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: October 16th, 2019

Time:   6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Location: Larimer County Courthouse Office Building, Lake Estes 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

City of Fort Collins

Daniel Beveridge

 

Shelley Bayard de Volo ¥

X

Molly Saylor ǂ

Rich Conant

X

Shaun May §

X

 

Jim Gerek - Chair

X

 

 

 

Michael Jones

 

 

 

Community

Evelyn King

X

 

 

Nick Francis

David Lehman – Vice-Chair

X

 

 

 

Allyson Little

X

 

 

 

Kirk Longstein ǂ

X

 

 

CSU Student Interns

George Rinker

X

 

 

Dominique Ashe

Katrina Winborn-Miller

 

 

 

Eddy Baisley

Chris Wood

X

 

 

Alexandra Fowler

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 – Richard Alper is not in attendance tonight, so any updates will be done by his sub-committee.

2.   Introduction of members, staff and guests – All present introduced themselves, including the student interns who are working on the County’s Climate Action Plan.

3.   Public Comment – none                                                                                                                                      

4.   Discussion Items

a.   Larimer County Climate Action Plan Review of GHG emissions inventory protocol – Kirk Longstein started the talk by providing a brief background on the County’s effort to develop a climate action plan – what the plan will and will not be – i.e., it will not attempt to predict future conditions.  Molly Saylor, City of Fort Collins, introduced herself and what she does as the Senior Sustainability Specialist.  She explained the City’s Climate Action Plan and the City’s progress toward the Plan’s goals.  She then provided a primer on greenhouse gas accounting, including the different scales at which accounting is done, what accounting does for an organization, and key inventory components like activity data, emissions factors and impact factors. 

When the goal of GHG accounting is to drive policy , some key guidelines to consider include:

•  Some data is better than no data

•  Ideally, data should be local and frequently provided

•  Data that is consistent in how it is collected and provided is important

•  Strive for continuous improvement

•  Recognize that trade-offs exist

•  Recognize there are points of diminishing returns

 

Kirk then presented the specifics of the County’s proposed data collection protocol for its community-wide GHG inventory.  The team is generally using the ICLEI USA Communities GHG Protocol, which is a stakeholder-developed standardized protocol.   (ICLEI was founded in 1990 as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.)  For the Larimer County inventory :

 

•  What’s included?

o  Electricity, Natural Gas, Vehicle Travel, Solid Waste, agricultural sources

o  Emissions from within Larimer County Jurisdiction

o   (Fossil fuel combustion) carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide

 

•  What’s not included?

o  Stationary Sources - Upstream emission sources; including oil and gas extraction, and transmission lines.

o  Mobile combustion - Airport travel

o   Wastewater Treatment - Upstream emissions associated with water supply, conveyance, treatment and delivery

o  Sequestration potential - forested lands and grasslands within Larimer County

 

Kirk then covered emission sources in Larimer County, and how, and from where, data will be gathered for each source.  Kirk ended with some sample calculations. 

 

b.   Environmental Responsibility Policy – Shelley displayed the draft policy on the screen so members could read it.  There was some concern of the language in item 3 where it read “..continuously improve existing programs…” George noted that it should read “continually”, however Jim indicated that the language in ISO14001-compliant ERPs uses “continuously”.  The question came up as to who will be the executive sponsor of the policy?  Steve Johnson is the goal steward for the Strategic Plan’s Goal 3, under which the Policy update is an objective.  This question will have to be discussed with the Objective team as the implementation plan is developed.  Shelley announced that she is working to broaden the team to include staff from more departments including fleet, facilities and The Ranch.  Shaun May asked that he and Lea Schneider be added to the team to represent the Department of Health.   He also noted that he would like to see more electric vehicles be added to their fleet.  In the end the ESAB supported the draft ERP as presented.  Shelley noted that it should be adopted soon by the BoCC.

 

5.   Approval of Minutes – Approval of September meeting minutes were deferred to the November meeting.

 

6.   Updates and Round Table

a.   Commissioner’s Update – Commissioner Kefalas reported on several recent activities at the County level:  The BoCC has adopted new land use regulations for wireless facilities – accepting proposed regs from the Planning Commission except the minimum distance between small cell facilities will increase from 600 ft to 1000 ft in rural areas.  The County has released a proposed budget for 2020 at $289 million for general operations, some of which will fund service proposals that devote funding to implementing the strategic plan objectives of data sharing, community health and mapping, childcare and housing.  The BoCC is encouraging a vote in favor of the so-called Half-Penny Tax (Ballot Issue 1A) proposal to fund specific County facility and transportation projects.  Part of the proposed funding would go toward encouraging multi-modal transit, which supports the goals of reducing GHG and ozone-forming emissions.

b.   Land-Use Code – Jim announced that the BOCC has now decided to not engage a technical advisory committee for the land-use code update.  The process will however include much public input, so there will be plenty of opportunities for the ESAB to contribute.  Jim indicated that even though Chris and Michael will not be representing ESAB on the technical advisory committee, he hoped that they would still be engaged and lead any ESAB review/comment. Shelley displayed the website (https://www.larimer.org/planning/luc2020 ) where members can take the survey that is currently open and view the project timelines.  The goal is to get through Batch 1 Draft Land Use Code while Steve Johnson and Tom Donnelly are still in office since they are familiar with the existing Code.   

c.   Oil/Gas Taskforce – Chris provided some information on the last Task Force meeting.  The group heard a presentation from the CDPHE, then discussed setbacks, air quality, water quality and transportation while considering whether permits were issued under administrative reviews versus special review processes.  The TF is waiting on a draft of County land-use regs, to hopefully be reviewed at its final meeting the end of October. Jim noted that a comprehensive review of any new regs would likely need more than a single meeting to come to consensus on the details.

d.   Ozone update – Evelyn presented recent seasonal results from the Regional Air Quality Control division.  She began with showing the 8-hour ozone trends figure from one of the RAQC’s reports.  The figure showed a slight decreasing trend (1998 – 2017), but the issue, she argued, is that the federal standards keep changing.  So, although the trend in ozone levels has decreased, the North Front Range has not met federal standards, and is in fact moving from moderate to serious ozone non-attainment.  Evelyn then presented two pie graphs from another report that showed 2017 emission inventories by sector for VOC sources and NOx sources.  Her comments were that the inventories only included anthropogenic sources.  She argued that such inventories should also include biogenic sources, especially in Colorado which has very high background ozone levels.  She placed the inventory values in context with the biogenic levels and argued that most sectors contribute a fraction in comparison – except for oil and gas development.

e.   Boards and Commissions Reception – Jim reminded members of the upcoming annual County reception for all members of volunteer boards such as the ESAB. This is generally a pleasant, casual event allowing the BoCC to personally acknowledge all the hard work done.  Jim noted that although the RSVP date has passed, any additional folks interested might be able to still slip in if they contact the BoCC office directly.

7.   Issue Index – The updates from tonight’s meeting will be incorporated.

8.   Agenda Topics for Future Meetings – The November 12th meeting is tentative and might include a talk from the Colorado State Forest Service on using biomass for heating.    

9.   Adjourn Rich moved to adjourn the meeting with Ally seconding.  All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 9:18 PM.