Marbletown Environmental Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes – October 10, 2013

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Present

x          Douglas Adams, Town Board Representative

Annissa Bejaoui

Theresa Halloran

x          Eric Krieger

x          Peter Lamerson

x          Marcy London

Larry Menkes

x          Anne Diaz Matos

Michelle Campana Sullivan

 

Candidate Member – Matthew Bradford

 

Town Citizen Presenters: Firewood Processing Kiln Drying Business Under Zoning Board Review 

  • Joe and Sherry Sachs, (718) 682-3056
  • Ann Cahill

 

Walk-on Item RE: Firewood Kiln Drying Operation under Town Zoning Board Review Citizen Presenters, All
Citizen Concerns:

The citizen presenters mentioned their concern with several environmental and health concerns posed by the proposed business operation under review by the Town Zoning Board

  • Noise, air and possibly soil and water pollution, odors, fire hazards due to unattended kiln operation at night.
  • Health concerns: one of the citizens cited a health condition which could be severely aggravated by air pollutants. They cited a citizen suit filed against a similar concern, “NY Firewood” in Jeffersonville, NY by neighbors due to noise and air quality concerns.
  • Quality of life concerns: all cited concerns with decreased quality of life due  to 24×7 burning and drying operation, and possible noise from outside work with power tools  from 8am to 6pm Mon-Sat.  Also of concern was the additional truck traffic which could include 4 and possibly more delivery trucks per day.

ECC Discussion:

  • The team had a brief discussion of the nature of such operations with Matthew Bradford who regularly inspects “NY Firewood” on behalf of the US Dept. of Agriculture.  He noted that depending upon which activities where done outdoors there could be a concern with noise and mentioned that the Kiln he supervised was something akin to a larger than normal, constantly running wood-stove fire.
  • Doug Adams informed the ECC that the town zoning board had asked the requesting business concern to conduct a noise study costing approximately $20K at their own expense and report back with the findings.  He also noted that the business had been looking at an alternative site in the Town of Saugerties.

Action:

Since the PB currently was acting on the matter, and the noise study was pending, no specific ECC action was considered.  However, there are implications to the modernization of the town zoning rules, now underway, perhaps to consider noise and other forms of pollution.

 

 

 

Agenda Item 1. Review of Membership and Appointments Marcy, 10 Minutes
Presentation by Marcy London:

  • The ECC currently has 2 openings to fill out of 9 membership positions
  • Currently, 2 citizen candidate members have submitted CVs and letters of intent; the ECC co-chairs are awaiting possible submissions from a 3rd potential candidate member.

Actions:

  • Review of applications and committee interviews with candidates will take place in in the November ECC meeting

 

Agenda Item 2. Ulster Recycling Programs in the 20 towns Anne, Everyone 15 Minutes
Presentation by Anne Diaz Matos:

  • Anne presented a hardcopy summary the Ulster County Plastic Recycling Information, listing what was found on town web sites with regards to plastic items that can be recycled.
  • Peter noted similarities between a number of the towns, and noted that Saugerties references the UCRRA brochure, and asked where the recycled plastic items were trucked to and what the receiving location’s policy was.  Doug mentioned said that recycled plastic was sent to the UCRRA.

Actions:

  • The ECC voted to suggest that Marbletown’s web site be modified to reference the UCRRA brochure.
  • The ECC suggested that Anne contact Mike re this

 

Agenda Item 3. Municipal Consortium & Climate Smart Communities Anne, 15 Minutes
 

  • Anne presented a hardcopy summary Municipal Consortium’s (Please see Meeting Agenda addendum entitled “What a Municipal Consortium Can Do”)
  • The Agenda handout describes a Municipal Consortium’s goals and behavior and itemizes five specific  intended benefits that such consortiums are  intended to achieve in areas such as obtaining block funding grants, obtaining better deals in capital investments in renewable energy, facilitating coordination and collaboration in implementing conservation and efficiency measures and setting goals for a Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan & Energy Smart Communities and facilitating coordinated actions in monitoring Central Hudson and PSC in areas of rate setting, advancing renewable energy, capital expenditures, economic development, performance issues and advancing community concerns, such as allowing consumers to opt in/out of smart meters.
  • A mid-Hudson Municipal Energy Consortium would be comprised of towns, villages, cities and counties, and would be a non-governmental community organization.

Action:

  • The ECC is forwarding the agenda addendum to the Town Board for their information.

 

 

Agenda Item 4. NYSERTA and RUPCO (Rural Ulster County Preservation Company) Presentation Anne, Everyone 15 Minutes
  • Jen Metzger of the Rosendale ECC is planning such a presentation for Rosendale. Rather than duplicate it in Marbletown, the hope is that Marbletown might be able to ask the Rosendale ECC for permission to invite Marbletown citizens as well, and possibly advertise it via the town’s Marquee.
  • The intent is to allow these two groups to describe energy-saving and renewable energy ideas, and grants available to citizens. The towns themselves might also be interested in applicable energy savings and renewable energy grants which might be considered with Rosendale for the new Town Hall.
  • Peter mentioned that from his own recent experience in contracting for installation of a solar system for his own residence that it would be difficult to undertake such a project without the help  of a coordinating company due to the massive amount of coordinating paperwork,  contracts, PE prepared engineering specifications, NYSERDA filings, Central Hudson filings, subcontractor and profession engineering engagements, logistical deliveries, Town Building Inspection filings etc.

 

 

Agenda Item 5. Esopus Creek Consortium Anne, Doug
 

  • The towns of Hurley, Ulster, Marbletown and Saugerties have all passed resolutions of interest in forming “The Coalition of Lower Esopus Communities” modeled after a similar intergovernmental group of Upper Esopus Watershed communities. The watershed Towns hired lawyers and filed lawsuits which ultimately provided relief and agreements to the problems they had been having with NYC. The new Coalition would aim to achieve similar results for Lower Esopus towns.

 

The remaining Agenda items (#6 &7) were tabled until the next meeting.

Peter Lamerson, ECC Member/Secretary