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: September 10th, 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

City of Fort Collins

Daniel Beveridge

X

Shelley Bayard de Volo ¥

X

Molly Saylor

Rich Conant

 

Shaun May §

X

 

Jim Gerek - Chair

X

Tom Butts §

X

CSU/Fort Collins Energy Board

Michael Jones

X

 

 

Stacey Baumgarn

Evelyn King

 

 

 

 

David Lehman – Vice-Chair

X

 

 

Eagle County

Allyson Little

 

 

 

Adam Palmer ǂ

Kirk Longstein

X

 

 

John  Gitchell ǂ

George Rinker

X

 

 

 

Katrina Winborn-Miller

X

 

 

Community

Chris Wood

X

 

 

Nick Francis

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

 

Call to Order:  6:15 p.m.

1.   Amendments or additions to the agenda – Follow-up to Issue Index – Roberts Ranch moved to inactive status.  Announcement – Opening for Board of Directors for the Rocky Mountain States Section of the Air and Waste Management Association.

2.   Introduction of members, staff and guests – All present introduced themselves.

3.   Public Comment – none                                                                                                                                      

4.   Discussion Items

a.   Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County Community – Adam Palmer, Director for Sustainable Communities and John  Gitchell, Environmental Manager, discussed Eagle County’s work towards energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability.  The County’s profile includes 55k residents, with 50% of homes being secondary residences.  In 2013, the County adopted an Environmental Policy for County operations that focuses on protecting wildlife habitat, conserving water, reducing paper use, increasing waste diversion and recycling, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and incorporating renewable energy. 

The County set a goal of reducing GHG emissions by 15% by 2015 from their 2012 baseline of 9530 metric tons per year (mT/yr).  To achieve that goal, they installed rooftop solar on County owned facilities and installed a community solar array.  They estimated the cost to meet that 15% GHG reduction was $1860/ton.  

Eagle County recognized the need for a collaborative community-wide strategy for GHG reduction and partnered with the Walking Mountain Science Center (https://www.walkingmountains.org/climate-action-collaborative/) to develop a Climate Action Plan.  A stakeholder group was formed, who met six times to develop the Climate Action Plan, which outlined a target of reducing GHG emissions 25% by 2025, and 80% by 2050.  In 2017, the Climate Action Collaborative was formed, which consists of 30+ local businesses, organizations, nonprofits and governments.  The Collaborative is ongoing and consists of six teams that assess the emission sectors of buildings, transportation, power supply, waste diversion, and education.  The teams meet quarterly to discuss how to meet the Plan’s sector specific goals.

While GHG emissions from residential and commercial sectors are projected to be lower in 2050 as compared to the Plan’s 2014 baseline, the transportation sector is projected to continue to have increased emissions.  The County has the challenge of having high surface travel from tourism and commuting on I-70, both of which they have no control over.  Another projection is that as power utilities continue to increase renewables in their energy portfolios, local solar becomes less relevant for decreasing emissions.  

Lessons learned

·  Third party facilitation of plan – keeps process from appearing biased

·  Lead by example

·  Don’t shy away from climate language and have a bold vision

·  Check-in with your community and align with values

·  Innovation comes with failures

·  Aggressive goals vs incrementalism – the former moves you forward faster

·  Collaboration can be hard and clunky but worth the effort

·  Lead and convene, but create / allow for space

·  Plan for appropriate resources to implement your plan – budget for it, have dedicated staff and identify/create the department that will own the plan.

