July 27, 2015
- Kelly Aberasturi
- John Bechtel
- Dave Bieter
- Tammy de Weerd
- John Evans
- Brad Holton
- Garret Nancolas
- Jim Reynolds
Staff and Guests
- Seth Grigg – Association of Idaho Cities
- Nic Miller – City of Boise
- Liz Paul – Idaho Rivers United
- Bill Larsen – Treasure Valley Partnership
Mayor Bob Henry welcomed everyone to the City of Nampa. They had a great rodeo this year as the numbers were unbelievable and they ran out of souvenirs. He said he has really enjoyed his tenure so far as Mayor and he wanted to have a conversation centered on roles and responsibilities of various elected officials. No minutes were taken for this conversation per request.
Meet and Greet – Aaron Scheff
Bob introduced the new Regional Director of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. He thanked the Partnership for the opportunity to come meet everyone.
Aaron said he has worked with at least half of the Partnership members over the last fifteen years. Most people know him from his work with the Brownfield Program with DEQ. He said something he has believed over his professional life is that the intersection between the environment and business is something that can be positive and is not mutually exclusive. It is something he tries to push within the region to have their staff help out the businesses they regulate.
He likes things to be as educational as possible with respect to compliance. Compliance is very confusing and is even confusing to new staff that comes to work for DEQ. With this, he is very happy that DEQ has moved to become a member of the Rapid Response Team with the Dept. of Commerce and other agencies. This team helps business get off the ground and plan for all the types of permits and compliance issues they are going to face as they open. They currently are going through the process with CS Meatpacking near Kuna.
Aaron looks forward to continuing the good relationship that DEQ has enjoyed with the Partnership and its individual member jurisdictions. He offered up himself and his staff for assistance when people need it.
He wanted to express on behalf of the Director, (John Tippets) that one of the main focuses of the DEQ will be customer service. As a business person and someone who worked for a large business in Idaho, customer service and assisting businesses with compliance is a big issue for him. He shares that concern.
Garret asked if Aaron could give us an update on Primacy. Aaron stated they are in the process of moving toward taking primacy for surface water quality compliance and permitting from the EPA. It is looking like about the end of 2018. The negotiated rule making process is still in the works and they are looking at the fee structure as part of this process.
Garret asked if there is anything we can do with regard to NPDES and the process. Aaron said he believes that as much participation as possible ends up with the best product. So send your technical staff, when there is invites for comment or negotiated rulemaking. If you are not showing up, there are people with potentially competing interests that are. He would recommend sending staff and maybe coordinating with other cities and counties to present a united front on issues before them.
Kelly asked where we are with respect to air quality over the Treasure Valley. Aaron said they are looking at around 2017 when the EPA will have a standard set for ozone. Depending on where they set that standard, we are going to be just under, right at, or over the standard when it comes out. They are working through a number of complicated issues with respect to where we fall on that standard.
If we go into non-attainment based on the standard they set, a number of dominoes will fall all at once. It is going to require a lot of effort on their part as well as some of the people in the valley with respect to programs that are going to have to be put in place. Some programs may have to go away; others might have to be reinvigorated. The bottom line is they really won’t know till 2017 when the standard is officially set.
Kelly said he kind of understands the level they are talking about. How restrictive is that level going to be if we don’t quite meet the new standard, not only to motorists but to the agricultural and other industries in the Treasure Valley?
Aaron said vehicles will probably be the major driver because of the type of standard and the precursors that lead up to ozone. Depending on where we fall, if we do fall into non-attainment, there are multiple classifications you can have in non-attainment. Folks are telling them that we would be looking at a moderate level and if we can get out of that process in three years, it should have minimal effect other than the monitoring programs we have for cars.
Tammy said it would be helpful to have this on the agenda for our annual strategic planning meeting in September. Bill said that Aaron and company have already been invited. We haven’t set up the exact time or subject matter yet, but that will shake out in the near future.
