Meeting Minutes

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES September 19, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: October 11th, 2019

Call to Order: Commissioner Stefanski called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm, Stefanski filled in for Chairman Egen (Egen entered meeting at 7:03PM).

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.

Richard Micka

Dan Stefanski

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen 7:03PM

Andrew Felder

Ed Kane

Butch Uhl

Barry LaRoy

Guests:            Melanie Foose, EGLE, Lee Schoen, EGLE, Mike Alexander, EGLE, Justin Richards, Resident/Student, Stephanie Jourdan, Resident

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from August 8, 2019 meeting – Motion by Micka, Seconded by Felder, motion passed.

River Raisin Sediment Remediation Year 2 Post-Monitoring Update:  Mike Alexander, EGLE, presented the Year 2 Anchor QEA presentation that was provided in February 2019, results of the Year 2 post NAPL CAP construction report.  There are some surprises from the Year 2 monitoring.  A fish survey is expected in 2020.  Activities included: Bathymetric Survey results, Sediment probing, Surface Sediment Sampling (SSS) results, Semi-Permeable Membrane Device (SPMD) results, and Solid-Phase Microextraction (SPME) results.  The 1997 “hotspot” is close to the NAPL location.  Year 3 sampling is being done in which a similar report will be forthcoming in 2020.  The overall testing results appear verify thus far that the CAP in intact & is working, there may be some erroneous installation with the probes based on the results and analysis, the results are inconsistent/inconclusive, the 2019 data will validate the 2018 findings.  A possible upland leaching of PCB may be occurring, a cleanup project started in September that may last a year to address these finds the last 2 years of high results just downstream of the NAPL along the shore.  Mostly 2’+/- additional sediment has filled across the NAPL, it varies in depth.  SSS results stable/about the same as year 1, TOC & PCB correlation to be developed.  SPMD testing in 9 locations, all recovered but 3 moved during the sampling.  The SPMD results near the north shore adjacent to NAPL is elevated in which the small cleanup hopes to address.  It may be a possible 1997 staging/storage leaching location, RCRA is funding the cleanup.  SPME results showed elevated Total PCB increased, likely erroneous after evaluating a sensitivity analysis.  2019 sampling enhanced to interact more with divers/procedure.  Conclusions are 4 of 5 have good data, SPME results unexpected, CAP testing results don’t indicate it’s a failure, need more data, need local fish data (2020), year 3 sampling ongoing, Raisin AOC is still an AOC, bentonite is needed per Micka.

2019 Flowering Rush Spray: The 2019 spray is scheduled for the week of September 30th.  Notices have been mailed & each property will be field marked.  Overall the invasives are reduced such that it appears from COTE and the consultant that the annual spraying is working.

AOC Conference-Cleveland, OH: Keith Grasman, bird reports (Herring Gulls) were bad news from conference, population of birds decreased, increased PCB levels, productivity is a little better, they are still immune depressed, increased contaminants in birds & tree swallows, bald eagles have less contaminants.  Outreach sessions were excellent, national geographic and others including Chairman Egen were on a panel discussion looking ahead at the AOC recovery story/documentaries.  Raisin AOC documentary video was shown along with Muskegon’s video.  Thanks to Melanie Foose (Foot), EGLE for assistance with the event and panel. 340 people attended.  Great Lakes Watershed Map and other posters provided during poster sessions.

EGLE Items (via email):

  • PAC Support Grant – EGLE funded by EPA such that PAC grant RFPs will be coming in the future. Will work to have Meghan Kern, USEPA to attend a COTE mtg.

Members Time:

Micka-5 year plan to cleanup nuclear waste in Oregon, OH, Art Fair is this weekend.

Felder-thanks to EGLE for update, weed ordinance passed on 9-17-19, climate rally on 9-20-19 at Custer Statue (ad hoc)

Uhl-none

Beaudry-none

Kane-none

Stefanski–none

LaRoy–Update on PFAS found in potable water system

Egen-Great Lakes Restoration Celebration at the Henry Ford invite was emailed out, room still available.

Citizen Comments: Justin Richards, question on weed ordinance

Adjournment: 9:04 pm a motion made by Stefanski, Seconded by Felder to officially end the meeting.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES August 8, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: October 11th, 2019

Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.

Dan Stefanski

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Ed Kane

Butch Uhl

Barry LaRoy

Excused:          Richard Micka

Guests:            None

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from July 11, 2019 meeting – Motion by Beaudry, Seconded by Stefanski, motion passed.

