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: March 12th, 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

 

John Kefalas*

X

Gordon Pierce ǂ , CDPHE

Daniel Beveridge

X

Shelley Bayard de Volo ¥

X

Rachel Garret

Rich Conant

X

Lea Schneider §

 

Chris Wood

Jim Gerek - Chair

X

Tom Butts §

 

 

Michael Jones

X

 

 

Fort Collins Air Quality Advisory Board

Evelyn King

X

City of Fort Collins Staff

 

David Lehman – Vice-Chair

X

Cassie Archuleta

 

Arsineh Hecobian - Chair

Allyson Little

 

Jason Komes

 

Karen Artell

Kirk Longstein

X

Selina Lujan

 

Jacob Lindaas

George Rinker

X

Lucinda Smith

 

 

Katrina Winborn-Miller

X

 

 

Fort Collins Energy Board

Vacant

 

 

 

Alan Braslau

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

 

Call to Order:  6:10 p.m.

1.   Amendments or additions to the agenda - none

2.   Introduction of members, staff and guests – Jim welcomed the members of the Fort Collins Air Quality Advisory Board who were present for this joint meeting.  All who were present introduced themselves

3.   Public Comment - none

4.   Discussion Items

a.   Ozone and Air Quality Update.  Monitoring network, the NCAR study (9.0) :   Gordon Pierce began by describing ozone and how it is formed.  He then discussed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, which are currently set at 70 ppb for attainment in the Front Range Colorado.  During the period of 2016-2018, the 3-year average at the two monitoring Front Range sites within Larimer County were 77 ppb (Fort Collins – West) and 69 ppb (Fort Collins-CSU).  Background ozone levels - those which form from non-anthropogenic sources - comprise 60-70% of the levels found in the Colorado Front Range. This translates to 50-60 ppb that is not a result of anthropogenic emissions.  Thus, mitigating for ozone when background levels are already high is difficult.   Likewise, wildfire-influenced emissions impact ozone levels, which impact monitoring results.  A process exists for backing wildfire emissions out of compliance calculations. The CDPHE has quantified such levels over the past 3-year period, but they note a lot of work goes into that process, and getting that work approved by EPA is difficult and it would not lead to getting the Front Range below 70ppb and into attainment.

 

Trends in ozone within Larimer County showed a decrease over the past decade, but more recently there has been a trend upwards.  Despite these trends, the Denver/North Front Range region has been in a non-attainment status, with a “Moderate” designation under the 2008 standard, and a “Marginal” designation under the 2015 standard.  Since the area has not shown attainment, the EPA will likely increase our designation to “Serious” under the 2008 standard.  To avoid this the area needs to meet attainment by July 20, 2019 – which is very unlikely. 

 

Gordon then presented the 2014 National Emissions Inventory for constituents contributing to ozone formation (VOCs, NOx, CO, SO2, PM10 and PM2.5) in Larimer County, and a comparison with other counties. In Larimer County, carbon monoxide emissions comprise a large proportion of contribution to ozone and originate primarily from mobile sources (e.g., gas powered cars).  The next largest contributor are VOCs, which primarily originate from industry and natural (non-anthropogenic) sources.  Contribution of emissions from oil and gas development contribute very little in Larimer County, but are the largest contributor in Weld County. 

 

Key points include:

·   Ozone (at ground-level) is not produced directly from human activities.

·   Ozone is formed by a complex set of photochemical (using sunlight) reactions involving NOx and VOCs, which are the result of both natural and anthropogenic processes.

·   Important natural sources in Larimer County include soils and wildfires.

·   Major anthropogenic sources include transport (cars and trucks), industrial energy use, and power stations.

·   Non-anthropogenic sources generate 60-70% of Colorado Front Range ozone; the other 30-40% is anthropogenic.

·   The National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone is 70 ppb.

·   The Ft Collins – West monitoring site recorded a 3-year average ozone level of 77 ppb. Calculating from the 70% value for natural sources gives an ozone level of 54 ppb due to non-anthropogenic sources.

·   To mitigate the anthropogenic sources of ozone to <16 ppb will be difficult.

 

 

5.   Approval of Minutes – Rich moved to approve the January minutes, and Michael seconded the motion.  The amended minutes were approved by acclamation.

6.   Updates and Round Table –

a.   New Member Interviews – Jim noted that there had been 9 applicants and 6 were recently interviewed by David, Shelley, Jim and Commissioner Kefalas.  After the interviews, David, Shelley and Jim made recommendations to Commissioner Kefalas, who decided whom to appoint to the board. Jim indicated that it was his understanding that the applicant selected had been notified.  That individual was Chris Wood, in attendance at this meeting.

b.   Q-1 Liaison Meeting with Commissioner Kefalas – Jim provided an update on topics discussed at this recent meeting.  They included preferred communication channels and the desire for consistency with County administrative policies.  Also, Jim had confirmed the ESAB’s interest in supporting any creation of County Oil & Gas regulations.  The Commissioner indicated that the process wasn’t defined yet but that he was supportive of ESAB participation. Jim noted that the ESAB had historically stayed informed on Climate Change issues but that the BoCC had been reluctant to do much and had never asked the board to work on this beyond some “resiliency” issues. Commissioner Kefalas expressed his personal interest and indicated that he had an intern starting to work on this.  Jim explained that the ESAB had another potential intern with interest in this area, and that the board would be starting an extended dialogue on Climate Action at its April meeting.  He expressed that more coordination was probably needed to prevent duplicative work.  Jim also reported that an ESAB member had expressed interest to both him and the BoCC on issues relating to potential new small cell towers in the County. The Commissioner indicated that he had additional information on this topic and that he supported the ESAB considering this issue for further work.

c.   Strategic Plan and Environmental Responsibility Policy : Jim provided a brief summary on updating the policy and formation of the Objective Team under the County’s new Strategic Plan.  As the Team Leader Shelley asked for participation of an ESAB sub-committee on her team.  Jim and Kirk have expressed interest in joining the Team.  David moved, and Evelyn seconded to appoint Jim and Kirk as ESAB representatives on the County G3:O5 team.  The motion was approved by acclamation.  They will report back to the ESAB as appropriate. 

d.   Environmental Stewardship Awards :  Shelley noted that the nomination period would close on March 18, and the board had already received 5-6 nominations.  Jim noted that to simplify review the ESAB typically appoints a subcommittee to review the year’s nominations and report back to the full ESAB. Ally, Daniel and Kirk have all expressed interest in sitting on the review sub-committee.   Michael moved, with Rich seconding to appoint Ally, Daniel and Kirk to an ad hoc subcommittee to review the applications and make recommendations to the full ESAB.  The motion was approved by acclamation.  Daniel will lead the sub-committee’s review of the applications and organize the meeting to discuss the applications.  The subcommittee will report back to the ESAB at its regular April meeting.

e.   Strategic Plan Open House with the Commissioners – Kirk provided a summary of the open house and his participation there asking questions.  He noted that the commissioners plan to do an open house every other month.

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

8.   Agendas Topics for future meetings – The meeting topics for April tentatively include the County Comprehensive Plan update, Environmental Stewardship Award recommendations, and the beginning of a dialogue on Climate Change and Climate Action.  In May, we tentatively will have a presentation on the expansion of the Halligan Reservoir.

9.   Adjourn – Evelyn moved to adjourn the meeting with Michael seconding.  All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 PM.