Bill continued that he has several questions with regard to the definition of our air shed. He can’t remember whether it is Nox or Vox, but sagebrush is a pretty big producer of one of these elements. Anybody that has been up in the Owyhee’s clear into Oregon at the Owyhee Reservoir knows that air moves right down into the valley. He said this is a topic that we might want to discuss.
Kelly said we can blame Owyhee County for this, they are going to have to take about 16% of the blame because the rest is owned by the federal government. (laughter).
Bill asked if DEQ’s section during the meeting in September should include a section on water quality. He indicated that he has a preliminary commitment from The Freshwater Trust and EPA to come talk about water quality trading.
Aaron asked that a list of questions be generated ahead of time so they can prepare with the proper staff and conduct research if necessary.
Tammy said it is helpful that Aaron is a member of the Rapid Response Team with the Department of Commerce. With impending adjustment of air quality standards, not just to vehicles, but a discussion on the impacts on industry and the expansion of business types that will be regulated will be very helpful.
Kelly added that most of our Ag industries that are in production emit some forms of pollution. There is an emittance that comes from agriculture because the very nature of foods that breaks down. Tammy said she felt that Ag would probably continue to be exempted. It is just going to be how to expand restrictions to smaller businesses that emit pollutants.
Aaron said in regard to Ag, from what he has seen so far, the concerns are mostly going to be on the processing facility end rather than the individual farmer.
Darin asked what influence DEQ has on standard setting. Aaron said, almost zero. They routinely get asked to comment as do other states. He has seen the same comment come through, year to year to year. A lot of times they are common sense fixes that get shelved in EPA headquarters and nothing seems to be acted upon. He doesn’t really see them (DEQ) as having a tremendous amount of clout with respect to EPA standards.
Darin asked if Aaron might know the history of people that have worked for DEQ that are now at EPA. Aaron said he could think of two individuals that have left DEQ to the EPA during his tenure there.
Aaron distributed his cards around the table and reiterated that people can contact him at any time over any issue.
SAUSA Program Update
Tammy introduced Chris Atwood, the Treasure Valley SAUSA. Chris thanked the Partnership for the opportunity. Earlier this month marked three years that he has been the SAUSA. He was thinking back over the years and all the cases and accomplishments they have had. It has been great and they have had some big cases. The Aryan Nights and Nortieno cases have been a highlight.
Chris said he is sorry for being nostalgic about his time as the SAUSA and he is unsure that Bill has passed on the news that he recently accepted a permanent position at the U.S. Attorney’s office. He is committed to these cases and will stay on them till a replacement is secured.
Last year they indicted 45 cases which he sees as over a maximum indictment level. This year so far they have indicted 28 cases.
Last time he was here he spoke a little about the Nortieno case he has been on. There were 14 different members of this gang that have been making their way through the court system. All but four have pled guilty. Two are set for trial and two are still fugitives.
Early this year they started indicting the Sorreno initiative, which included people from across the valley. This case included documented Sorreno gang members including the West Side Locos, East Side Locos and the Brown-Magic Clica gangs.
Overall, the program is up to 317 people that have been indicted. 30% come out of Ada and 60% come out of Canyon and the rest are spread out across SW Idaho.
Bob said he was talking to his Chief and their concern is there is a bunch of people who’s sentences are coming to an end. How do we be proactive and let these people know that this might not be the best place for them to return. Does this fall on our communities to do this instead of your department? Chris said, just in this year he has experienced some recidivism on some folks that have come back.
Chris said the position he has accepted with the U.S. Attorney’s Office is a crime initiative where they still want to target the worst of the worst offenders. But the other part of this is to focus on reentry and prevention of recidivism.
John E. said there has been a lot of press about deemphasizing drug crimes because we are filling our jails up. It seems to be a priority with our President at the moment. Is there any trickle down from this attitude regarding prosecuting soft drug crimes? Is this affecting the U.S. Attorney’s Office?
Chris said there certainly policies in place that we have to follow such as a focus on rehabilitation for drug offenders. This is part of the ever shifting emphases. They still want to target the high end drug dealer and those that commit serious crimes in the pursuit of the crime.
