Summary: January 15 2020 Environmental Action Team Meeting
Mission and Focus Review
Mission will remain broad but local. Four focus areas: Water, renewables, wildlife, oil and gas.
We will add attention to wildlife issues. Discussed related topics of the Northern Water Supply Project (NISP) and the effect the project will have on wildlife, COGCC will develop regulations for wildlife protection based on SB 181, gardening for wildlife.
EAT website has Renewable Energy document written in 2016 that should be updated at some point.
A subcommittee is working on the EAT’s display for events. Will be a tri-fold board. Team provided input regarding display pictures and design. The committee has also developed handouts for each of the four focus areas. Theme will be what we as individuals can so to protect the environment. We also might have a lighted Dracula which attracts event participants and provides opportunity to highlight vampire energy - the electric power consumed by many consumer electronic devices when they are switched off but are still plugged in, and that waste electricity. Also, can direct the public to other resources such as information about open space programs. Provide the League’s and other organizations’ web sites. Many prefer online information rather taking hard copies of information. Team liked the concept of using a graphic of an umbrella.
Bags and Plastics
We talked about examples of recyclable (must be stretchable) and non-recyclable bags, washable reusable bags. We shouldn’t purchase any groceries that are packaged in plastic. Instead, use nylon and organic cotton re-usable bags – can purchase on Amazon, reuse plastic containers for restaurant leftovers and groceries. Not all plastic bags that say recyclable are actually recyclable.
Oil and Gas
Larimer County has posted a second draft of oil and gas regulations. (According to info received after the meeting, the deadline for providing comments is changed from 1/19 to 1/24.)
AQCC hearing held in December 2019 to update regulations related to oil and gas. There are more hearings to come, the next is Greenhouse Gas.
COGCC now plans to hold a combined hearing for Cumulative Effects, Mission change and Alternative Location Analysis in April/May. Also, plan a phased rollout so it’s a slow process.
Public comments for the Unicorn pad are closed. There were hundreds of comments, including comments from 350, LOGIC and the Alliance.
King Operating has approached PRPA about drilling at the Rawhide Power Plant north of Fort Collins and east of Soapstone Prairie. PRPA is not interested in developing its minerals but there are other mineral owners which they don’t control. Unknown who the other mineral owners are. PRPA is co-owned by 4 municipalities including Fort Collins and Loveland. Pooling could be an issue though changes were made to pooling in SB 181. Team members can advocate with City Council members on the PRPA Board.
Partners in Climate Action (PiCA) and Plastic Bag Project
PiCA has a committee addressing plastic bags with State legislature. Options include an outright ban - pro for this option - would not have to vote on a new tax (if plastic bags are taxed). Looking at repealing Colorado law that forbids municipality from regulating plastic bags. Senator from Vail (Kary Donovan) introduced the bill. Committee plans to draft a letter in support to go to Admin then to Leagues that have legislators on the Local Government committee to seek their support.
(SB20-010 Repeal Ban on Local Government Regulation of Plastics https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-010 )
The team received an email of January and February events.
There is such a breadth of information we follow and perhaps we should delve deeper into a topic. One option is Water Literate Leaders of Northern Colorado. https://watercenter.colostate.edu/wll/ Susan Gutowsky, Fort Collins City Council is participating.
Montava – FC City Council voted 5 -2 to approve framework for Montava PUD in first reading. Gutowsky and Cuniff voting no. Will vote again February 18. Many residents from the area testified about issues with traffic.
Our members should sign up for Colorado Capitol Watch. $25. Great way to track bills. Get daily emails with information about new bills. There’re 20-25 new bills each day and 190 bills as of today. https://coloradocapitolwatch.com/index.php
The League legislative newsletter is free this year and will automatically be emailed to members every 2 weeks. Contains information about bills the League is following.
The Loveland Museum of Art has a display of the Colorado Big Thompson Project. It is a large diorama showing locations of the project’s components. Our team is interested in a group tour. We will find some dates and times after checking with Museum staff. There’s a good restaurant across the street from the museum.
C3E/Pretty Brainy – Young Women in Science
General League Program on March 9. Request help setting up starting at 6:30 pm – 7 pm
Foothills Unitarian Church
Good option for EAT display
Next meeting February 19, 2020.