NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes September 23, 2008



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
September 23, 2008


(As approved by the Board of Directors on October 28, 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
  • Harry Glasgow, NVSWCD Associate Director
  • Bob Kohnke, NVSWCD Associate Director
  • 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
  • Jack Weyant, Director, Environmental and Facilities Inspection Division (EFID), DPWES
  • Christin Jolicoeur, Watershed Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Asad Rouhi, Urban Conservation Engineer, NVSWCD
  • Diane Hoffman, District Administrator, NVSWCD

Sally B. Ormsby.  Mrs. Packard said that Mrs. Ormsby will be remembered fondly and that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to fill the many roles she had with organizations throughout the County.  There will be a memorial service on October 18 at 11:00 at Providence Presbyterian Church on Little River Turnpike.  Mrs. Packard said that Mrs. Ormsby requested that those who wanted to make memorial donations to send them to the District.  A Sally B. Ormbsy Memorial Fund has been established to receive tax-deductible contributions, which will be used in her honor for things that were dear to her heart. 

Jack Weyant, Director of EFID.  Ms. Brickner introduced Jack Weyant, the new director of DPWES-Environmental and Facilities Inspection Division.  He has thirty years of experience in land development with engineering firms and with the building community.  Mrs. Packard welcomed him to the County and to the District.  Mr. Weyant said he looked forward to continuing the close relationship between the District and his office.  Both Mr. Peterson and Mr. Glasgow said they had met Mr. Weyant during the interview process, and were very glad he was hired as director or EFID.

Approval of Minutes.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (3-0) to approve the minutes of the July 22, 2008 board meeting.   

Treasurer’s Report.  Mr. Peterson said he had reviewed the Treasurer’s Reports for July and August and the found everything in order.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (3-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Reports for July and August 2008.   A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (3-0) that Mrs. Hoffman, working with the Treasurer prepare and submit the NVSWCD 2010 budget and funding request to Fairfax County using guidance received from the County’s Department of Management and Budget.   Mr. Peterson said a principal goal is to ensure the District retains its excellent staff that provides high quality and cost-effective services to the County.

Approval of Agreement with NRCS for Background Investigations.  Mrs. Hoffman said NRCS requires that prior to District personnel having access to NRCS-supported computers, they must undergo a background investigation.  The District pays for the investigation, and is reimbursed by NRCS.  Approval of the Agreement is needed before NRCS can place a computer in the District office.  A motion (Gagnon-Peterson) passed (3-0) to approve the agreement to provide background investigations for District employees who have access to the NRCS computers.

Virginia Agricultural BMP Cost-Share Program, FY 2008 Self-Evaluation.  Mrs. Hoffman reviewed the evaluation, required by DCR, of the District’s administration of the Cost-Share Program during the past year.  She said the evaluation had been shown to Mrs. Cross, who concurred with the conclusions.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (3-0) to approve the District’s self-evaluation of  its implementation of the 2008 Virginia Agricultural BMP Cost-Share Program.    

FY 2009 Annual Plan of Work.  Mrs. Hoffman said she made the modifications to the draft FY2009 Annual Plan of Work that were discussed at the July meeting.  The District will continue to provide  rezoning reviews, site plan reviews, technical assistance to County departments, advice to residents on drainage, erosion and other natural resource problems, conservation planning and assistance for horse operations and other agricultural land uses, and advice to the development and construction community on better site design, stormwater management and stream stabilization projects.  District programs that will continue include: storm drain marking-education, volunteer stream monitoring, Envirothon, Green Breakfasts, Neighborhood Ecological Stewardship Training (NEST), and the rain barrel program.  The District will continue to distribute the Rain Garden Study, to exhibit at community events, to publish Conservation Currents, to coordinate stream cleanups, and to teach classes for the Master Naturalist Program.  Work to integrate the new Soil Survey into the County’s codes and processes will continue.  Two new projects, for which grant funding has been received, will be implemented – the composting facility at Gunnell’s Run in Great Falls, and the Falls Hill neighborhood demonstration project, which will install low impact development practices on one site and provide technical assistance to other homeowners to help them solve drainage problems on their properties.  Recently, the Conservation Landscaping Tour took place – a bus tour of sites in northern Virginia – that the District planned in partnership with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  The rain garden guide for homeowners, a partnership project with the Park Authority, is being drafted.  Also, the web-based trouble-shooting guide for homeowners is being developed.  A motion (Gagnon-Peterson) passed (3-0) to approve the Annual Plan of Work for FY2009.

