NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes October 28, 2011



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
October 28, 2008


(As approved by the Board of Directors on November 25, 2008)

Mrs. Packard called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m.   Those present were:

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • Adria Bordas, Director, NVSWCD
  • Harry Glasgow, NVSWCD Associate Director
  • Bob Kohnke, NVSWCD Associate Director
  • Tony Bracken, LBWID Trustee
  • George McLennan, LBWID
  • Debbie Cross, Conservation District Coordinator, Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Michelle Brickner, Deputy Director, Land Development Services, DPWES
  • Christin Jolicoeur, Watershed Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Asad Rouhi, Urban Conservation Engineer, NVSWCD
  • Dan Schwartz. Soil Scientist, NVSWCD
  • Willie Woode, Senior Conservation Specialist, Agricultural Water Quality Specialist
  • Diane Hoffman, District Administrator, NVSWCD

Gunnell’s Run Composting Facility.  Mr. Woode gave a presentation about the recently completed composting facility at Gunnell’s Run Farm.  He described the design and construction of the facility, which will be used to store and compost horse manure.  NRCS prepared the design, a WQIF grant funded the construction, the landowner was responsible for site improvements and fencing, and NVSWCD facilitated and managed the project.  The composting facility, along with other best management practices at Gunnell’s Run, will be featured in outreach and education programs and tours for managers of horse-keeping operations.  These nutrient management and land management measures will reduce or prevent nonpoint source pollution in runoff to nearby waters. 

Approval of Minutes.  A motion (Gagnon-Bordas) passed (4-0) to approve the minutes of the September 23, 2008 board meeting.   

Treasurer’s Report.  Mr. Peterson said he had reviewed the Treasurer’s Reports and the found everything in order.  A motion (Peterson-Bordas) passed (4-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Reports for September 2008 and for the first quarter of FY 2009 (July-September).   

Lake Barcroft Watershed Improvement District (LBWID).  LBWID Trustee Tony Bracken presented a proposed policy and procedure for nominating LBWID Trustees.  When a vacancy occurs, a nominating committee composed of representatives of the LBWID and the Lake Barcroft Association would be formed to conduct and open and collaborative nominating process to nominate a new Trustee for appointment by the NVSWCD Board and approval by the Virginia SWCB.  One recommendation in the policy is that the NVSWCD Board appoint LBWID Trustees for five-year terms, beginning when an appointment is made.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed to establish a five-year term for LBWID Trustees, which would begin with each appointment, and that Trustees would be eligible for reappointment.  Mr. Bracken said that when he announced his intention to resign his Trustee position, this process was used to nominate George McLennan as a new LBWID Trustee.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed to appoint George McLennan as a Trustee of the LBWID for a term of five years, beginning as soon as his appointment is approved by the VSWCB.  Both of these actions will be forwarded to the VSWCB for approval.  Mrs. Hoffman said that the District office has received copies of two audits of the LBWID for the fiscal years ending in June 2006 and June 2007.  Mrs. Packard said that in the past, the liaison between the LBWID and NVSWCD has been someone appointed either by the LBWID or by the NVSWCD.  She suggested the LBWID Trustees discuss this and come back to the board with their preference. 

Land Development Services, DPWES.  Ms. Brickner said an update on the stormwater regulations was given at the Board of Supervisor’s Environmental Committee meeting on October 24.  The BOS decided to send a letter with County comments to the Secretary of Natural Resources as soon as possible, rather than to wait for the public comment period.  DPWES also made a presentation to the Committee about invasive plants.  The County’s ability to control invasive plants in RPAs is limited by the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, which lists only four species as invasive.  However, an internal process has been established that allows DPWES to approve removal of other invasive plants in RPAs by the Park Authority.  Mrs. Packard asked Ms. Brickner to provide background information that she could take to the VSWCB and request that DCR to assist localities with expanding the criteria for invasive removal.  Mrs. Hoffman suggested also sending this information to CBLAD for possible action by CBLAB.  Ms. Brickner reported on another County initiative to explore a regulatory approach to extending riparian buffers upstream of current RPAs.  Public input on width, extent upstream, types of vegetation and allowable uses was received during two public meetings with stakeholders.  This input is being considered by a work group composed of members of the Planning Commission and EQAC.  She said there is not funding available to field map all headwater streams to determine those segments which would be subject to riparian buffers.  Hence, consideration is being given to basing this determination on the size of the drainage area.  An update will be provided to the public stakeholder group on November 13 and to the Planning Commission on December 10. 

Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans.  Mr. Woode presented three plans for approval.  The plan for the Podulnick property, currently an Agricultural and Forestal District, includes an update to convert a hay field into a vineyard.  The Miller plan is in response to an Agricultural Stewardship Act complaint, and the Edelman plan is to establish a horse operation.  A motion (Gagnon-Bordas) passed (4-0) to approve soil and water conservation plans for: the Podulnick property (Kirk Wiles) (107 acres on 2 parcels in Clifton with hay production, a vineyard, a wildlife preserve, and 6,250 linear feet of RPA; Dorian and Robert Miller (7 acres on 1 parcel in Clifton, for a horse operation that includes 300 linear feet of RPA; and Jean Edelman (5 acres on 1 parcel in Great Falls, for a horse operation).  

Survey of Land in Agricultural Use.  Mr. Woode said that the District has periodically assessed the amount of land in the County that is in agricultural use.  A variety of tools are used to make this determination including aerial photography and databases of parcels that are 5 acres or more, as well as the location of public lands, conservation planning information, and other data.  Recently, he was asked by the County to comment on the agricultural statistics being used in the Chesapeake Bay Model, including 3,000 acres of land in agricultural use.  He conducted an analysis of the entire county and concluded that there were approximately 6,700 acres of land in agricultural use.  This includes pasture land, hay land, vegetable farms and horse operations.  Soon after he completed his evaluation, a USDA National Agricultural Statistical Survey arrived at the office. It listed 9,000 acres of land in agriculture in Fairfax County.  Mr. Woode said that he believed his analysis was more accurate.  For example, on a 10-acre parcel that has an agricultural use, he measured the part of the 10 acres that actually was being used for agriculture, and used that figure in his analysis  Also of note is the recently completed Virginia Equine Survey that lists 6,800 horses in Fairfax County. 

NVSWCD Vice Chair.  The board agreed with Mrs. Packard’s suggestion that Mr. Peterson serve as Vice Chair for the remainder of the term.  An election of officers for calendar year 2009 will take place at the January meeting.

Appointment of Potomac Council Representative.  Mrs. Packard said that Mr. Peterson currently serves as the Alternate and will become the Representative for the remainder of the term, which ends December 7.

Appointment of Potomac Watershed Roundtable Member.  Mrs. Packard noted that Mrs. Ormsby was the NVSWCD Member, with one year remaining in her term, and Mr. Peterson is the Alternate.  A motion (Gagnon-Bordas) passed (4-0) to appoint John Peterson as the Roundtable Member to fill Mrs. Ormsby’s unexpired term. 

Potomac Watershed Roundtable.  Mr. Peterson said the October 3 Potomac Watershed Roundtable meeting was held at Loudoun Water and focused on Water ReUse.  It included a presentation by Tom Grizzard on indirect water reuse in Fairfax County, Orange County, California, and Singapore, where reused water is sold as New Water.  Other presentations outlined the new water reuse regulations and water reuse in Loudoun County.  The program concluded with a mini-tour of the Broad Run Water Reclamation Facility and an opportunity to see the new membrane bioreactor technology. 

VASWCD Annual Meeting.  Mr. Peterson said the Virginia Association of SWCDs annual meeting will be held December 7-9 at the Roanoke Plaza Hotel in Roanoke.  NACD 1st Vice President Steve Robinson will be the keynote speaker.  There will be several concurrent sessions with four tracks – director, administrative, technical, and educational.   Mr. Peterson said he is representing VASWCD on a number of committees, including the NACD Urban Committee.  The Urban Committee has taken the lead to conduct a survey of available training and certification programs for District staff.  Hence Mr. Peterson is working with the Urban Committee, the NACD District Operations Committee, and the National Conservation District Employees Association to canvass organizations that conduct training and certification programs.  The National Conservation District Employees Association already has a memorandum of agreement with the organization that oversees the program for Certified Professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control, Stormwater Quality and Inspection.  It is anticipated that this type of training will be made available for district staff attending state and national annual meetings.  Also, contact information will be provided to those state organizations who would like to sponsor training opportunities.  Three directors plan to attend the VASWCD annual meeting, Mrs. Packard, Mr. Peterson and Mrs. Gagnon. The Potomac Council will hold its annual meeting on Sunday evening, December 7 at 5:00 p.m. 

