EAB Meeting Minutes

January 11, 2005


Members in Attendance


Sanjay Advani

Ramon Ajero

Ray Herrmann

Lilias Jarding


Members Absent

John Bartholow

John (Jack) Coleman

Dale Lockwood

Dave Swartz

Marcia Van Eden

Sherman Worthington



Jim Skarbek

Bill Zawacki

Rob Buirgy, Coordinator
Big Thompson Watershed Forum

David Gilkey, CSU



Doug Ryan, Staff facilitator

Sandy Werkmeister, Note taker


I)   Amendments to the Agenda - One announcement at the beginning and one brief board housekeeping item after Discussion items.

II) Introductions of Members & Guests - David Gilkey, an Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Education for the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences at CSU attended.

III)    Announcements

Doug announced that new commissioners were sworn in this morning and appointments were made. Glenn Gibson is appointed to EAB.

IV)    Discussion Items

A)   Big Thompson Watershed Forum

            Rob Buirgy from the Big Thompson Watershed Forum (BTWF) distributed a brochure of information about BTWF.  The forum was established in 1997 after it became clear that there was not a comprehensive monitoring program of source water quality on the Big Thompson. They obtained 501c3 status this year. Their mission is 1) monitoring and assessment and 2) protection. Their main effort from 1999 to 2002 was putting together a collaborative monitoring program. The program is a combination of paid sites and volunteers. Data from the last 4 years indicates increasing nutrient pollution in drinking water. The past two years have also shown a disturbing trend toward blue-green algae that could produce  toxin levels that endanger drinking water quality. The forum is currently beginning work on the Big Thompson Watershed-based Water Quality Management Plan, which will determine what form the protection piece will take (ranging from strong advocacy to strictly education). Since the County has oversight over land use practices, Rob asked the board which departments should be participants? The BTWF has formed a Management Planning Team that is by invitation, comprised of representatives from organizations such as EPA, Water Quality Control Division, local utilities, Soil Conservation District and Biologists. Ed Schem from the Larimer County Health & Environment Department is part of this team. Available open participation options include Level 1) Service on a working committee. 5-10 hours a month. Level 2) Review drafts and gives input and Level 3) Mailing list status. Rob distributed a document detailing the conceptual framework of the management plan.

            The board suggested the Planning Department due to land use issues and Road & Bridge due to bridge construction, as possible participants. They also recommended other county boards that Rob may wish to offer a presentation.

            Motion by Ray that Doug and Dale draft a letter to the Commissioners encouraging involvement by the county. Second by Lilias. Motion carried unanimously. Significant points in the letter are to include recommending high-level participation by the Planning Department and Public Works and suggesting that involvement up front is best since the county is a likely stakeholder. A current list of participants should also be included. Rob Buirgy stated that if these departments indicate an interest at the Planning level that may still be possible.

V) Posting Notices                              

Doug explained that every year boards & commissions must officially adopt where they are going to post their notices. Motion by Ray for a resolution to post the EAB agenda with the BCC postings on the north and south side of the courthouse administration building. Second by Sanjay. Motion carried unanimously.

VI)    Approval of December minutes                        

Motion by Sanjay to accept the December 2004 minutes as amended. Second by Ramon. Motion carried unanimously.

VII)   Updates -- Action Log & Other

3.05 Hwy 287 Widening to Laporte Bypass: Lilias reported that the original plan has changed. The original project presented to the County Commissioners had relatively small impacts on area residents and business. The new project affects at least 3 times as many, and more severely. The County has sent a letter asking for further review and reconsideration. An alternative route is available, but it travels through wetlands and a historic site.

Alps Tire Pile: For review, the Alps Tire Pile is an illegal accumulation of ~5 million tires located on private property (Alps family) southwest of Loveland near Boedecker and Lon Hagler reservoirs. This will be added to the Action Log watch list (4.04). Ramon shared an aerial view of the pile obtained by using the County's GIS mapping service. Ramon summarized an email from Frank Lancaster regarding the history of the pile. The issue has been going on for over 20 years with various lawsuits, etc. Only recently has progress begun, largely due to some state funding provided by legislation passed in the late 90's, overseen by the state Department of Local Affairs. The county has obtained a number of successive grants from this legislation in months past to pay for the removal of the tires. The program was actually meant to encourage recycling, but we are simply shredding the tires and using them for landfill cover. Recently the state has raised the importance of the county providing a match, which we are doing by waving tipping fees for the company contracted to remove the tires. The pile is perhaps one-third to one-half removed, but this cannot be ascertained yet due to the terrain. Frank reports that the funding may be in jeopardy during the next legislative session. Cleanup of the pile is expected to cost 2 million dollars.

2.03 Serenade Park: Plan re-submittal deadline extended to January 2006.

6.05 Water Storage and Surface Water Quality: revised to reflect correct action.  

Possible Pilot Project: Sanjay told the board about Chicago Climate Exchange (CCE), a private company conducting a 4-year pilot project for carbon emissions trading. In the program, if you do not meet your emission requirements you can buy credits from those entities that did meet their requirements. It is a voluntary program. It looks at your emissions retroactively from 2003 to 2006 and compares to a baseline of emissions from 1998 to 2001. CCE presented to the City of Fort Collins. Sanjay is exploring interest level with CSU or Larimer County. It could put the County at the forefront of looking at how smaller local governments can be part of the solution. The benefit of selling emissions credits is emissions going down. There is also potential for making money for those that regularly meet emission requirements. It is the free market answer to environmental issues. Within the companies that have signed on, there was a 15% reduction in total emissions because it establishes a market for lower emissions. A one-time membership fee is relative to how much emissions you produce. For those situations of a major accident, disrupting emission averages, there is a risk, but it is capped. Current participants in the program include the City of Chicago, the Universities of Iowa, Oklahoma and Minnesota. Doug suggested an invitation to Larimer County if CCE returns to present to CSU.

1041 Powers: John Bartholow sent an email to the board detailing 1041 powers. In summary, the county has the authority to protect county resources when they are being threatened from the outside. They can force mitigation by adopting a regulation through the 1041 clause. It can potentially stop projects, such as big water development projects or land development.

VIII)   Summary of BCC Communication Issues, & Planning for future Administrative Matters Meetings

  1. Letter to the BCC encouraging high-level County participation in the Big Thompson Watershed Forum Water Quality Planning process. Letter will include offer to answer questions at Admin Matters if necessary.
  2. Letter of welcome and invitation to Commissioner Gibson.

IX)    Agenda for February Meeting

Review of goals & objectives for 2005 for the annual report.

X) Adjourn

Motion to adjourn by Dave Swartz. Second by Lilias. Motion carried unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.