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Environmental Management Commission

Meeting Minutes – April 14, 2010

Meeting Location: Mid-America Regional Council, 2nd Floor, Westview Meeting Room

Commissioners present: Carol Adams, Bob Berkebile, Dustin Jensen, Marty Kraft, Jim Scott, Jack Schrimsher, Evaline Taylor Jim van Eman,

Staff: Dennis Murphey, Jerry Shechter – OEQ; Cecilia Abbott – Law; Rich Noll, Terry Leeds, Sean Hennessy and Scott Cahail – Water Services; Sadie Gardner – BTG; Carolyn Davies - UMKC

Guests: Sadie Gardner – BTG; Mike Hoey; Ron McLinden – Regional Transit Alliance; Patty Noll – City Planning & Development; Katherine Kelly – KC Center for Urban Agriculture

Carol Adams, Co-Chair, opened the meeting at 4:10 pm; a quorum was not present

A. Welcome and Introductions

    The Chair welcomed all Commissioners, staff and guests to the EMC meeting. Everyone introduced themselves.

B. Water Services re Overflow Control Plan (OCP) – Terry Leeds, Cecilia Abbott, Sean Hennessey

    Cecilia Abbott - provided the City ordinance proposal for acceptance of the agreement with US-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the proposed Overflow Control Plan (OCP). Further city action is needed to enter into the agreement and into the consent decree. There is ground breaking language regarding green approaches to the overflow issues which is the first of its kind and we will have 25 years to complete the repairs/upgrades/green applications. As part of a consent decree, we must pay penalties to both the federal and state governments. Some of those penalties will be channeled to help low income households get off of septic systems and hooked up to the municipal sewer system.

    Terry Leeds – Described the first demonstration area to test various green measures. This will be done in about 100 acres in the Middle Blue River Basin in the area of 75th & Troost. The cost is estimated at $6-$7 million. There will be rehab of 100% of the sewers and green solutions. Bid request went out last week. Water Services expects the work to start within 90 days and to be completed in about 8 months. The green solutions are being designed for construction Spring, 2011. A significant question is how to quantify the impact(s). A team has been hired comprised of TetraTech, UMKC and MARC to help monitor the project. An additional 740 acres will be done after that. Subsequently, Water Services will look at the Northeast and at Turkey Creek. Demonstration will be evaluated. Existing pipes will be re-lined as much as possible rather than be replaced. Bonds for about 50% of the activities were sold last year. An outstanding question is how bonds might be used on private property. The City anticipates changes in storm water regulations to allow that work on private property. Adoption of the latest best management practices (BMP) manual is in process.

    Water Services is talking with Parks Department to transform the East 63rd St campus into a storm water education campus for which they are now developing the curriculum. Working with the school district is planned with development of five lesson plans. The overall education component is 1% of the projected $2.4 billion program. Bob Berkebile said KC is being looked at as the national pilot. Leeds noted that Water Services will be looking at downspout disconnections, rain gardens, rain barrels, etc. and will work with Parks re water on boulevards. Forest Decker, the City Forrester, has put together a team to address green issues and opportunities. KC Area Transportation Authority will install green solutions along its Troost BRT route.

    Carol Adams asked how long the City’s Green Solutions Team has been working. Scott Cahail noted there have been challenges with different levels of interest and priorities among departments. Bob Berkebile asked Scott to help revisit the staff list of things to be accomplished that the City committed to by letter to EPA.

    Carol asked how Water Services plays into energy use reduction with regard to the Climate Protection Plan. Scott responded there is not the in-house expertise to follow up. Rich Noll asked to defer the question and said Water would come back to talk about energy efficiency measures undertaken and planned. Sean Hennessey noted that Water has installed remote read meters helping to reduce travel time and fuel use and is beginning to look at conservation rates and have installed new automated pumps. He noted that water and waste water are connected while storm water is kept separate.

    Cecilia Abbott noted that the ordinances are in Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Following acceptance by Council, the City will be able to enter into the Consent Decree. The signed decree will then go to Washington for final review and will then be put out for public comment.

    Jim van Eman brought up the question of conflict between the business model – as an enterprise department – and conservation measures that reduce water usage.

C. Minutes of the meeting of February 17, 2010 and March 10, 2010 were reviewed. Dustin Jensen made a motion, seconded by Jim van Eman, to accept the minutes as presented. The motion passed.

D. Ordinances/Resolutions

    1. Vehicle Anti-Idling - Resolution – Creates a “no-idling zone” which is symbolic and practical. It is a policy with no enforcement teeth. The City will partner with MARC for an educational component and for “No-Idling” signs. City Council will hear the ordinance in committee the week of May 3, 2010 which is National Xxxxxxxxxx Awareness Week. Bob Berkebile made a motion, seconded by Marty Kraft, that the EMC take a position and write a letter to the Mayor and City Council supporting the “No Idling Zone” resolution and authorizing the co-chairs to sign the letter. The motion passed.

    2. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) - Resolution – Dennis Murphey provided a general explanation of the concept including: an up front source of capital for energy efficiency improvement, Clean Energy Development Board to sell bonds for energy efficiency improvements, and long payback period with payments part of the tax bill that stays with the property that has been improved. The Missouri House has passed legislation as has a Missouri Senate Committee. It is not known if the legislation will be passed this session. City Council has made this a part of their legislative package.

    3. Development Code changes supporting Urban Agriculture – Ordinance – Broadens the acceptability of urban agriculture by a series of changes in the Development Code. A major change allows transactions to take place on residential lots which have a house on the property. This ordinance does not address livestock issues. Bob Berkebile made a motion, seconded by Marty Kraft, that the EMC take a position and write a letter to the Mayor and City Council supporting the proposed Development Code changes and authorizing the co-chairs to sign the letter. The motion passed.

    4. Clean Water settlement agreement - Bob Berkebile made a motion, seconded by Jack Schrimsher, that the EMC write a letter to the Mayor and City Council commending them for their vision and perseverance in the development and negotiation of a model Overflow Control Plan and authorizing the co-chairs to sign the letter. The motion passed.

E. Office of Environmental Quality – Report deferred to next meeting

F. LEED Initiatives – Report deferred to next meeting

G. Liaison Updates – Reports deferred to next meeting

H. Project Updates – Reports deferred to next meeting

I. Old Business – Membership and Applications – Several appointments and re-appointments are expected before the next meeting.

J. New Business - None

K. Remarks and Announcements

    1. Lawrence-Douglass County have hired Eileen Horn as their Sustainability Coordinator. Ms. Horn used to work with Nancy Jackson.

    2. The Metropolitan Energy Center’s Project Living Proof – a renovation of an existing, historic residence just north of the Discovery Center has been chosen, by KCP&L, to be a Smart Grid Demonstration House

The next monthly meeting is scheduled for May 12, 2010 at MARC at 4:00 pm.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:05 pm