2019 River Cleanup (MDEQ Volunteer River, Stream, & Creek Cleanup Program Grant):  The cleanup is scheduled for August 10th, 9am to noon.  Meeting point is Veteran’s Park.  Discussed the zones & access points for the cleanup, logistics for access, cleanup, signs, zone leaders, potentially downtown and requirement to cleanup debris collected before Art Fair & Jazz Festival, selected zone leaders, centralizing debris for pickup, getting pictures, no woody debris to be collected or removed, fire dept assistance for medical standby & either them using or providing a boat, discussed release forms for recording the event.  Other items discussed were the maps, sign-in sheets, event info, T-shirts, gloves, trash pickers, advertising, food, drinks, raffle items, bags for collecting debris, & community service verification forms.  Access points are IHM Riverhouse, Roessler Field, YMCA, Veteran’s Park, Waterloo Park (County Park) and Worrell Park (Cranbrook).

Future PAC Support Grants: Discussed future PAC Support Grant potential items with EGLE in the process of obtaining federal funding.  Some items include stickers with downtown businesses-pro-river & provide them stickers, potential buy-in contribution, adopt a zone for a river cleanup, approaching private entities including fish charters, possibly redo the homeowner’s guide & mesh with some field guide topics & branding, a historical marker may need to wait until we are closer to delisting-will need to hear from Mike Alexander of EGLE for the year 2 sampling, possibly fireworks downtown as an outreach and or a COTE boat & trailer with branding for outreach-can bring to events, fair parade, use for cleanups, etc.

EGLE Items (via email):

  • PAC Support Grant – EGLE is at the end of their 3 year cycle & need to structure/finalize the workplan. Request COTE to develop tasks & wording so it’s ready to go once the grant request comes out.

Members Time:

Uhl-none

Kane-none

Milward-none

Felder-welcomes Butch as a COTE member

Stefanski–Looking forward to cleanup on Saturday-will be good event & weather

LaRoy –Mentioned 2019 Flowering Rush spray timeline & use of glyphosate

Egen-Witnessed an Osprey dive bombing into river behind his home

Citizen Comments: None

Adjournment: 8:08 pm a motion made by Felder, Seconded by Stefanski to officially end the meeting.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES July 11, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: August 14th, 2019

Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.

Dan Stefanski

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Ed Kane

Barry LaRoy

Excused:          Richard Micka

On July 5, 2019 Bonnie Finzel-Doster passed away, a moment of silence was held during roll call,  Bonnie came to COTE during the FRED Days (Flowering Rush Eradication Days), she was on many boards & commissions and supported several local causes.

Guests:            Melanie Foose, EGLE, Butch Uhl-Citizen, Katie Goplerud-Smith, River Raisin Watershed

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from June 13, 2019 meeting – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Kane, motion passed.

2019 River Cleanup (MDEQ Volunteer River, Stream, & Creek Cleanup Program Grant):  Discussion was held on the passing of Bonnie Finzel-Doster such that a motion was made by Kane, seconded by Stefanski to dedicate the 2019 River Cleanup to Bonnie Finzel-Doster.  Discussed notification provided to our partners with the cleanup, access points, need for zone leaders.  Beaudry will video the event.  The cleanup is scheduled for August 10th, 9am to noon.  Meeting point is Veteran’s Park for sign-in, instructions, disbursement and to reconvene for lunch, shirts and prizes.  Access points are IHM Riverhouse, Roessler Field, YMCA, Veteran’s Park, Waterloo Park (County Park) and Worrell Park (Cranbrook).  Purchases are occurring-trash pickers are in hand, Ads are distributed in the media via Monroe News weekly (6-30, 7-7, 7-14, 7-21, 7-28, & 8-4; Full buyout of the ad to be on the Monroe News website on 8-6, 8-7, 8-8, & 8-9), RR Legacy website & City website.  Tshirts are being finalized for purchase.  Other items to be scheduled for purchase are gloves, gas cards, food, & drinks.  A few sign-in sheets will be distributed, signs will be placed at each access point.

2018 PAC Support Grant: All task completed, final report and invoices have been submitted to EGLE for review/approval.  Revealed the 3 banners to COTE, discussed revealing them to City Council at one of their meetings.

