LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD (ESAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

April 12, 2016

 

 

Members In Attendance:

 

Staff :

Richard Alper

 

Doug Ryan

Corey Broeckling

 

 

Jim Gerek 

 

 

Evelyn King

 

 

David Lehman

 

 

Ryan McShane

 

 

Martin Nelson

 

 

Joseph Wilson

 

 

 

Introduction of Members and Guests:

Those in attendance introduced themselves.

 

Discussion Items:

Environmental Responsibility Policy.   Jim Gerek led a discussion concerning the Larimer County Environmental Responsibility Policy.  That policy was last revised in 2002.  It follows a pattern common during that era to reference the Valdez Principles.  The purpose stated in the policy is … “to ensure that environmental quality is considered and examined as a basic component in County decision making and that Larimer County activities and decisions have as little negative impact on the environment as possible”. 

 

The ESAB’s Annual Work Plan for 2016 notes that the advisory board will promote implementation of the County’s Environmental Responsibility Policy.  The discussion on this date was intended to increase awareness among the advisory board about the policy, and to consider ideas for future actions.

 

Mr. Gerek noted that the current policy is not prominently displayed on the County’s website, and that there is no evidence that it has been recently reviewed by the BCC as part of the standard four-year review cycle.  He is familiar with many environmental policies that other organizations typically adopt that are modeled under the ISO 14001 Standard.  This is an internationally recognized environmental management standard consisting of a systematic framework to manage the environmental impacts of an organization’s products, services and processes. 

 

The members discussed the various ways that organizations identify and communicate their values both internally and externally.  It was pointed out that one of the more effective ways to communicate values is with a relatively succinct policy that is visible and widely circulated within an organization. 

 

The County is currently preparing a strategic plan.  A stated goal of that plan is to balance the cost, natural resource impacts and community benefits in County operations.  Part of the advisory board’s discussion focused on the coincidence of a new strategic plan that may represent an updated value statement from the County, and the opportunity to review the Environmental Responsibility Policy in that light.

 

It was the consensus of the members that additional information from County management would be beneficial for full consideration of the ESAB’s workplan element to promote implementation of the Environmental Responsibility Policy.  To that end, Richard Alper moved, and Joe Wilson seconded a motion authorizing the Chair to send a memo to the County Manager inquiring about the County’s use of the Environmental Responsibility Policy and the nexus with the strategic plan.  The motion passed unanimously. 

 

Solid Waste Planning & Coordination.   The ESAB solid waste coordinators recently met with the Solid Waste Department to discuss planning and coordination of solid waste management.  It was noted that a Wasteshed Planning Coalition, consisting of a policy advising committee and a technical advising committee, have begun meetings to plan for the eventual closing of the landfill and management options for a future solid waste system. 

The ESAB considers this a very important project which has environmental, economic and political implications.  The role of the Environmental and Science Advisory Board is to advise the Board of County Commissioners and appropriate county departments on environmental and science-related issues that affect Larimer County.  The advisory board would like to participate in this project in a way that assists the Commissioners and the Solid Waste Department.  The Commissioners office has also expressed interest in involving the ESAB.  A joint discussion with members of the County Commissioners office on this point is scheduled for the May 10 ESAB meeting.

 

Ozone State Implementation Plan.   Doug Ryan provided an update on the progress to date for developing Colorado’s Ozone Air Quality State Implementation Plan, or SIP.  The requirement to prepare a SIP is based on the nonattainment status of the Denver Metro/North Front Range region for the 2008 ozone ambient air quality standard.  The SIP is being prepared by the Regional Air Quality Council and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  Mr. Ryan distributed an information sheet with a list of the SIP requirements and the progress in completing the necessary steps.  The main points include an assessment of emission control regulations on the federal and state level that will result in a 34% reduction in volatile organic compound emissions between 2011 and 2017, and computer modeling that predicts compliance with the 2008 standard by 2017.  The SIP process is being conducted as the new, more stringent, 2015 ozone air quality standard is taking effect.  Additional air emission reductions are anticipated to be needed in the future to address that standard. 

 

Approval of Minutes:

Minutes from the February 2016 meeting were approved as presented.

 

ESAB Issue Index:

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

 

Future Meeting Agendas:

May – 2013 flood recovery, solid waste planning, climate change planning

July – Master Plan update

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 8:10 PM