Elected officials working
together to positively
manage community
growth.

Meeting Minutes
April 23, 2008

Attendees

  • John Bechtel
  • Tom Dale
  • Scott Dowdy
  • John Evans
  • David Ferdinand
  • Brad Holton
  • Hal Tolmie
  • Vicki Thurber
  • Margie Watson
  • Paul Woods

Staff and Guests

  • Mark Dunham
  • Leonard Herr
  • Bill Larsen – Staff
  • Gene Petty
  • Chris Smith

Vicki Thurber opened the meeting and welcomed the Partnership to Middleton. Middleton was established in about 1883 and was originally along the river. Because of regular flooding, from 1876 and 1881 Middleton was moved to its present location.

Covered Loads

Paul Woods introduced Mark Dunham the Executive Director of the Association of General Contractors. He thanked the Partnership for including the AGC in this effort and asked: What originally prompted the Covered Load Ordinance effort? What is the need given federal inter-state guidelines on covered loads? And they had some comments on the wording of the ordinance.

Paul responded that most everyone around the table has had some personal experiences in this regard and he indicated that fellow Ada County Commissioner Fred Tilman had some experience with this issue when he was in the Idaho Legislature. Tom Dale added that he was very happy when the partnership started talking about this issue. His personal experience has stemmed from driving down the freeway and seeing sand and gravel flying out of trucks. This is not only a safety issue for travelers, but it puts dirt on the highway that gets ground up and turns into PM 2.5. John Evans added that he was hit by a rock that was picked up by a car in front of him. Tom asked, how do those rocks get on the highway? It is from material escaping from trucks that are traveling the roads.

Mark indicated that these are the reasons his board suspected. For their members they are required by Federal law to cover their loads. Paul wanted Gene Petty to respond to this. Gene said that the Federal law talks about enforcement being from the State Police from a compliance review and inspection. Brad Holton added that they had a flagrant violator on Hwy. 19. He had his officer call and was told there are only two units available in the State to go out and stop that truck for that violation. A regular patrol officer can make a stop if he sees it.

Mark Dunham asked about the need to cover if the truck is working in a subdivision and not operating on an open public roadway. Gene Petty indicated that this scenario has been accounted for in the latest draft of the ordinance.

Mark indicated that there was a concern with the language that was divergent from Federal Law, specifically, that law mentions the term secured and had suggested changing the title of the ordinance from uncovered to unsecured. Paul stated he is not necessarily opposed to that, but he had a concern that this clouds the meaning on what this ordinance is about. The whole focus is to try to insure that stuff doesn’t come flying out of trucks. Tom added that if we changed the language to secured, we would have to add a definition of what secured would mean.

John added that the word secured has a different meaning to the construction industry. He felt that the goal of this ordinance was directed toward those who are hauling aggregate and other construction materials. We may need to narrow this. Ada and Canyon Counties already have an ordinance directed at folks that are heading with a load to the land fill. If we are primarily targeting aggregate haulers, we may need to fine tune the language to fit that language. Margie Watson mentioned that she fine is with the aggregate idea; however there are other items that are causing hazards.

Mark indicated that they will do some investigating around the covered vs. secured language and get with Paul with any suggested changes. Paul moved that upon hearing from Mark and their suggested changes, they will take this ordinance back and look into the word-smithing around “covered load vs. secured” and bring this back to the May meeting to move forward to formal adoption by the Partnership. Tom Dale seconded. Motion carried.

Emission Control and Ozone Standards

Vicki introduced Leonard Herr who was there to talk about emission control and ozone standards. Leonard pointed to the handout in the information packet. He stated there are a couple of issues that are before us that will have an effect on the entire valley. (1) The Feds lowered the Ozone compliance standards. (2) The State Legislature enacted state-wide emissions testing requirements.

The EPA, in their periodic review of nationwide Ozone standards, decided to lower the standard from .08 parts per million to .075. This will have the potential to have an effect on the Treasure Valley, because our last three years of testing has been above the requirement. He expected the valley to achieve non-attainment this summer.