Green Breakfast.  Mrs. Hoffman said that the District has received the Green Breakfast email database and will send an announcement out soon for the November 8 Green Breakfast.  Judy Cronauer will provide an update on the initiative to explore a regulatory approach to protecting riparian buffers upstream of Resource Protection Areas.  Mrs. Gagnon volunteered to introduce the speaker and moderate the meeting.  The next Green Breakfast is scheduled for January 10.  Mr. Peterson said he could moderate the meeting in January.

Pohick Creek Watershed PL-566 Project.  Mr. Kohnke reported that he and Mr. Wilkinson participated in the annual Operation and Maintenance inspection of the six Pohick Creek Watershed PL-566 structures, which was coordinated by DPWES-MSMD on October 23.  Other DPWES staff attended, as did Jerry Wright, the NRCS inspector for the Royal Lake rehabilitation project.  Mr. Kohnke said the dams looked good.  Minor maintenance needs were noted, such as replacement of the rusting grates on several of the toe drains.  Some trees that have taken root on the emergency spillway wall at Lake Mercer will need to be removed.  A red algae accumulation will need to be removed from the toe drain at Huntsman Lake.  In addition to the O&M inspection, Mr. Kohnke said he visited the Royal Lake rehabilitation construction site with Mr. Wright on October 3.  Mr. Wilkinson said that the articulated concrete blocks should be installed in the Royal Lake auxiliary spillway sometime during November.  He noted that Mr. Wright was very impressed with the conditions of the dams and their outstanding maintenance by Fairfax County.  Mr. Wright also was impressed with the way the County schedules the annual inspection, informs stakeholders, and conducts the inspection.

Engineering Standards Review Committee (ESRC).  Mr. Kohnke said the ESRC did not meet in October. 

Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC).   Mrs. Gagnon said the EQAC meeting on November 12 will include an update by Fairfax County Solid Waste.  EQAC’s Annual Report on the Environment will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on Monday, November 17.  EQAC’s annual public hearing will be held on Monday, December 1 in the Government Center auditorium.  Citizens will be able to testify remotely from the South County Government Center.

Falls Hill Residential Low Impact Development Project.  Mr. Rouhi said the practices designed for the Falls Hill LID demonstration project have been successfully installed and the local community has had an opportunity to visit the site.  District staff continues to provide technical assistance to homeowners in the Falls Hill – Poplar Heights neighborhoods who attended the workshops.

USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson said the Joint Employee Training for October was canceled.  The next training will be November 12 at the Cubbage Farm in Luray.  The topic will be field surveying and will include a check of survey equipment. 

Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Mrs. Cross’s report included:

  • A handout that DCR provided to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board at its September 24-25 meeting. 
  • A summary of the accomplishments of the Agricultural BMP Program over the past ten years.  $72 million of cost share funds have been matched by $52 million spent by farmers to implement BMPs that prevent and reduce nutrient runoff.  
  • DCR grants to SWCDs for operating funds will be reduced by another 5.165%.  Hence, NVSWCD funding will be $77,351, or 13 % less than last year’s funding. 
  • There will be a 9% cut in technical assistance funding to implement the Cost Share Program. 
  • Funding for dam rehabilitation work will be cut; however this cut will not affect operation and maintenance funding received by districts that own and operate dams.  The cut is less severe in light of the $20 million bond referendum that passed last year.
  • The District will be audited by Robinson Farmer and Cox for FY 2007 and FY 2008.  

Adria Bordas Reappointed to Board.  Mrs. Packard said that the Virginia SWCB reappointed Ms. Bordas to the NVSWCD Board.  She will need to take her oath of office by January 1.

County Watershed Planning.  Mr. Kohnke said that he and Mr. Rouhi attended the Pohick Creek Watershed Plan Scoping meeting.  Also, Ron Marlow, formerly head of engineering for NRCS and a resident of the Pohick Creek Watershed, attended.  Mrs. Gagnon attended the Accotink meeting as a member of EQAC.  Mrs. Hoffman will attend the Sugarland Run-Horsepen Creek meeting. 

NVSWCD Vacancy.  Mrs. Packard said the notice about the NVSWCD director vacancy has been distributed.  She said to let the office know if there is any individual to whom it should be sent.

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 11:30 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted, Diane Hoffman's signature
Diane Hoffman

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