The role of the Advisory Board is to advise the Board of County Commissioners and appropriate departments on environmental and science-related issues that affect Larimer County

MINUTES

Date: April 9th, 2019

Time:   6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Location: Larimer County Courthouse Office Building, Carter Lake Meeting Room, 200 West Oak St

Fort Collins, Colorado

Contact: Shelley Bayard de Volo, sbayard@larimer.org or 970.498.5738

MEMBERS

 

STAFF

 

GUESTS

Richard Alper

X

John Kefalas*

X

 

Daniel Beveridge

X

Shelley Bayard de Volo ¥

X

 

Rich Conant

X

 

 

 

Jim Gerek - Chair

X

 

 

 

Michael Jones

X

 

 

Fort Collins Air Quality Advisory Board

Evelyn King

X

 

 

David Lehman – Vice-Chair

X

 

 

Greg Clark

Allyson Little

X

 

 

 

Kirk Longstein

X

 

 

 

George Rinker

X

 

 

 

Katrina Winborn-Miller

X

 

 

 

Chris Wood

X

 

 

 

X = present; * = commissioner Liaison; ǂ = speaker; ¥ = ESAB Liaison; § = Larimer County Department of Health and Environment

 

Call to Order:  6:06 p.m.

1.   Amendments or additions to the agenda - none

2.   Introduction of members, staff and guests – All present introduced themselves, including one guest from the City of Fort Collins Air Quality Advisory Board, Greg Clark.

3.   Public Comment - none

4.   Discussion Items

a.   Climate Change update (19.02) :   Kirk and Katrina kicked-off their climate change committee research with a presentation on “Climate Action and Resilience Planning”.  Kirk covered some background on the difference between climate action plans (CAP) and climate resiliency plans (CRP). He then addressed the fact that while most front range cities and counties have a CAP, CRP or sustainability plan, Larimer County lacks one.  He posed the question of whether the County simply has not needed one, but what about now? – have conditions changed enough that such a plan is warranted?

C limate change/warming results from an increase in greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere that trap warm air.  Climate action refers to the effort to reduce GHG emissions in order to slow and reduce climatic warming.  Kirk explained some of the actions an entity can take to reduce GHG emissions – e.g., using renewable energy sources.  Climate resiliency refers to how an entity can adapt to the realized impacts of climate change – e.g., providing cooling centers for people to avoid extreme heat events and upgrades in stormwater infrastructure to mitigate impacts from extreme rainfall events.

The benefit of having a plan is that it sets goals, metrics and strategies.  A CAP and CRP can be a combined plan or be developed as two separate plans.  Commissioner Kefalas discussed the benefit of forming a working group to include Kirk and Katrina and his intern, who is currently also researching a CAP.  That working group should also include Lori Hodges, Emergency Management and perhaps someone from the LC Department of Health and Environment.

Recommended next steps to include:

·  Guest speakers to learn from others

·  County-level GHG inventory

o  Find out if the County had done this as part of Stacy Baumgarn’s grant funded work.

o  Perform an additional study?

·  ESAB to make recommendations to the BoCC

·  Participate in future work with County

 

b.  Environmental Stewardship Awards (8.0) – Daniel went over the sub-committee’s recommendations for the awards. There were four nominations that focused on recycling and three that focused on forest health/management.  While all projects exhibited a level of environmental stewardship, three stood out as going above and beyond in their efforts:

·  The Village Thrift Shop of Estes Park – re-selling and/or responsibly recycling all household goods they receive.  All profits go back to the local community in the form of monetary grants.

·  Laura Tyler of the Fort Collins Conservation District – Initiated the Twine Recycling Program, which partners with Waste-Not Recycling program to collect and recycle bailing twine from agricultural sources.

·  Shambhala Mountain Center – forest restoration and wildfire fuels reduction on their property in collaboration with the Healthy Forests Initiative.

Jim asked for a motion to support the stewardship awards committee’s recommended awardees. Kirk moved and Evelyn seconded - the motion was approved by acclamation. These will be forwarded to the BoCC for final approval, and a public awards ceremony will be coordinated for later in the Spring. The Board thanked Daniel, Ally, Kirk and Shelley for their work on the sub-committee.

c.  Small Cell Towers – George provided an update on development of 5G mobile network systems.  He discussed the costs of wired vs wireless technology, and the potential benefits to the community from each.  One benefit could be that rural areas would be better served for communications. 5G would require numerous local nodes, and each unit emits energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation. 

George noted he found a number of abstracts of studies on the subject of health and environmental effects from electromagnetic radiation of wavelengths used by 5G cell networks.  The question came up of whether the ESAB should continue to learn more about the matter without a request from the BoCC. David and Michael said they would look at the list of abstracts and do some literature review to see if the body of literature looks credible, and then report back to the Board.   

The Planning Commission will be taking up the matter at their next meeting, and Commissioner Kefalas will ask whether there are referral needs from them.  

5.   Approval of Minutes – Shelley tabled the approval of the March minutes until the May meeting.

6.   Updates and Round Table –

a.   Draft Charter for County Oil and Gas Regulations Task Force – Jim briefly described the task force charter and the fact that the BoCC requested that the ESAB select a member to participate as a voting member on the task force.  He noted the primary job of the task force is to consider regulations as they relate to land use.  With that in mind, and based on his area of expertise, Jim asked Richard if he would represent the ESAB on the task force.  Jim noted Richards’s background in land-use and environmental impacts and asked the BoCC if they would consider his nomination.  Jim also noted that the ESAB could form a sub-committee of experts from the Board to assist Richard as needed.  Kirk moved to appoint Richard to the Task Force, and Katrina seconded the motion.  Richard was approved by acclamation and was instructed to coordinate with Shelley as needed.  Katrina and Chris offered to serve on the sub-committee.

b.   Comprehensive Plan – Rich provided a brief update of the Comprehensive Plan and noted the work since last year.  Chapter 3 of the Front Range Plan is currently available for review and is on the ESAB Google drive.  Jim noted that Matt Lafferty and Jeremy Call would present next month to the ESAB and they should be able to provide a draft of the entire Plan prior to the May meeting.  Shelley will send that draft out to the Board when she receives it from Matt.  

c.   2019 Boards and Commissions Periodic Review – Shelley explained what the periodic review was and asked all Board members to fill out the questionnaires and email them to Debra Unger or submit them online no later than April 30.

7.   Notations to the Issue Index - The issue index will be updated for tonight’s material.

8.   Agendas Topics for future meetings – The potential meeting topics for May include the County Comprehensive Plan, a Halligan Reservoir update from the City of Fort Collins, and an update on Climate Action.

9.   Adjourn – George moved to adjourn the meeting with Evelyn seconding.  All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 8:46 PM.