 

5.   Approval of Minutes – Chris moved to approve the June minutes and Daniel seconded.  The minutes were approved by acclamation.  Katrina moved to approve the August minutes and George seconded.  The minutes were approved by acclamation

 

6.   Updates and Round Table

a.   Commissioner’s Update – Jim introduced this new standing section of the meeting, which responds to Commissioner Kefalas’ request to have free time to address the Board on any subject he wishes, without prior coordination with ESAB leadership. The Commissioner reported that the Oil/Gas Taskforce lost a member, so the BOCC will select one of three alternates, with the preference of a background in health. The Commissioner reported that the County is working toward new land use regulations for wireless communications facilities. Also the Commissioner reported that the County is seeking a couple of interns, one of which potentially will be asked to support Climate Action Planning.

b.   Oil/Gas Task Force – Richard reported that an open house is scheduled for September 12th, and the next Task Force meeting is September 25th.   Task Force members will look at sample regulations from other counties.  The COGCC is working on 10 new regulations, and the Task Force is expected to compare what they come up with to what the State develops.  Some of the new State regs will likely include limits for VOCs and NOx.  The limit of the County’s jurisdiction is in land use and above surface.  Commissioner Kefalas asked about orphaned wells and whether Larimer County has jurisdiction over those?  Who has responsibility?  He asked Richard to inquire about that at the next Task Force meeting.  Jim reported that a local rancher had expressed concern about oil & gas operations disturbing their livestock. The Task Force is now aware of this and the rancher has been referred to the County Ag Advisory Board which may be closer to this specific issue.    

c.   Land-use Code Update – Jim reported that now the new County Comp Plan is complete the Planning Department is kicking off an update to the Land-use Code to implement the revisions. This process is expected to take in excess of a year and will be supported by an outside consultant.  Both Commissioner Kefalas and the Planning Department have asked for a representative from the ESAB to serve on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).  Jim explained the skill sets that staff was looking for, which included a background in air quality, water quality, wetland impacts, wildlife and their habitats, etc.  Jim noted that after discussion with Shelley and David, they agreed that Christopher Wood and Michael Jones might be best suited.  Both have agreed to work on this TAC, and the Board unanimously agreed to appoint them as our representatives to this process. Richard Alper then recommended that a sub-committee be designated to support Chris and Michael, and he noted that he would be interested to serve in that capacity.  Daniel and Kirk also expressed interest.  Jim indicated that it was probably too soon to know whether a formal subcommittee is needed, and suggested that this decision be deferred until the TAC gets going. Finally, Shelley showed the members the Land-use Code Update webpage, and the public survey hosted on that site – asking that all ESAB members complete it.

d.   5G Communications – Jim referenced past presentations to the ESAB by George on EMF bands, and David on potential health impacts. Jim explained that through a recent public worksession it has become clear that regulatory authority for EM frequencies and human health impacts rest solely with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).  The County and the Planning Commission only have authority over site plan review process, zoning and the types of towers that can be placed.  With that in mind, the scientific issue of regulations concerning communication facilities is not within the ESAB’s area of interest.

e.    Colorado Low Emission Automobile Regulation (CLEAR) – Jim reported that this regulation to help promote more ZEVs had gone through a public hearing in mid-August before the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC). Subsequent to that the regs were adopted on August 16 by a vote of 8 to 1 – with Larimer County’s representative being the sole vote against.  Jim noted that he had received questions as to why Larimer County opposed this, and what the ESAB’s position was. He indicated that the ESAB had been out of the loop as the County Health Dept staff made the decision. Commissioner Kefalas was asked to investigate.

f.   Environmental Responsibility Policy – Shelley reported that internal work on the revised policy continues, with recent reviews of the draft having been completed by Commissioner Johnson and County Manager Hoffman.  She reported that the County staff G3:O5 team is beginning to consider an implementation plan for after the new policy is adopted.

g.   AWMA Board Opening – Katrina briefly reported that the regional chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association is looking to fill an opening on their board. Jim indicated that this is a good professional association and that any interested members should consider applying for the opening. 

 

7.   Issue Index – Remove George from Issue 1.02 Communications.  Convert Issue 4.05 Robert’s Ranch Tire Clean-up to inactive.

8.   Agenda Topics for Future Meetings – The October 16th meeting agenda is tentative and might include a talk from the Colorado State Forest Service on using biomass for heating.    

9.   Adjourn Daniel moved to adjourn the meeting with Michael seconding.  All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 9:11 PM.