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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS 
of
Larimer County, Colorado
HomeEnvironmental Action

Environmental Action

National League Position:   The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that natural resources should be managed as interrelated parts of life-supporting ecosystems.  Resources should be conserved and protected to assure their future availability.  Pollution of these resources should be controlled in order to preserve the physical, chemical and biological integrity of ecosystems and to protect public health.  (LWVUS, 1986)  

 

Larimer County League Environmental Action Team:  The Team is focused on specific local actions in five areas that can effect a slowing of climate change.  These areas are: water; renewable energy; oil and gas; pollinator habitat; and plastics. The Team’s groups meet and work independently as well as being part of the monthly Team meeting discussions.  All the Teams collaborate with other like-minded groups.

Water Group

The stimulus for forming EAT was the Environmental Impact Statement on the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) from the Army Corps of Engineers in 2015.  The Larimer League submitted comments about inadequate procedures and process.  The Corps of Engineers is expected to release its final EIS and Recommendation of Decision sometime in 2021. 

 

The group continues to monitor local water issues and activities, and it has developed a bibliography of books and materials on water issues.  
Bibliography of Water Issues in the West

The Oil and Gas Group

The Oil and Gas group is focused on the development of strong regulations for oil and gas development in order to minimize that industry’s effects on public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources.  The need for additional and more specific air quality monitoring is a major concern of the group. 

The Plastics Group 

Plastic pollution is an environmental threat to both coastal areas and inland environments.  It often ends up in our rivers and landfills. Our group studies plastic pollution, its impacts, and solutions in order to support sensible legislative and community initiatives that will help tackle this growing problem.

The Pollinator Group

There is wonder in pollinators  - bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.  Pollinators are vital to food production, and their survival is in trouble. Habitat loss and pesticide use account for much of pollinator decline.  We address the need for a sustainable habitat of food, shelter and water in "our own backyard" with specific recommendations, while joining in collaboration with other organizations to advocate for the survival of the pollinators in our community.  

The Renewable Energy Group

The Renewable Energy group has developed and disseminated resource and contact information for all the providers of wind and solar power in Larimer County. It continues to focus on local government actions that can encourage and result in greater use of renewable energy sources.

Summary Notes From Our Last Monthly Meeting


 

July 20, 2022 – LWV Larimer Environmental Action Team

9:30 – 10:45 AM Meeting via Zoom

Highlights 

 


Pollinator Habitat

            The June 18th event in front of city hall had attendance of 700, by an estimate of the City of Fort Collins.  The pollinator groups raised about 1200 plants for the event and gave them all away.  The city has invited the League group to participate in next year’s event, which it will do, since the city does all the set up work and most of the clean up. 

             

            In the Fall, on the last Saturday in October, there will be a seed swap event for people to trade seeds of native plants.  Before that, there will be workshops on how to collect seeds and store them. 

 

            The City of Fort Collins plans to host winter classes for how to start plants from seeds and then transplant them.  More details later as dates are announced. 

 

            The Pollinator Blog is posted on the first Tuesday of the month.  Articles and announcements are welcomed.

 

Plastics: --

            We need to find a new coordinator for the Plastics Group or unite the group with the Sustainability Group.  We will put a notice in the next League Lines to find a new coordinator. 

            A start-up company in Salt Lake City converts plastic waste into fuels.  Right now the company can process several tons of plastic per day, and it hopes to expand to other cities and increase how much it can recycle. 

             

Oil and Gas – Notes

 

Larimer County

Air Quality Presentation 7-14-2022. See here.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvSPH_8qKkI

 

Recommended Actions and Next Steps from presentation slide – Commissioners agreed to all

1. Budget and Implement Air Quality measures within the Climate and Sustainability Action Plan

          a. Allocate funding to RAQC for Larimer County residents to increase participation in the Mow Down initiatives

          b. Increase EV infrastructure in unincorporated Larimer County 

 

2. Ensure compliance with COGCC regulations regarding Financial Assurance

          a. Engage operators using the new tools for local government to plug and abandon low-producing wells that pose a threat to public health and the environment 

 

3. Identify a location for a new regulatory monitoring station

          a. Review results of temporary ozone monitors placed in Loveland, Livermore and Bellvue with CDPHE and RAQC to determine if one or more of these locations would be beneficial for siting a new regulatory monitor.

          b. Opportunity to pair a regulatory monitoring site with new requirements of HB22-1244 to establish a monitor for toxic air contaminants in Larimer County.

