related element.  They noted that truck traffic related to both asphalt manufacturing and delivery of asphalt to road projects is very high.  Recently the community counted trucks over a one-day period.  They counted over 600 trips.  Those trips were either east-west trips between the gravel mining operation and the asphalt plant, or north-south on Taft Hill Road representing pickup and delivery of finished asphalt.  Both speakers indicated that they are very concerned about the impact on the community from traffic, emissions, and fugitive dust generation.  They believe that the level of traffic means that the asphalt plant constitutes more than an accessory use, and has become a major industrial use in and of itself. 

 

Appreciation for Melissa Chalona:

Melissa Chalona is retiring from the Environmental and Science Advisory Board after serving two terms (from July 2008 through June 2014).  In addition, she served as Chair to the board in 2010, 2012, and 2013.  Commissioner Gaiter presented Mrs. Chalona with a certificate of appreciation.  In his personal remarks, Gaiter noted the valuable scientific and personal perspective that she brought to the Board, and the high degree of overall value that the Commissioners place on the her leadership and the ESAB in general.

 

Discussion Items:

Doug Ryan provided updates on several items from the ESAB’s Issue Index.  He used a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the important items. 

 

Ozone Summer Season.  June 1 marks the beginning of the summer ozone air quality season.  Larimer County issued a press release, which is available at  http://larimer.org/news/newsDetail.cfm?id=2482.  Mr. Ryan outlined the ozone air quality monitoring results for the 2013 season.  Regional monitors, including sites in the County, showed a number of exceedances of the established 8-hour standard.  Two monitors in the County exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone based on the calculated 3-year average of the 4th highest daily maximum ozone concentration used to determine compliance.  This issue will be retained as an active topic on the ESAB Issue Index. 

 

NISP Water Project EIS.  The Northern Integrated Water Project is a proposed water storage project intended to provide 40,000 acre-feet of new reliable water supply to meet a portion of the domestic water needs of 15 municipal and rural providers in the region.  Mr. Ryan reviewed the timeline that the US Army Corps of Engineers is forecasting for the review and permitting process.  The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is estimated to be released in December 2014 or January 2015.  Major topics currently under study include cumulative effects for NISP and the Halligan-Seaman project, and stream water quality effects.  The County Commissioners have asked the ESAB to review the supplemental EIS when is it released, and to provide comments for the Commissioners consideration.  This is a large complex project.  In order to increase the Advisory Board’s knowledge of past review issues, Doug Ryan will provide a copy of the Advisory Board’s review comments from the 2008 draft EIS, and a copy of the Executive Summary of the project from that time.  This issue will be retained as an active topic on the ESAB Issue Index. 

 

Floodplain recovery and regulation.   The September 2013 floods resulted in about 180 substantially damaged structures.  Of these, 80 are residences in the regulatory floodway.  The County’s floodplain regulations do not allow rebuilding or repair of substantially damaged structures in the floodway.  For those structures that are in the flood fringe zone above the actual floodway, rebuilt structures must be elevated so that the lowest opening is 18 inches above the flood elevation.  An issue for the 2013 floods is that the flood waters substantially changed the shape of the river channel in some areas.  It is anticipated that a new Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) regulatory floodplain map will be prepared following completion of permanent repairs to roadways and properties.  The estimated timeline for new mapping is 3-5 years.  The County has a permit process for both emergency and permanent work in the floodplain.  Eric Tracy, the County’s Flood Plain Administrator manages the permit program.  This issue will be retained as an active topic on the ESAB Issue Index. 

 

Preble’s mouse and flood issues.   The Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse is a protected species under the Endangered Species Act.  Information is available on the US Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/preble/.  Some of the area impacted by the September 2013 floods is mouse habitat.  Emergency repairs, including roadway repairs, have proceeded under a categorical exclusion from FEMA Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) standards.  Permanent repairs and rebuilding projects will require EHP consultation and clearance.  This issue will be retained as an active topic on the ESAB Issue Index.  The members indicated that they would like to obtain additional information about the consultation and clearance process.

 

NPDES stormwater permit.  Larimer County is part of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System process, and holds a “Phase II” municipal stormwater discharge permit issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  These permits contain a series of requirements, including public education, public participation, illicit discharge detection and elimination, runoff controls for construction sites, and pollution prevention for County government sites.  The County is currently at the end of its first 5-year permit, and expects a renewal permit with modified performance standards will be issued in the summer of 2014.  The Engineering Department has indicated that they would like to come back to the Advisory Board with the new permit to discuss implementation strategies.  This issue will be retained as an active topic on the ESAB Issue Index. 

 

 

Approval of April Minutes:

Minutes from the April 8 meeting were approved as corrected.

 

ESAB Issue Index:

Doug Ryan will update the Issue Index related to the topics discussed at the meeting.  Michael Jones asked the members to look over the Issue Index and consider which listed active issues they may have an interest in coordinating. 

 

July Meeting Agenda:

Martin Marietta Asphalt air permit review, orientation with new members

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 7:35 PM

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