Garret said he was recently at a National League of Cities conference and he attended a Western States Committee Meeting. One of the discussions was some of these States that have legalized Marijuana are now suffering some unintended consequences of this. The use of real hard core drugs is going up. More drug dealers are on the street. And the number of deaths has increased associated with drug use. He asked Chris if he is hearing the same kinds of things from your counterparts in other states.
Chris said he is not in a position to say as he has very limited interaction with U.S. Attorney’s in other States.
Darin asked what the number one type of gun case Chris is seeing. Chris said a felon in possession of a gun is the biggest number of cases they see. They are however still seeing cases such as possession of a sawed-off shotgun, which is illegal whether a person is a felon or not.
Tammy said we can’t thank Chris enough for his good work with the SAUSA Project. Certainly, your success has had a lot to do with our ability to expand this SAUSA idea into the Eastern part of the State.
Bill said they are having their organizational meeting for the Eastern Idaho SAUSA Partnership coming up on August 17. He is planning on going over and attending just in case there are questions he can help with. He had enclosed a copy of the administrative tracking of jurisdictions that have signed an MOU in regard to joining the Eastern Idaho SAUSA Partnership. They are meeting this week with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and are getting this MOU in shape. In addition, he believes they have the MOU done with the Department of Corrections.
Tammy suggested that members of TVP take a look at this list of jurisdictions and if they see a jurisdiction that hasn’t signed, please give them a call or contact on joining the Eastern Idaho SAUSA Partnership.
TIP Program Update
Tammy turned the next part of the agenda over the Chief Lavey for a TIP Program update.
Chief Lavey said before he gets into TIP he said the Metro Task Force just celebrated 10 years in the Treasure Valley.
Chief Lavey introduced Wayne Fortin who is the CEO for TIP National. He also introduced Kymber Neal-Jenkins who is the Crisis Team Manager for TIP Treasure Valley.
A little over two years ago, Chief Lavey met with Pastor Mark Bryan the Pastor of Harvest Church in Meridian. They were discussing a Chaplin Program for the Police Department in Meridian. Pastor Bryan’s brother is a pastor in a church in Southern California and has had some experience with the TIP program in San Diego.
After looking into the TIP program, they quickly realized that this is beyond the City of Meridian and was something the Valley as a whole could appreciate. It has been a major endeavor to get elected officials and the law enforcement community to agree and have kept their work in Ada County.
One of their biggest challenges they have had is they have a real strong victim/witness coordinator program in Ada County. How this works with an environment with TIP is the challenge.
Wayne said as an example, Mrs. Jones wakes up one morning to find her spouse of 40 years has died during the night. Police and fire come and there is really nothing they can do. Mrs. Jones has a son in San Diego but he is not able to be there so she is alone for the first time. Enter a TIP volunteer. The volunteer spends several hours with her makes some phone calls and is kind of a temporary family member. All the work that goes into developing this program is worth it for the Mrs. Jones’s of the world.
He has been doing this for 30 years. They started it in San Diego and it has since spread across the country. He spends all his time trying to establish TIP programs like the one in the Treasure Valley.
From his perspective, the Treasure Valley program is in good shape for only being in place for six months. They have assisted 351 local residents in that time. They expect this number to increase to 800 after a year of service. The number of services provided to these residents is 435. This includes follow up services the volunteer provide.
Kymber said she is excited to be here. The feedback from the people they have served has been tremendous. She read several letters they have received as a result of their work.
Bob asked the process that happens to get the TIP volunteer on scene. Is it a 911 call? Chief Lavey said the officer or first responder is the person that requests the TIP volunteer.
Darin moved to approve the minutes and financial report. Brad seconded. Motion carried.
In regard to the North Idaho SAUSA program, Kootenai County pulled it support for the program so this effort in North Idaho is nowhere. He added that they were on again, off again over the last six months.
Bob asked if spouses attend the Strategic Planning meeting. Brad indicated his wife goes every year and there usually end up being several spouses that are in attendance.