4. Leak detection, compliance and outreach

          a. Purchase optical gas imaging camera to enhance our ability to complete inspections and investigate complaints. 

 

Governor Polis Letter

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uaJc7HOlFNQZREyq30yY9U2kS36k7-9S/view 

 

Recommends collaboration between APCD and COGCC 

 

Recommends using funding from the 2022 long bill and future appropriations, CDPHE should implement a user friendly public facing internet portal to provide public access to APCD information. 

 

Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) Meeting 7-21-2022 https://cdphe.colorado.gov/aqcc

 

Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC)

According to RAQC the state will meet compliance with ozone 75 ppb standard by 2027 attainment date. The state will probably not meet the 2024 compliance date for the 70 ppb standard attainment date without additional control measures. RAQC The Public’s Guide to the Ozone State Implementation Plan https://raqc.egnyte.com/dl/SLZX0r1UUd/Public_GuideToTheSIP.pdf_

 

Water –   

            The CSU Water Center’s schedule for GRAD 592 seminar this Fall is on line.  The topic is the Colorado River Compact – its history and the on-going negotiations to adapt it to the new climate realities.  The seminar sessions are on Mondays from 4:00 to 5:00 PM, and are Zoom.  If you want to attend, you sign up on the seminar’s page, and you will be sent the Zoom link. 

             The Colorado Water Congress will be held in Steamboat from August 23 to 25th.  This is an important conference for water professionals, and candidates for state-wide offices will speak.  Here’s a link to the conference agenda:  https://www.cowatercongress.org/uploads/1/1/9/2/119211024/2022_cwc_summer_conference_session_description_072322.pdf 

October 11 to 13th in Avon there will be the Sustainability Colorado Watersheds Conference.  More information will be available later from Water Education Colorado.

The Poudre River Fest will be held August 20th from Noon to 6:00 PM at New Belgium Brewing.  Here’s a link to the schedule of events:  https://poudreriverfest.org/schedule-of-events 

 

With the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), we wait for the Army Corps of Engineers to issue their final report, which will either approve the project or say that the project is environmentally harmful and should not be built.  If the project is approved, several environmental groups are ready to appeal that decision in court.  The litigation will take years to clear all the different court levels, perhaps even reaching the US Supreme Court. 

The City of Fort Collins is waiting for the Army Corps of Engineers to issue its revised report on Halligan Reservoir expansion.  The plan is to raise the dam 25 feet and increase the capacity of the reservoir, to better protect Fort Collins’s water supply.  Many different levels of environmental impact involved with this project. 

 

There are 8 major river basins in Colorado, and the Colorado Water Plan charges each with developing a program for water use and conservation in that basin.  We should examine the plans developed by the South Platte Basin Roundtable to have input on those ideas. 

           

Sustainability

            The City of Fort Collins is seeking comments on the draft 1041 Land Use Regulations.  There are several citizen groups that are involved in this process.  The regulations will then be revised, and that version will go to City Council for adoption. 

 

            The other major environmental issue that the City of Fort Collins is considering is how to handle waste/garbage hauling.  One idea was to divide the city into zones and have one hauler for each zone.  The alternate plan is to have one hauler for the entire city.  This is an on-going discussion. 

            Larimer County is preparing a new land fill site, in the Northern part of the county near Wellington.  It was supposed to have several additional recycling and composting components, but those are being delayed because of the increased costs to construct them and the difficulty of finding companies to reuse the material that would result from those recycling operations. 

 

            The State League’s Climate Emergency Task Force is planning a forum on September 14th at 6:00 PM.  Several State Senators who are not up for reelection will be asked about plans for the next legislative session to meet the intensifying climate emergency.  The Task Force is asking League members to submit possible questions that could be used.  Send the questions to Jane. 

 

            Back to League Night is Monday September 12th.  It will be outdoors, and the Environmental Team will have a table.  We need to have information there about all of our activities, and we need representatives to talk to the people who stop at the table.

             

           

Next EAT Meeting – August 17, 2022 at 9:30 AM.   More information later.