If the valley goes into non-attainment, one of the things we will be required to do is develop a STIP, State Implementation Plan. In this plan we will be required to tell the EPA what we are going to do to bring the area back into attainment. One of the components of this is the type of control measures we are going to institute to bring the valley into compliance with these ozone standards. These include:

  • Enhanced vehicle inspection and maintenance program (for entire valley)
  • Emissions offsets for major source (1.5)
  • Expanded operating permit program and controls for minor sources of VOC
  • Regulation of vehicle fueling (stage 1)
  • Implementation of transportation control measures
  • Installation of Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACT) for major sources
  • Enhanced emission inventory and air monitoring requirements
  • New transportation conformity requirements

There is a big consideration to the timing of this ozone requirement and potential non-attainment status. If we go into non-attainment this summer, we will have till 2010 before the EPA officially designates the non-attainment. This effectively gives the valley 2 years of summer testing. If we can achieve testing values in the low seventies, then this would drop our 3-year moving average to a point where we could be in compliance. The big reason is because the valley had a very high summer of 2006 with our testing nearing .082.

If we get the letter from the EPA on non-attainment of Ozone standards, the State will have three years to develop the STIP. Then from that time, we will have three years to implement our control measures to lower our tested levels.

Leonard Herr also mentioned Idaho House Bill 586, passed year. This Bill states that if an air shed exceeds 85% of ambient air quality standards, then that area has to institute vehicle emissions testing or something similar. This has an effect on us as well as the Coeur d’Alene area. This does allow for alternative vehicle emissions control strategies.

As this Bill goes into effect July 1, Leonard indicated they will be in contact with the Partnership members in the near future to begin the process of looking at the requirements under the Bill.

David Ferdinand stated that in current vehicle emissions testing; only 8% of the vehicles are found to be in noncompliance with emissions control standards. He asked Leonard about the smoking car program. Leonard indicated there is a couple of ways to do this without bringing everyone into a testing station. (1) Remote sensing testing technology can be set up along highways etc. that can remote sense the traffic and find the polluters. (2) There is also a kind of a kiosk being tested in Oregon where the car would drive by the equipment and it would test the vehicle emissions. The person would then not even have to stop if there is not an emissions problem.

However, there is some privacy issues with these technologies.

Vicki asked how much wildfire’s contribute to our air shed problems? Leonard stated that they do contribute primarily to particulate pollution and to a lesser extent the ozone problem. If there is a testing that occurs during a natural event like this, they can ask to have the testing excused only if we exceed the standards. If it just elevates our levels we cannot ask for this relief.

Tom asked if Cities particularly could require in an ordinance Stage 1 type vapor recovery type measures? Leonard indicated that yes, Cities could undertake this action. Tom mentioned he heard that these Stage 1 vapor recovery measures could have up to a 5% reduction in VOC’s. He felt that maybe we should look at this as a possible way to head off vehicle emissions testing.

Leonard stated that DEQ has potentially found some funds to ask for a voluntary compliance with Stage 1 vapor recovery this year. One of the contingencies of these funds is, they cannot be used to fund the law. So, if we could put out a campaign to utilize the grant funds to get businesses to voluntarily undertake the steps for Stage 1 Vapor Recovery. Then next year, pass state DEQ requirements on having Stage 1 vapor recover equipment in Ozone non-attainment areas. So, if Cities/Counties passed an ordinance to require Stage 1 vapor recovery equipment and put implementation a year a way, this would give impetus to get folks to come into compliance.

David Ferdinand mentioned that there are some dos and don’ts that affect the VOC levels. Examples are; don’t fuel up in the afternoon, fuel up in the morning; don’t mow your lawn in the afternoon, do it in the morning. Does the public know these kinds of common sense approaches to limiting the components in the creation of ozone?

Leonard mentioned they are going to undertake some public information campaigns on these common sense approaches to ozone control this summer.

Leonard indicated that there are two different ways to control vapors, Stage 1 and Stage 2.

Stage 1 vapor recovery is recovering the vapors from the underground storage tanks that occur when they are filling the storage tank up. When they fill the tank up, they displace the vapors in the tank with gasoline. Stage 1 is then capturing these vapors that are displaced as a result of refueling, and pumping these vapors back into the truck. The cost of instituting these vapor recovery efforts is not that expensive.

Stage 2 is where you have a bellows over the gasoline nozzle that captures the displaced vapors as you are filling your gas tank and these are then pumped back into the storage tank. To put these in vapor recovery systems is rather expensive. Additionally, modern cars have an onboard vapor recovery system. However these are not super efficient.

