Loveland Bike Trail
 

LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY BOARD (EAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

March 8, 2011

 

 

Members In Attendance:

 

Guests:

Melissa Chalona

 

Lucinda Smith, City of Fort Collins

Michael Jones

 

 

Kimberly Karish

 

Staff :

Evelyn King

 

Doug Ryan

Jennifer Lee

 

 

Ryan McShane

 

 

 

Introduction of Members and Guests:

Those in attendance introduced themselves.

 

Discussion Items:

Fort Collins Draft Air Quality Plan.   Lucinda Smith, Environmental Planner with the City of Fort Collins Natural Resources Department, provided an update on the City’s draft Air Quality Plan.  The principles and policies outlined in the plan have been reviewed and approved by City Council as part of the recently adopted City Plan.  The City is asking for comments on the implementation strategies.

 

Ms. Smith outlined the purpose of the Air Quality Plan to:

  • Respond to a strong citizen mandate for the City to protect and improve air quality
  • Complement current federal, state and county air quality efforts by providing local education, incentives and regulation
  • Provide a long-term planning framework for air quality protection

 

The “short list” of implementation strategies selected for the draft Plan include efforts in four categories: commute trip reduction, volunteers for sustainable homes, promotion of alternative fuel vehicles, and promotion of individual action through information and outreach.  An overview of each strategy was provided, followed by an open discussion with the EAB members.  The main questions or comments from that discussion are listed here:

  • It would be helpful if the plan had a short discussion about the relationship between indoor and outdoor air quality.
  • The strategy for alternative fuel vehicles is understandably directed at City fleet vehicles.  It was suggested that the plan consider adding an action step to broaden this emphasis in the future.  Examples might include technical assistance to businesses that may want to support alternative vehicles by installing charging stations, consultation on potential energy savings, etc.
  • Members expressed concurrence with the purpose of the plan to complement the air quality programs by others.  It was pointed out, for example, that the County concentrates on providing a consistent level of service for all jurisdictions it services regarding inspections of permitted stationary air emission sources. 
  • It was suggested that the plan point out that while the region is classified as non-attainment for the 8-hour ozone standard, the monitors within the City are in compliance with the 2008 standard for the most recent 3-year averaging interval.
  • The emission inventories in the plan do not include natural biogenic sources of volatile organic compounds (VOC). 
  • The discussion clarified that the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) figures in the plan will be updated from the listed projections to actual measurements that are expected from the North Front Range MPO prior to final adoption.
  • It was suggested that the plan highlight the forecasted downward trend in nitrogen oxides and VOC emissions from vehicles that is achieved as the fleet turns over to new vehicles with better emission controls.
  • The plan would be strengthened if it provided figures for local incidence of air quality related conditions for risk factors such as asthma.  The County Health Department may be able to assist in providing surveillance information. 
  • While urban forestry programs are generally considered a benefit for air quality, it was pointed out that some varieties of trees emit large amounts of natural, or biogenic, VOCs.  An example is eucalyptus trees commonly found in California. 
  • The discussion indicated that mobile source emission are the largest contributor to the Brown Cloud.  That contribution supports the emphasis in the plan on reducing VMT associated with commuter trips.
  • It was suggested that indoor air quality might deserve an even stronger emphasis in the plan due to indoor pollution levels and the percentage of time people spend indoors. 
  • An important point to consider in the alternative fuels program is assistance to those considering a vehicle purchase with selecting the most efficient vehicle that can meet their needs.  An example that was provided was that many city fleet vehicles probably make very short trips that would be amendable to the range provided by electric vehicles. 
  • The discussion highlighted the valuable technical expertise that CSU offers the community, and encouraged continued collaboration on Climate Wise, FortZed and other issues. 
  • The discussion include a description of how new strategies can be added to the long list, and how those items may be promoted to the short list for implementation.  The members concurred that it is important for the plan to have a degree of flexibility in order to deal with emerging issues or take advantage of funding or partnership opportunities. 
  • Larimer County government conducted an alternative trips promotion in partnership with Climate Wise and the City in 2008.  That experience pointed out the need for the type of consultation and technical assistance contemplated in the commuter trip reduction strategies.  If that element is funded, the service would be useful the county and businesses located in the city. 
  • It was pointed out in the discussion that commute trip reductions have the potential to offer health and exercise benefits to those who participate by using alternative modes.  Another benefit noted was that the reduced traffic that results is also a benefit to people who must drive because the roadways are less congested and more efficient.

 

Solid Waste “World Café”.  The Solid Waste Department held a full-day retreat type meeting at the Ranch on January 27.  The meeting include a group of stakeholders for a discussion about solid waste management issues and the role of the County.  EAB members Jennifer Lee, Evelyn King and Melissa Chalona attended the meeting.  Jennifer Lee provided an electronic copy of her notes from the meeting.  Members noted that this was a detailed summary from the meeting.  Issues that were discussed at the meeting included recycling, the need for a composing facility, the importance of transportation costs and the need to have a close-in landfill, the need for community-based programs for waste reduction opportunities, and the potential for a waste-to-energy facility.

 

The Poudre Runs Through It Forum.   EAB members Jennifer Lee and Ryan McShane reported on the first two sessions for the forum.  The program has been organized into three basic categories.  The first was a public introductory forum held on February 3.  It featured speakers about the importance of the River and its future. 

 

The second category is a series of three educational sessions about water law and management, water needs and streamflow implications, and future water planning.  The initial education session was held on February 24.  The next two sessions are scheduled for March 10th and 24th.  The third category will include two public dialogue sessions scheduled for April 11th and 16th

 

Information about the forum, including speakers’ presentation materials are available on the UniverCity Connections  website at:  www.univercityconnections.org/

 

Updates:  

Evelyn King provided a handout describing the planned public outreach for the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2035 Regional Transportation Plan Update.  The outreach efforts include a series of steps beginning this month and concluding on June 17.  Information on the plan is available on the MPO’s website at:  http://nfrmpo.org/ResourcesDocuments/2035RegTrans.aspx.

 

Kimberly Karish reported that work by the Army Corps of Engineers and their consultants on the Purpose and Need Statement for the proposed Regional Watershed Supply Project EIS will probably not be completed until the end of 2011.

 

EAB Issue Index:

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

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 8:30 PM

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.