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: November 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*

 

Tim Reader ǂ

Daniel Beveridge

X

Shelley Bayard de Volo ¥

X

 

Rich Conant

X

Shaun May §

X

 

Jim Gerek - Chair

X

 

 

 

Michael Jones

X

 

 

 

Evelyn King

X

 

 

 

David Lehman – Vice-Chair

X

 

 

 

Allyson Little

X

 

 

 

Kirk Longstein

 

 

 

 

George Rinker

X

 

 

 

Katrina Winborn-Miller

 

 

 

 

Chris Wood

X

 

 

 

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 – add Fort Collins Climate Action Celebration; fix dates on Agenda for December meeting

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

3.   Public Comment – none                                                                                                                                      

4.   Discussion Items

a.   Wood Utilization & Marketing Program, Colorado State Forest Service – Tim Reader began his talk by introducing what he does in his role at the Colorado State Forest Service.  The goal of his program is to research how forest products can be marketed and assist the community with marketing those products. The importance of this work is to foster cost-effective ways to manage forests for reduction of fuels and for restoration of healthy forests.

There are six primary programs:

·  Wood Energy Program – using woody biomass for energy

·  Colorado Forest Products (CoWood) – Enhance wood product marketing

·  Forest Business Loan Fund – Provides lending for forest businesses

·  Urban Wood Utilization – keeps resource out of landfills

·  DIA Hotel and Transit Center Black Forest Utilization – sculptural timber installation

·  Black Forest Utilization – post-fire use of burnt timber

Tim focused the rest of his discussion on the Wood Energy Program.  This program fosters the use of wood for the heating of large facilities.  Facilities need to be “Biomass Ready” meaning there is enough space to upgrade the facility for the needed infrastructure – delivery path, storage area, boiler room, connections and HVAC integration.  Tim emphasized that the easiest way to ensure facilities are biomass ready is to consider infrastructure needs during the design process.  Facility management might not include currently using wood biomass for heat, but biomass use might become a better option in the future.  So, having the required space available to convert to biomass use is optimal, as deconstruction and re-construction costs are high.  Tim went through the Biomass Ready APP that engineers and planners can use to identify infrastructure needs for using wood biomass in their facility.  Tim also explained how wood biomass is a renewable and clean energy fuel, and its use as a fuel contributes to our State’s healthy forests and rural economies. 

Tim also talked about the Forest Business Loan program and noted that in Larimer County there are only four active timber businesses.  To support markets for wood products, the FBLF provides loans to businesses that can supply timber products from wildfire fuels mitigation projects, beetle-killed timber and other forest restoration projects.

 

b.   Developing County Oil/Gas Regulations – Chris and Ally summarized their committee’s comments on the draft Oil and Gas regulations.  They provided some background on the make-up of the task force and some description of how meetings proceeded.  They noted that Adams County regs were used as a reference. They then went through the specific comments by section.  It’s likely the ESAB will be asked to review a more developed draft of the regulation in Q1 or Q2 of 2020.   Some discussion points with board members were air monitoring, setbacks, inspections, development review, sequencing of permitting, and the relationship with COGCC rules.  A question was raised as to whether 1041 regs could be applicable to new O&G operations.

The question of how many oil and gas wells there are in Larimer County came up.  Shelley brought up the COGCC interactive mapping webpage to display the well locations.  There are few wells compared to Weld County, and some of the wells identified are old and may not be active.

Jim noted that the COGCC had recently released a new white paper describing its intended path forward for several new state O&G regs over the next couple years.   

 

5.   Approval of Minutes – George moved to approve the September minutes and Michael seconded.  The minutes were approved by acclamation.  Evelyn moved to approve the October minutes and Michael seconded.  The minutes were approved by acclamation.

 

6.   Updates and Round Table

a.   Commissioner’s Update – Commissioner Kefalas was not in attendance.   

b.   Environmental Responsibility Policy - Shelley informed the board that the County’s new ERP was recently adopted by the BoCC and displayed the website where the updated policy was posted.  She explained the next steps which includes a meeting in December that will include additional team members from the departments of Health and Environment, Fleet and Facilities.   

c.   Halligan Reservoir expansion – The draft EIS is still anticipated to be released this year.  The Board discussed a strategy for starting review if the release occurs prior to the next board meeting in December.  Jim asked for volunteers to lead the review.  Michael volunteered to lead the committee and George and David volunteered to assist.  City of Fort Collins will be co-releasing their conceptual mitigation plan, which will also be included in the ESAB’s review.

Chris asked about the 1041 process and whether there will be a conflict with the County commenting on the DEIS if they are also reviewing the project for the 1041 permit.  Jim recapped the ESAB’s experience with the EIS for NISP.  The ESAB reviewed and provided formal comments for the DEIS and supplemental draft EIS, and in both cases the comments were passed onto the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE).  The ESAB also reviewed and provided comments on Northern Water’s Fish and Wildlife Mitigation and Enhancement Plan.  Those comments were considered by the BoCC but were not passed onto the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission citing that Northern Water had provided enough assurance that the ESAB’s concerns would be addressed.  Lastly, the ESAB reviewed and commented on the final EIS, and provided those comments to the BoCC, who elected to not pass those comments onto the Corps of Engineers, citing the appearance of a conflict of interest based on having to consider Northern Water’s application for a 1041 permit.

At this point, all we know is that Commissioner Kefalas has asked the ESAB to review the DEIS for the Halligan Project, and Rob Helmick has asked the Board not be restrained in what they consider, and that they should evaluate everything they view as important for the County.

d.   Solid Waste Policy Council – Jim informed the Board of current progress on the County’s wasteshed planning and implementation.  The County now has a Solid Waste Policy Council that is comprised of municipal leadership positions.   They have adopted a set of by-laws, elected leaders, and set regular meetings. While they are focusing on implementing the SWIMP, a significant side issue is the expanded groundwater contamination recently discovered.  Shelley showed the ESAB members the webpage where they can get additional information if they are interested.

e.   City Climate Action Event – Jim reminded board members of the City’s November 14 celebration of 20 years of progress on reducing climate impacts.  Shelley is coordinating a display table from the County.

f.   Solinator Garden – Jim noted the November 15 public ribbon-cutting of a 1MW community solar installation in South Fort Collins. It will be co-located with a natural pollinator garden – hence the Solinator name. 

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

8.   Agenda Topics for Future Meetings – The December 10th meeting will include reviewing the 2019 annual report, the 2020 workplan and election of officers.  Tentative – Halligan reservoir expansion draft EIS.    

9.   Adjourn David moved to adjourn the meeting with George seconding.  All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.