LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY BOARD (EAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

June 14, 2011

 

 

Members In Attendance:

 

Commissioner:

Melissa Chalona

 

Lew Gaiter

Kimberly Karish

 

 

Evelyn King

 

Staff :

Jennifer Lee

 

Doug Ryan

Ryan McShane

 

 

Earlie Thomas

 

 

 

Discussion Items:

Mapping for wildfire dangers.  Kimberly Karish provided background information for the EAB on mapping that is available for wildfire hazards.  She highlighted two maps that are available on the County’s website at:  http://larimer.org/wildfire/wildfire_maps.htm.  Those maps are the Wildfire Hazard Areas Map which rank lands in the foothills and mountains according to their wildfire hazard based on fuels and other criteria, and the Fire Plan Strategy Map which classifies lands according to the type of wildfire control or prevention strategies that are practiced.  Members indicated they would be interested in additional detail, and Dr. Karish will provide a future email to members with additional background on how the map categories are developed and can be interpreted.

 

NEPA review process.  Kimberly Karish provided an overview of the environmental review process used under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.  Proponents of certain projects that require federal agency permits or other actions are required to obtain review of those projects by the principle permitting federal agency and other cooperating agencies.  The level of review depends on the potential impacts of the project, and can range from an environmental assessment (EA) to a full environmental impact statement (EIS).  Dr. Karish outlined the steps that the principle federal agency goes through in completing the NEPA review.  Members had several questions and held a informative discussion.  Examples of current projects of interest in Larimer County include the NISP and Halligan-Seaman water projects, and the Middle Bald Mountain emergency radio communications site.  Notes from the presentation about the NEPA process will be emailed to members. 

 

BCC Liaison Comments:

Lew Gaiter told the EAB that the NISP water project has been discussed recently by individual Commissioners with the City of Fort Collins.  He expects that interest in the project will result in more detailed discussions as the expected release of the supplemental draft EIS approaches.  The Commissioners will be considering how they may want to proceed with future reviews.  That may involve requesting review advice from the EAB. 

 

Chair’s Comments:

Jennifer Lee noted that the interviews for perspective EAB members will be held on June 22.  As with past years, it is expected that new members would be appointed ahead of the July EAB meeting.

 

Updates:  

Doug Ryan announced that the press release announcing the nomination process for the 2011 Environmental Stewardship Awards will be coming out soon.  He will forward a copy to the EAB members.

 

Evelyn King noted that the Denver Metro/North Front Range Ozone Conformity Plan was conditionally approved (termed a partial approval) by the U.S. EPA in February.  The conformity plan includes calculation of the projected emissions for ozone forming emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.  Those projected emissions are lower than the emissions budget intended to keep mobile emissions below threshold amounts within the ozone nonattainment area.  Mrs. King noted that the primary reason the projected emissions stay below the budget is because new vehicles are so much cleaner than older cars and trucks and regional emissions are actually reduced as the fleet make-up changes with new car purchases and junking of older vehicles.   At some time in the future (2035 on the table provided) VOC emissions are projected to raise as the number of cars and the total vehicle miles traveled in the region have a greater influence that the effect of cleaner new cars.  That projection could change is future new car standards are even cleaner than those on the books.

 

EAB Issue Index:

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

 

July Meeting Agenda:

New member orientation, ozone air quality, Environmental Stewardship Awards

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 7:40 PM