Virginia Stormwater Regulations.  Ms. Packard said she appreciated Michelle Brickner’s help with the letter she drafted to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, recommending that the administrative part of the new stormwater regulations be adopted so that the program can move forward, but to do additional work to solve the questions remaining on the technical aspects, before they are adopted.   The Board approved the letter that was drafted. 

Policy for nominating LBWID Trustees.   Mrs. Hoffman said that at the next board meeting, the LBWID will recommended for board approval a process for nominating Trustees for appointment by the NVSWCD board.  The policy will include 5 year terms that are staggered.    

Potomac Watershed Roundtable.  Mrs. Hoffman said the October 3 Potomac Watershed Roundtable meeting will be held at Loudoun Water and will focus on Water ReUse.  It will include: a presentation about the new water reuse regulations; reuse in Loudoun County, Northern Virginia, California and Singapore; and a mini-tour of the Broad Run Water Reclamation Facility and an opportunity to learn about the new membrane bioreactor technology. 

Green Breakfast.  The September 13 Green Breakfast featured an update on the status of the Residential and Infill Development Study’s recommendations for erosion and sediment control and stormwater management.  The presentation was made by Pete Schumann, general superintendent, EFID-DPWES.  It was decided to invite Judy Cronauer, Fairfax County Code Analysis, to the November 8 Green Breakfast to provide an update on the process underway for exploring a regulatory approach to protecting riparian buffers upstream of Resource Protection Areas.  Two meetings were held in July to invite stakeholders to provide comments and recommendations. 

Pohick Creek PL-566 Rehabilitation Projects.  Mr. Kohnke said he accompanied the NRCS site inspector and several others from NRCS and Fairfax County, during a visit to the construction site at Royal Lake shortly after a large storm event on September 6.  For the first time in 28 years, the auxiliary spillway had flowed.  This caused some damage to the construction area, which is being repaired.  Later in the day, a meeting with the contractor was scheduled to resolve the matter of ensuring that the Articulated Concrete Blocks, which are scheduled for installation in the auxiliary spillway, would meet all specifications.  Mr. Kohnke also attended a meeting to discuss the design for the rehabilitation of Woodglen Lake.  The representative from ATM, the firm that designed the project, provided information and answered questions from NRCS and DPWES representatives.  Mr. Kohnke said he visited Woodglen Lake, where the auxiliary spillway also was activated by the recent storm.  The flow depth was 6 to 8 inches, and the grass cover was very effective.  Minor erosion occurred where the grass ended and the flow entered the wooded area.  Mrs. Hoffman noted that in order to maintain a communication link and provide updates on the dam rehabilitation projects, DPWES has agreed to participate in a periodic conference call that includes NVSWCD, who along with the County is a sponsor of the Pohick Project, and NRCS, who is a partner on the rehabilitations. The first call, held on August 26, went very well.   

Engineering Standards Review Committee.  Mr. Kohnke said the ESRC did not meet in September.

National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).  Mr. Peterson said he received a response to the letter he sent to Agriculture Secretary Schafer regarding the need to provide technical assistance based on resource needs, such as those in urban districts that do not have a Farm Bill workload but have a need for technical assistance and conservation planning assistance.  The response, sent by Under Secretary Mark Rey, stated that USDA still intends to provide technical assistance in non-Farm bill areas.  

Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC).  Mrs. Gagnon said the next EQAC meeting is on Tuesday, October 7 at Hidden Oaks Nature Center at 7:00 p.m. and will include comments by Tony Griffin, Fairfax County Executive, and Susan Datta, Director of the Department of Management and Budget.  The November 12 meeting will include a discussion of solid waste.  EQAC’s annual  public hearing will be held on Monday, December 1 in the Government Center auditorium.  Citizens will be able to testify from remote locations.

Lee District Land-Use Committee.  Mrs. Gagnon said the Lee District Land-Use Committee gave its non-binding approval of the outline of plan language for the Springfield Mall.  The Committee recommended that aspects such as green buildings, imperviousness and stormwater, be given the same level of importance as other parts of the plan, by placing them under an ‘environmental tab.’ Mr. Glasgow commented that this was part of the larger Springfield revitalization effort, and that it should take on the importance of that given to the Tyson’s Corner project, encompassing all aspects, including environment, recreation and schools.

Tree Conservation Ordinance.  Mrs. Gagnon said that on September 22, County staff made a presentation to the Board of Supervisors’ Environmental Committee on the new Tree Conservation Ordinance.  Later, during its regular meeting, the Board of Supervisors authorized a public hearing on the ordinance.   

Environmental Facilities Inspection Division, DPWES.  Mr. Weyant said that he looked forward to working with the District and, when possible, attending board meetings and the Green Breakfasts. 

Falls Hill Low Impact Development Pilot Project.  Mr. Rouhi said the practices designed for the Falls Hill LID demonstration project will be installed next week.  In addition to two workshops, the District will provide technical assistance to homeowners in the community to help them implement drainage solutions on their properties.  Also, homeowners may apply for several mini-grants and additional technical assistance that will be available.

Complaint submitted under the Agricultural Stewardship Act.  Mrs. Hoffman said the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) received a complaint regarding possible stream pollution from a horse-keeping operation in the Occoquan watershed.  Mr. Woode visited the site and reported his findings to VDACS.  VDACS sent a letter to the property owner, stating Mr. Woode’s findings that sufficient evidence did not exist to prove that water pollution was occurring.  It also said it was pleased that the property owner had a soil and water quality conservation plan prepared by the District and encouraged the owner to continue cooperating with the District staff to implement it.   

Land Development Services - DPWES.   Ms. Brickner said several items in her report were mentioned earlier – the new state stormwater regulations, the initiative to protect intermittent streams, and the new Tree Conservation Ordinance.  She also noted that the Board of Supervisors approved a small update to a section on the Resource Protection Area map.

USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson said the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) received tree seedlings from VDOT, which had been removed for construction of the new HOT lanes.  He had an opportunity to learn more about ASNV’s Audubon at Home program, when he participated in a tour of several gardens at Wolf Trap Elementary School.   The Audubon at Home Program is supported by a federal grant from NRCS to implement backyard habitat projects.  Mr. Wilkinson announced the next Joint Employee Development training will be held on October 14.  On October 23, Mr. Wilkinson will participate in the Operation and Maintenance inspection of the Pohick Watershed PL-566 structures.  He thanked the District for facilitating advance notice of NRCS construction site inspections, some of which he plans to attend.

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

  • The annual assessment of the District, which found that the District fully satisfied all deliverables for the FY 2008 grant from DCR.   It will be attached to the September minutes.
  • A Conservation Selling Skills workshop will be held on October 29-30 in Charlottesville.
  • A Rain Water Harvesting workshop will be held at the Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church on October 22.   It is sponsored by DCR, Virginia Tech and the Potomac Watershed Roundtable.
  • The Potomac Council and Potomac Watershed Roundtable will meet October 3 at Loudoun Water.
  • There will be a VASWCD conference call at 1:30 to discuss implementation of the cost-share program.  A line has been reserved for each of the 47 districts.  Mrs. Hoffman will participate.
  • Meetings of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board are scheduled for September 26-27 and November 18.
  • In order to fill the vacancy caused by Mrs. Ormsby’s passing, the NVSWCD board will make a recommendation to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, which will make the appointment.

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 11:10 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted, Diane Hoffman's signature
Diane Hoffman

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