David Ferdinand asked if the new service station being constructed down the street from him will put any of these vapor recovery systems. Leonard stated that they are not required to put any vapor recovery systems while they are building. He also indicated that it is hard to buy storage tank that is not compatible with stage 1 vapor recovery. There are only 6 states in the country that are not requiring stage 1 recovery systems.

Margie asked if the grant money is available right now for retrofitting for stage 1 vapor recovery. Leonard indicated that these funds have not been released by the ITD Board yet.

Tom asked if we can go to the ITD Board and get some sort of clarification or decision out of them to get that money released for vapor recovery efforts. Leonard indicated he is not sure how aware their board is of this possibility. He indicated he would talk to Pam Lowe to find out if there is an awareness of the ability to release these vapor recovery funds.

Paul Woods asked why we could not have a differential pricing structure. 20% of the vehicles are 80% of the problem. Testing would be part of the vehicle registration and those who fail the test would pay a higher vehicle registration. Could we do these sorts of things? Leonard indicated that you can do pretty much what you want to as far as that goes. The reason that is not done is, the people that drive the cars that are not passing vehicle emissions are those with little income.

Hal Tolmie added that we are rather inefficient when it comes to building roads and these things. It costs almost as much studying for a road than you do for actually building it. Leonard agreed and added if we go into non-attainment, those planning costs will go up.

Margie asked, what are the competing needs for the funds, that are available, to aid with vapor recovery efforts. Leonard indicated that currently about ½ of this 10-12 million dollars goes to ITD general fund activities, the other half is distributed around the state for projects that reduce air pollution. Examples are sweeper trucks, spray trucks, and other projects.

Tom asked if Leonard could investigate the chip sealing practices and get back to us on some of the answers surrounding this contributor to the ozone problem. Leonard mentioned ACHD is looking at putting together a meeting on this. He will certainly make sure everyone is aware of the meeting.

Paul wood asked about pavement hot mix plants. Leonard said that these plants are currently controlled.

Server Training

Bill pointed to the handout packet which included the draft server training ordinance and a document that summarizes the results of the industry participation meetings on the server training issue. In addition, there was included an ordinance that prohibits the “all you can drink” special events. Bill mentioned that in August and October of 2007, we held some public participation meetings in Meridian and Nampa. There was an effort to invite bar and restaurant owners and managers, distributors, training agencies and representatives from law enforcement to these meetings. They were pretty sparkly attended.

We did not run across much opposition to the idea of a valley-wide server training ordinance. Corporate establishments already have components of server training requirements in their employee training programs. Independent establishments were primarily concerned with the costs of paying for a server training for an employee to given the transitory nature of the workforce. Some of the requests for adjusting the draft ordinance included.

A request to have a central authority approve training programs. A representative from the ISP indicated during the meetings that this would be doable and they did not foresee the need to approve very many training programs.

A 3-6 month period for phase in of the ordinance from passing to implementation. This would give the industry time to react and the servers time to obtain training.

There was a request to add language in the ordinance that clearly identified that this is the servers responsibility, not the establishments.

Tom Dale moved and Margie Watson seconded to move forward with creating a final draft of the server training ordinance and get set to have the Partnership members institute this in their jurisdictions. Motion carried. Bill stated he would get with Alison Tate to coordinate a meeting and send an email out to Partner members to invite staff to participate in a discussion on the ordinance.

Project Managers Report

Margie Watson moved that the minutes from the March meeting and the financial report. John Evans seconded, motion carried.

Bill pointed to a hand-out of an analysis of possible meeting times for the Partnership. There were three weeks and dates that were listed. This analysis of possible meeting times has been done in an attempt to get all members to the meetings. The meeting date and time were changed back in September in an attempt to increase participation in the Partnership meetings. The meetings have been well attended with the exception of Caldwell since that time.

The three dates listed were, the 2nd and third Wednesday of the month and the 2nd Monday of the month, with meeting times from 11-1 pm. Bill indicated that Monday’s were problematic as Owyhee County holds their Commission meetings on Monday mornings. It wad decided that Bill continue to work on this and have something ready for the next meeting.

Website

Bill mentioned that he has been involved with updating the TVP website. He will be adding a “community forum” section1 to enable people make comments on current issues.

Old Business

Hal Tolmie asked if any of the members had talked to their County Prosecutor to identify if there was another county looking at picking up the SAUSA Project. A discussion ensued and it was decided to table this discussion for the next meeting.

Meeting adjorned.