EGLE Items (via email):

  • Discussed phosphorus/nutrients discharging into river, 2019 HAB reveal and loadings from sources.
  • PAC Support Grant – EGLE is at the end of their 3 year cycle & need to structure/finalize the workplan. Requested COTE to develop tasks & wording so it’s ready to go once the grant request comes out.
  • AOC Conference-Conference is Sept 10 & 11th. Dick, Melanie & Brian going.  Melanie & Brian are on a panel for outreach, 4 total.  Sept 2019 COTE mtg to be on Sept 19th.
  • At COTE mtg on Sept 19th, Mike Alexander of EGLE will attend to present & discuss year 2 monitoring results of CAP.
  • Torch Lake SPAC mtg- MI AOC Story using a state film maker to attend, week of July 15th.
  • 2019-2023 Draft Lake Erie Lakewide Action and Management Plan-sent link to COTE for comments. Comments as a group (COTE) should be pursued with Michelle Seltzer.
  • Discussion on comments being submitted as a group (COTE) are to be via City Council for action formally. COTE is an advisory committee to Council.
  • Melanie will not be at the August 2019 COTE mtg, but will be back for Sept mtg with Mike Alexander.
  • Brief discussion on year 2 CAP test results, not conclusive.
  • Meaghan Kern, our EPA Task Force Leader (TFL) may attend Sept mtg.

Members Time:

Stefanski– Happy to be here and discussed IKO odors.

Felder-none.

Kane-Questions on DTE fly ash process/basin.

Beaudry-none.

LaRoy – Discussed City of Monroe water and wastewater PFAS testing, good results.  Handed out Micka’s handouts since he could not attend mtg.

Egen-May not be at Sept COTE mtg.

Citizen Comments:

Katie Goplerud-Smith-Discussed success of the Sterling State beach cleanup on 6-15-19, struggles with data forms required, Ed Kane’s group “Kane Krew”, collected 250 lbs of trash.  Sept 14 is another cleanup.

Butch Uhl-discussed struggles with purchases at Harbor Freight.

Adjournment: 8:05 pm a motion made by Kane, Seconded by Beaudry to officially end the meeting.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES June 13, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: July 12th, 2019

Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.

Isaac Owens

Richard Micka

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Ed Kane

Barry LaRoy

Excused:          Milward Beaudry

Absent:            Bonnie Finzel-Doster

Guests:            Dan Stefanski, COTE Commissioner via phone, Melanie Foose, EGLE, Ned Birkey, Retired MSU Ag & Consultant to MCCC, Cajetan D’cunha, MCCC grant writer, Butch Uhl-Citizen, Katie Goplerud-Smith, River Raisin Watershed

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Owens, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from May 9, 2019 meeting – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Micka, motion passed.

2019 River Cleanup (MDEQ Volunteer River, Stream, & Creek Cleanup Program Grant):  Cleanup scheduled for August 10th, 9am to noon.  Meeting point is Veteran’s Park, area is from IHM Riverhouse to Worrell Park (Cranbrook).  All partners have know committed to assisting on the cleanup & for providing access points.  Purchases will be occurring, Ads are being developed to advertise for the cleanup in coordination with 2018 PAC Support grant media outreach (full page color ads rotating the 3 banners).  Ads will be in Monroe News 6-309, 7-7, 7-14, 7-21, 7-28, & 8-4.  A full buyout of the ad to be on the Monroe News website will occur on 8-6, 8-7, 8-8, & 8-9 with the cleanup occurring on 8-10-19.  Site access coordinators will be needed.  Councilman Felder requested to extend the cleanup to be into the downtown as far downstream as Soldier’s & Sailors Park to engage downtown businesses; it agreed that if volunteers are available they will be guided to clean into the downtown area as requested.

2018 PAC Support Grant:

  • Media Outreach-Is coordinated with River Cleanup with the dates listed above.
  • Portable Banners-All banners have been ordered & will ship soon. Will bring the banners AOC conference & ARC celebration.
  • Website updates are ongoing tasks, cleanup is listed on the site.
  • Documentary Short Style PSA – Discussed the teaser video.

EGLE Items (via email):

  • Went over new department setup / overview
  • PAC Support Grant – EGLE is at the end of their 3 year cycle & need to structure/finalize the workplan. Requested COTE to develop tasks & wording so it’s ready to go once the grant request comes out.  Expect at least a year for the request to come out.
  • AOC Conference-Conference is Sept 10 & 11th, 50th anniversary of Cuyahoga river fire. Dick & Melanie going, others may attend & be funded.  In Cleveland, OH.  Suggested to move Sept 2019 COTE mtg to be Sept 19th
  • If COTE mtg moved to Sept 19th, Mike Alexander of EGLE wants to present & discuss year 2 monitoring results of CAP.
  • Discussed 2 reports issued of U of M students and professor, provide any comments to Melanie on the reports.
  • Dick Norton (PAC researcher, planner & lawyer) may be calling to for a report on the RR AOC.
  • Chris O’Meara email on ARC Celebration & the Henry Ford scheduled for later in 2019. Suggest brining the COTE banners & show the documentary.
  • Discussed numerous items on Dick Micka’s handouts
  • Discussed SPAC packet ppt – Marc Tuchman
  • Torch Lake SPAC mtg-possoble MI AOC Story using a state film maker

