LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD (ESAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

 August 2nd, 2018

 

 

Members In Attendance:

Richard Alper

Daniel Beveridge

Richard Conant

Jim Gerek

Michael Jones

Evelyn King

David Lehman

Allyson Little

Kirk Longstein

George Rinker

Katrina Winborn-Miller

Guests

None

Commissioner

Steve Johnson – not in attendance

 

Staff

Shelley Bayard de Volo, Environmental Coordinator, Engineering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Start:  Call to order 6:03 PM

 

Amendments or Additions to the Agenda:

None

 

Introduction of Members and Guests:

The members introduced themselves

 

Citizen Comments:

None.

 

Discussion Items:

Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) FEIS .

Richard provided some background on the NISP EIS process and how the ESAB has been involved with reviews of other NISP project-related documents (2015 draft EIS, 2017 Fish and Wildlife Mitigation and Enhancement Plan - FWMEP).  He noted that the Commissioners are not asking the ESAB to evaluate the entire FEIS and they are not interested in re-hashing the same arguments that were raised during the review of the draft EIS.  Rather, they are interested in whether there are new, changed and/or significant impacts and issues raised in the document, and particularly if they are important with respect to items that might later be addressed as part of Northern’s separate 1041/IGA permit application.

 

Richard explained that the BCC likely won’t comment because the Corps of Engineers is not obligated to respond to comments on a FEIS, and the BCC will be deciding on whether to approve the Project’s 1041 permit for several separate items.  The BCC therefore wants to avoid any conflict of interest issues.  Richard noted that reviewing the FEIS will help prepare the board members for any review of the 1041 application they may be asked to do.  Additionally, their review of the NISP material will help them with reviews of other water storage related projects.  

 

Michael then explained what the focus of the Board’s review would be and provided an outline of the volumes, chapters and pages to read.  He recommended that everyone focus their attention on the Preferred Alternative 2M and start with reading the Environmental Consequences summary and the Corps’ responses to Larimer County’s 2015 comments.  He then asked for volunteers to review specific sections for the same three topics they reviewed for the SDEIS (Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement):

 

1.   Impacts to Water Quality

2.   Impacts to Surface Water

3.   Impacts to Fish Habitat

 

A Google Sheet within the ESAB Google Drive was set up for board members to enter their comments.  Michael explained what a good and useful comment looks like – it is specific and actionable, can be something like “the response to comment was not adequate and this is why….”.   Although the Corps is not obligated to respond to comments during the FEIS process, the comments might be published as part of the Record of Decision (ROD), however, that could only happen if the BCC passes the comments onto the Corps or gives permission for the ESAB to submit their own comments.  

 

Questions were raised concerning the FWMEP, and the fact that it was not that well developed with specific mitigation tasks and milestones.  Richard explained that the FEIS was prepared for the Corps of Engineers and the FWMEP was prepared for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission.

 

Phase-2 Comprehensive Plan – Foundations Chapter

Jim provided some background on the County’s Comprehensive Plan and the ESAB’s involvement last year in the development of the Phase-1 plan for the Mountain portion of the County.  The Planning Department is now focusing on the Phase-2 plan covering the Plains portion of the County, and developing the Foundations chapter for it.   Richard asked for some volunteers to assist Rich Conant in reviewing the chapter, and Kirk Longstein and David Lehman volunteered. 

 

Shelley noted that Matt Lafferty is looking for wordsmithing, as well as content edits.  Lafferty believes the document is currently too long and needs better focus.

 

Katrina provided an update on the Visioning open house she attended. She noted she left the meeting without a clear understanding of next steps and what would happen with all the comments attendees provided.

 

Approval of Minutes:

Jim moved to approve the July minutes, as amended, and Evelyn seconded that motion. The amended July minutes were approved by acclamation. 

 

Updates:  Topics of discussion were:

•   Interacting with County staff – Richard and Shelley went over some rules of engagement with regard to how ESAB members can interact with County staff, and more importantly, what role the ESAB staff liaison can play in facilitating communications.  Three primary ways the staff liaison can assist members are: 

1.   Finding out who is the most appropriate staff person to talk to.

2.   Contacting that staff person and asking them if they would have time to discuss a matter/question with the ESAB member.

3.   Providing a formal introduction between the ESAB member and the County staff person

 

Shelley provided a hand-out summary to the members.

 

•  Strategic Plan Citizen Summit – David summarized his experience at the 2018-23 Strategic Plan Community Leadership Summit.  He noted that attendees included Commissioners Steve Johnson and Lew Gaiter, County Manager Linda Hoffman, communications director Michelle Bird and representatives of various County volunteer Boards.  Some of the issues to generate strong support included growth management and mental health services.  The attendees were asked to participate in small breakout groups and create, discuss and prioritize a list of issues that are most important to address over the next 5 years.  Ms Bird then presented the results from the online 2018 Citizen Survey which asked participants to list “the top three issues that Larimer County should consider addressing in the upcoming five-year strategic plan?”

 

David’s observations were that it would have been helpful to have that information prior to working in the breakout groups.  He also noted that it was not clear how the strategic plan fit with the Phase-1 Comprehensive Plan (Mountain Resilience Plan) and why the Strategic Plan did not follow the same six frameworks outlined in that MR Plan.   

 

The Board then discussed what they thought the relationship was between the Strategic Plan (5-year plan) and the Comprehensive Plan (20-year plan) and guessed the former was focused more on how the County Government conducts its business and the latter more on where the County as a community wants to be 20 years from now.  Richard asked Shelley to learn more about the goals of the two plans and report back at the September meeting.

 

•   Wasteshed – Jim provided an update on the Wasteshed planning process.  Jim attended the PAC meeting July 20th where one agenda item included approving the Wasteshed Plan that has been under development for many months.  Staff, however, reported that a proposal was very recently presented by one of the large commercial landfill companies to take Larimer County’s solid waste.  This alternative was not previously presented nor included in planning process. The PAC members responded by noting they felt a little sidelined by the proposal and felt the need to consider and analyze the alternative.  With that in mind, the Wasteshed Plan was not approved, but further analysis will be done – including reconvening the Stakeholder group.

 

The Board discussed briefly the impacts associated with transporting solid waste over larger distances outside the County.  Katrina asked why this alternative was not considered earlier in the process. Jim noted that the commercial solid waste haulers were asked to participate in the stakeholder process, but they generally chose not to participate.  Evelyn asked about contracting and pricing, and whether prices would be expected to rise.  What would the County do then?   Also, how does this alternative impact private haulers?  Jim noted that the final Wasteshed Plan would be coming to the ESAB sometime in the future, after some of these issues are developed further.

 

ESAB Issue Index:

Ally requested to be added as a coordinator for Issues for 10.04 (Hydraulic Fracking) and 10.05 Oil and Gas Development on County Lands.  Katrina requested to be added as a coordinator for Issue 9.02 Ozone. 

 

Next Meeting Draft Agenda:

The next meeting will be held September 11th.  Discussion items on the draft agenda include discussing the Phase-2 Comprehensive Plan Foundations Chapter comments, and the comments for the NISP FEIS.

 

Adjourn: The meeting ended at 8:50 PM