This team of 12 to 15 people has three sub-groups: water; renewable energy; and oil and gas. The sub-groups meet and work independently and collaboratively on these and other key issues.
The Team has a broad focus of study towards taking advocacy action (based on LWV, LWVCO and LWVLC position statements) on local and regional climate change, water, fracking, air quality, land use, transportation, agriculture, and biosphere matters.
The team has developed information and resource guides for the public on local and regional alternative energy sources and energy saving incentives and a bibliography on water issues.
Summary: February 20 2019 Environmental Action Team Meeting
Members of the team were invited to become judges for the Earth Force Program Rocky Mountain Challenge https://earthforce.org/ for middle school students. Last year three schools participated, this year seven schools are participating. Students problem solve an environmental issue.
Previously, the Environmental Action Team chose to focus on three topics related to climate change: oil and gas development, renewables and water. Does the team want to continue with this structure or would they like to change? There was discussion but no formal decision was made.
The team has representation on Fort Collins Partners in Climate Action (FCPiCA). The group previously concentrated on moving Fort Collins forward on its climate action plan and 100% renewable energy for electricity. This goal has been for the most part accomplished, and the coalition is now deciding on the coalition’s structure and focus. Example of focus discussed – buildings. The coalition will meet this Friday to discuss its mission statement and the coalition’s structures.
EAT members recommended FCPiCA not narrow its focus too much and leave the coalition a little room to advance more than one focused project within an area of interest.
The national League is providing a response to a New York Times article about the League’s history and treatment of African American women.
One member highly recommends the book, The Republican Reversal, Conservatives and the Environment from Nixon to Trump by Turner and Isenberg. More info here:
Oil and Gas
There are several oil and gas applications in southeast Larimer County, two near Loveland and on east of I25 (Anadarko). The team proposes sending a letter to the County Commissioners requesting a 6 month moratorium on fracking applications similar to Superior’s moratorium. Provides for a short time frame that is less likely to be challenged by industry. The moratorium would give the County time to develop oil and gas regulation, possibly by August 2019.
There are two processes for obtaining a land use permit in Larimer County, a special review or MOU. There are slightly higher standards for a MOU but there is no opportunity for public input or comments. It’s handled as an administrative action.
Plan of action: We will write a draft letter to the County Commissioners requesting a 6 month moratorium on oil and gas development in the County. The letter will be sent off to Admin. Team for approval.
The team will be alerted to Administrative Meetings of the county commissioners. See https://www.larimer.org/bocc/commissioners-meetings/administrative-matters for information and agendas.
There will be two documents on the League web site, a list of all State offices that deal with water conservation and a list of non-profit groups that study water conservation. Plans to speak with Jeni Arndt about better coordination between these groups.
There was an article about a New Mexica dairy farmer who has been completely wiped out by contaminated water from a nearby air force base use of fire retardant that has contaminated his water, heard and family. This is happening at Colorado’s Peterson Air Force Base and across the Country. The chemicals contaminate ground water and aquafers. http://nmpoliticalreport.com/2019/02/19/groundwater-contamination-devastates-a-new-mexico-dairy-and-threatens-public-health/
Fort Collins City Council approved the wasteshed plan which now goes to the County.
Loveland is Number 1 in Colorado in recycling due in large part to the practice of recycling yard waste. This is a service that few other communities offer, but one that Larimer County planners are thinking of adding as a mandatory step in further reducing the landfill load. The commodity value of recycled yard waste with food waste included has been well established. EAT should consider encouraging our county planners and commissioners to support this policy initiative.
Next Team Meeting: March 20, 2019
The Water group developed comments on the Northern Integrated Supply Project for the Larimer League to send to the Army Corps of Engineers. These comments were approved by the Administrative Team. Now the group will focus on the issues and challenges involving water as the effects of global warming on weather patterns and precipitation become clearer.
The group is developing a bibliography of books and materials on water issues.
Bibliography of Water Issues in the West
The Oil and Gas group is focused on issues of oil and gas wells, fracking, its impacts, and its (potential) regulation.
The Renewable Energy group has developed and disseminated resource and contact information for all the providers of wind and solar power in Larimer County. You can download this Guide to Renewable Energy from the Documents File on this website.