Members Time:

Micka-Comments on U of M AOC reports, questioned the writers, provided lots of handouts, noted the COTE & USMC are similar, discussed the Port of Monroe (Dale Brose) offering a tug boat ride later in 2019, DTE flyash application for renewing its permit – suggested submitting comments, for nutrient reduction into lake suggested stormwater retention, reduce infiltration into sanitary sewers, reducing fertilizer on yards, dumping into drains, and paying RR Watershed dues is what the City can do for nutrient runoff reduction.  City provides a homeowners guide to citizens for guidance, noted he is on a board of determination @ MCDC-focuses on public health & convenience.

Stefanski– River Raisin AOC is unique, discussed farmers issues with nutrient runoff, discussed River Raisin Institute (RRI) projects & involvement, U of M reports

Felder-Monroe County Positive Action Network beach cleanup on 6-15-19 @ Sterling State Park, 9am, RRI & River Raisin Watershed sponsored

Owens-Noted a Facebook post on dozens of eagles found dead-likely due to lead poisoning from game they ate, He indicated due to his ongoing back problems and need to focus on his health he will be resigning from the COTE effective after the meeting on 6-14-19.  He was thanked for his efforts and service.

Kane-Questions on algal blooms and increase of nutrient runoff with drain cleanout projects, it was indicated that reduction of nutrient runoff efforts (filter strips) are an option and a req’t currently.

LaRoy – none.

Egen- Discussed RRI Workshop-ended quickly & his time was cut short, he presented the COTE’s efforts/tasks and showed the documentary-he hopes kids learned more about COTE, proposed Monroe County Project grant to fund Lake Erie state marker restoration at Sterling State Park.

Citizen Comments:

Ned Birkey-In MI, optional for reducing nutrient runoff, in OH it is required, farmers are required to follow buyer req’ts for food production-leads to over fertilization, cover crops are a solution, MCCC north campus has a MAEP certified field, presentations on over fertilization occurred 2 years ago in Lenawee & at the Henry Ford, suggests for drain cleanout projects putting vegetation on banks, filter strips & cover crops are hard to get cooperation, farmers are “dumb” & have not improved in 40+ years applying biosolids-land application in the county is a problem, suggests installing a stabilized vegetated shore as an example at a park (i.e. Mill Race), soil & wind erosion a problem in Monroe county, USDA of Monroe has had staff turnover and are customer focused-improvement, filter strips need to be 30’ away from drain to qualify, CRAEP program is a federal program, 2019 harvest time will cause higher food prices in food processing-lack of available produce, Wed Sept 4 is field day @ MCCC 10-3pm, farmers education on practices.

Cajeton D’cunha-MCCC resources are available for COTE, Ag dept coordination of projects at MCCC, collaboration & partnerships, urban farming, community gardens @ Munson park discussed, farmer education/culinary program with Nabisco connecting Ag to culinary & visa versa discussed, invasive species control discussed.

Katie Goplerud-Smith- Reiterated the beach cleanup on 6-15-19, discussed partnership w/farmer-farmer lead meetings @ 7:30am.  Goal is to go after low hanging fruit of to change farm practices to reduce nutrient runoff @ Lenawee County Drain Commissioner (LCDC) office, discussed conservation district training – practices scheduled for Aug 14 @ LCDC-see website.

Adjournment: 8:24 pm a motion made by Felder, Seconded by Stefanski to officially end the meeting.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES May 9, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: July 12th, 2019

Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.

Bonnie Finzel-Doster

Dan Stefanski

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Barry LaRoy

Excused:          Isaac Owens

Richard Micka

Absent:            Ed Kane

Guests:            Sharon Venier, River Raisin Institute (RRI), Michelle LaVoy, City Clerk-Treasurer & RRI Board Member, Bill Doster-Citizen, Butch Uhl-Citizen

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Stefanski, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from April 11, 2019 meeting – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Stefanski, motion passed.

