The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES August 13, 2020 7:00 pm, Zoom Call (see info below) due to COVID-19

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Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:09 pm

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

Richard Micka

Dan Stefanski

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Ed Kane (7:25PM)

Butch Uhl

Barry LaRoy

Excused:         Catharine Calder

Guests:           Melanie Foose-EGLE AOC Coordinator

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Micka, Seconded by Stefanski, motion passed via roll call.

Approval of minutes from July 9, 2020 meeting – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed via roll call.

2020-2022 PAC Support Grant: Egen discussed the different logo font/color approved at the July 2020 meeting in which COTE liked the capital letter font best.  Egen discussed the Documentary efforts, went over the documentary scope of work, discussed interview plan including a local Potawatomi tribe contact (Marcus Winchester), discussed City of Monroe & County of Monroe approving to partner with sharing assets with documentary. If additional funding is needed above the budget a potential source is a County Museum grant.  More interviews will be needed once COTE reviews the scope emailed out including possibly Dr Hartig, Jon Allen, Mike Alexander, etc to cover history, economics, efforts, & community revitalization.  COTE discussed the fish mount pilots installation, will check with contractor to paint interior of mounts to avoid rust drainage paths.  Ed Kane thanks the welder for installing the pilot pole mounts.  Discussed other tasks that are planned, overall the grant tasks are on schedule.  Window stickers/clings and lanyard/waterproof phone pouch with logos have been purchased.

Future Topics: Discussed a U of M reporter working for the Manchester Mirror on input from COTE that was combined to respond to her questions.  Will work to provide some status of AOC document & provide our AOC coordinator contact info.  Discussed an AOC interview request from the equity group of U of M students that is focused on social success & equity of the AOC projects.  Interview will be on 8-14-20 with LaRoy for now, other COTE members may be needed.

Micka discussed the Army Corp of Engineers (ACE) cost benefit ratio (CBR) equals the coastal zone management act under Annex 2 where ACE has perpetual care and in his opinion their operating costs have been significantly reduced for maintaining the Federal Navigation Channel as their responsibility for perpetual care.  Lots of discussion occurred on the understanding of the claim and vetting of allowing ACE to take over the perpetual AOC responsibilities that fall under EGLE care.  The AOC coordinator advised that EGLE and ACE are not willing to support or accept this scenario with how implementation of the regulators operate, ACE is a wonderful partner who works in tandem with EGLE with the goal of removing BUIs and delisting.  It is unknown on the willing to accept the stewardship and how the responsibilities will be handled after delisting other than that current regulations will not allow such an act of contamination to occur.  Examples of existing AOCs that have been delisted are functioning.  A motion by Stefanski and seconded by Micka was made to table this subject / topic and proposed scenario by Micka until communication / correspondence is received from all three agencies (ACE / EGLE / and USEPA) that all are in favor to support the suggested actions to transfer current and future obligations / responsibilities as proposed by Micka and to not discuss this subject at COTE meetings until communication is received, motion passed via roll call.

EGLE Items:

  • Discussed SPAC meeting, Micka & Egen were participants, discussed presentation, polling of PACs, next SPAC mtg is October 14, 2020 virtually.
  • Lee (EGLE) will be presenting the 2019/2020 sediment sampling / monitoring, will coordinate presentation to PAC at future mtg.
  • Meaghan Kern indicated she will be able to listen in on the next mtg, possibly the Oct COTE mtg of the sampling results. A work plan from QEA Anchor regarding the SPME sampling issue resolution will be proposed.
  • Next week in the navigation channel EGLE sampling will be occurring before ACE dredges.
  • Discussed Dr. Grasman studies on herring gulls/eagles-bird research information is forthcoming.
  • EGLE will be completing 2020 forge fish sampling.

Members Time:

Beaudry-history question on prior use of Ford property that may have contaminated site.  COTE provided Kelsey Hayes, Newton Steel and ALCOA, however discussion occurred on the Ford processes that have been documented resulting in current contamination finds.

Stefanski–not sure if he will be able to make next COTE mtg, may not be available, it is desired for him to attend the EGLE sedimentation sampling results.

Kane-none.

Micka-thanks to Stefanski for making the ACE/EGLE/USEPA motion.

Uhl-none.

Felder-none.

LaRoy –noted flowering rush is up, contractor has been contacted on what their schedule is for spray this fall.

Egen-while kayaking noticed pond weed under the water causing patches in the river, also noted a section of the river upstream of the City limits was noticed while kayaking that is in part of Monroe & Frenchtown Twp that has significant flowering rush.  Discussion occurred on how to notify and help our adjacent townships to address this issue, funding, spray permit, etc.  The area is west of Custer Airport to the City limits within the river.  Egen pointed out that Commissioner Calder advised she would like to provide educational outreach to students and incorporate it into their curriculum.

Citizen Comments: none.

Adjournment: 9:09 pm a motion made by Micka, Seconded by Felder to officially end the meeting, motion passed via roll call.