LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD (ESAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

November 10, 2015

 

Members In Attendance:

 

Guests:

Jane Abels

 

Jessica Royer, Health & Environment

Richard Alper

 

Stephen Gillette, Solid Waste

Jim Gerek 

 

Steve Harem, Solid Waste

Michael Jones

 

Eddie Enriquez, Solid Waste

Evelyn King

 

Matt Kapp, Solid Waste

Joseph Wilson

 

Rachel Sharn, CSU

 

 

Nizle Framsted, CSU

 

 

Faith Crider, CSU

 

 

 

 

 

Staff :

 

 

Doug Ryan

 

Introduction of Members and Guests:

Those in attendance introduced themselves.

 

Discussion Items:

Zoonosis Update.  Jessica Royer provided an update on zoonosis (diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people) activity for 2015.  She used a PowerPoint presentation to outline the status of rabies, tularemia, plague, Hanta Virus, and West Nile Virus.

 

There have been 14 positive tests for rabies in animals so far this year (all in bats).  A total of 17 people have gone through post-exposure rabies prophylaxis.  

 

There have been 12 positive tularemia cases in rabbits so far in 2015.  This coincides with an ongoing large rabbit population.  The department has worked with the public, homeowners associations and city/county open space managers to educate people about tularemia and protective strategies to avoid transmission of the bacteria that causes the disease.  A total of 12 human cases have been reported in the county in 2015 to date. 

 

For the current 2015 season, there was one human plague case – which resulted in a fatality.  Testing also revealed one plague positive domestic cat, and a plague positive prairie dog associated with a prairie dog colony die off at the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. 

 

A total of 20 human cases of West Nile Viruses have been diagnosed so far this year in Larimer County.

 

There have been no diagnosed cases of Hanta Virus in people or other animals in the county to date during 2015.   

 

The Department of Health and Environment has current information about zoonotic diseases on their website at http://larimer.org/health/cd/vector.asp.

 

Solid and Hazardous Waste Update.   Stephen Gillette and Steve Harem provided an update on the County’s solid & hazardous waste programs.  Mr. Gillette used a PowerPoint presentation to provide an overview and current statistics about the solid wastes and recyclables in Larimer County.   Mr. Harem used a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate his talk related to landfill operations – including current operating status and environmental compliance issues.  The updates touched on several key issues:

 

·  The landfill has a current estimated capacity of about 10 years. .

·  Because it is an older landfill started before modern regulations went into effect, the landfill does not have a constructed liner. 

·  Revenues from the landfill tipping fee support the recycling center and household hazardous waste operations.

·  The volume of recyclables diverted from the landfill is up, but the price received for these on the commodity market is very depressed. 

·  The Household Hazardous Waste facility continues in operation.  That facility accepts hazardous materials for the purpose of keeping dangerous materials out of the landfill where they could contribute to leachate production and potential groundwater contamination.

·  Methane collection and flaring continues at the landfill.  Flaring reduces methane emissions, which are a more potent greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide produced from the burning.

·  Other issues, such as groundwater monitoring and methane migration monitoring are under control and basically unchanged from last year. 

·  The County has applied for an updated state air emissions permit for the landfill operations in order to ensure that technical elements in that permit such as the amount of waste received remain in compliance with the permit limits. 

·  The Department hosted a solid waste/resource recovery focus group on October 14th.  About 70 people attended the day-long event.  The purpose was to review the current status of solid waste management in the County, and talk about options for the future. 

o  A model for considering sustainable waste management was presented to show the potential hierarchy of management options.  The base of the hierarchy includes older technologies such as landfills without methane gas capture, and progresses through more modern landfills that recover and use methane for energy needs, waste to energy facilities, reuse and recycling and waste reduction.

o  Mr. Gillette reported that the strong preference of the focus group attendees was to move significantly up the hierarchy and institute the higher-level more sustainable management practices

·  In consideration of the estimated capacity of the existing landfill, and the time necessary to evaluate and implement future strategies, the County wants to make a decision on the future of solid waste management within the next three years.

 

Approval of October Minutes:

Minutes from the October 13, 2015 meeting were approved as corrected.

 

Updates:  

Michael Jones reported on this attendance at the solid waste/resource recovery focus group noted in the discussion item above.  He noted that the large group of attendees was seated at tables of 5-7 people with student moderators from Colorado State University.  The moderators presented questions for discussion and recorded the views of the participants through the use of electronic “clickers” that facilitated reporting out on the opinions of the entire group of attendees.  Mr. Jones indicated that the process was very well organized and presented.

 

Doug Ryan noted that the Army Corps of Engineers reported that more than 350 comments were received regarding the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Northern Integrated Supply Project, or NISP.  Larimer County’s comments included the technical review prepared by the ESAB, and a cover letter from the Board of County Commissioners.  The Army Corps plans to publish the Final Environmental Impact Statement along with its Record of Decision for permitting the project in the summer of 2016. 

 

ESAB Issue Index:

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

 

December Meeting Agenda:

Issue Index Review, 2016 work plan, election of officers

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 8:15 PM