Noxious Weed Ordinance: Commissioner Felder discussed final version from the City Attorney recommended edits that removed flower, edible, and rain garden from the ordinance.  It was desired to keep in rain gardens based on the Resiliency Monroe documents and with the Monroe County Drain Commissioner endorsement.  Several plant names were removed from the proposed ordinance (712-4A).  State & federal agencies were also updated in 712-1A.  It was moved by Beaudry, supported by Stefanski to support the modifications to ordinance 712 as recommended by the City Attorney, motion passed.

Controlling Nutrient Runoff: Commissioner Felder discussed  Monroe County Drin Commissioner’s presentation on methods they working on for controlling nutrient & sediment runoff with drain cleanout projects in an effort to mitigate nutrients discharging to Lake Erie contributing to algal blooms.  The plan is incorporated into the assessment action of projects as an incentive program for farmers, CRAEP program in Monroe County exists already in which this action is designed to accelerate the program by building into the drain projects.  Farmers are reimbursed via incentive based on the number of 10’ wide buffer strips not farmed and left fallow.  Avg drain cleanout is 30 years.  Woody debris cut is left for property owners use.  It was recommended to support the MCDC efforts via resolution for partnering with fellow agencies in the goal of reducing nutrient runoff.

Chairman Egen discussed a potential program for the City to purchase buffer strips via the Michigan Trust Fund, possibly for public access and return to its natural state.  More details to come.

River Raisin Institute/Monroe Boat Club – Environmental Career Day: Sharon Venier and Michelle LaVoy discussed the upcoming Environmental Career Day, June 4th & 5th.  It will be at the Monroe Boat Club & Monroe County Community College (MCCC).  120 kids expected, split in ½ for groups at each location over the two days.  Goal is to develop citizen stewards, experience water quality testing, outreach & education, allow environmental professionals to educate and inspire kids.  AmeriCorp, MSU Ag, MCCC, MCDC, and Monroe Boat Club will be part of the event.  Water Quality testing includes pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, etc.  Chairman Egen committed to assisting at least one of the days to show the mini documentary and talk, Commissioner Stefanski may be able to cover the other day.  COTE will send field guides to hand out as well.

2019 River Cleanup (MDEQ Volunteer River, Stream, & Creek Cleanup Program Grant):  City rcieved and accepted the grant for the cleanup scheduled for August 10th, 9am to noon.  Discussed the scope items and work areas via the map.  Partners include DPS, IHM, MCDC, YMCA & the County of Monroe.

2018 PAC Support Grant:

  • Portable Banners-reviewed final versions of all banners (Restoration, Remediation, Revitalization). Wording at the bottom of the banners was revised to meet current state and grant requirements with logos.  COTE reviewed and approved the final version so as to order the banners and potentially use for the Environmental Career Days.  Quote by Stefanksi approved, waiting for Cienowski (EPA) quote use, Allan quote approved.
  • Media Outreach-Will be derived on 3 COTE approved banners, will coordinate with Monroe News so the ads are invoiced before June 30, 2019. Will attempt to have the advertising include the 2019 River Cleanup and carry into July & August.
  • Website updates are ongoing tasks.
  • Documentary Short Style PSA – Done. The Social Media movie trailer to communicate the documentary is almost finished and will be built into several media outlets to promote as a call to action to watch the full video.

EGLE Items (via email):

  • EGLE was issued via press releases on 4-22-2019.
  • No update on PAC grants.

GLRI Action Plan III – Chairman Egen mentioned the review period is currently going on for the GLRI Action Plan III and suggested COTE members to review & submit comments online.

Members Time:

Stefanski– glad to be back from Florida.

Finzel-Doster- glad to be back & thankful for COTE members getting the grant work done.

Beaudry-Attended Monroe County Earth Day event & handed out Field Guides.  Banners will help in future to aid in the field guides.  Suggest 2020 Earth Day, include field guides in pre-bagging of items and to participate in Earth Day.  Dan Rock is always looking to add new groups/items.

Felder- Suggest putting up banners in City Council chamber, Libraries, Battlefield Visitor Center, Museum, etc.  Commented that it is okay to delegate COTE duties, comment on our work and submit to City Council for consideration/action.

LaRoy – Discussed the U of M Grad Students Thesis and their visit.

Egen-Handed out and briefly discussed the I-75 interchange study via correspondence from Mark Cochran, Assistant to the City Manager.  Noted the COTE is only an advisory board that reports to City Council, we are not an individual group, board only.  Noted he met with Dale Brose of the Port Commission for breakfast to maintain our relationship as partners, Dale offered COTE to come down for a tour/boat ride.

Citizen Comments: None

Adjournment: 8:24 pm a motion made by Felder, Seconded by Stefanski to officially end the meeting.