NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes October 27, 2009



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
October 27, 2009


(As approved by the Board of Directors on November 24, 2009)

Mrs. Packard called the meeting to order at 9:45 a.m.   Those present were:

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • George Lamb, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  • Adria Bordas, Director-Extension, NVSWCD
  • Bob Kohnke, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Harry Glasgow, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Jack Weyant, Director, Environmental and Facilities Inspection Division, DPWES
  • Michelle Brickner, Deputy Director, Land Development Services, DPWES
  • Debbie Cross, Conservation District Coordinator, VA Department of Conservation & Recreation
  • Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Asad Rouhi, Urban Conservation Engineer, NVSWCD
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Diane Hoffman, District Administrator, NVSWCD
  • Kay Fowler

Approval of Minutes.  It was noted that the September Minutes should be amended to delete, Mrs. Gagnon recommended approval of the (July) Minutes (she was not at the meeting), and to reflect that in addition to approving the July Treasurer’s Report, the Board approved the August Treasurer’s Report.  Mrs. Gagnon recommended approval of the minutes as amended.  A motion (Gagnon-Lamb) passed (4-0) to approve the Minutes of the September 22, 2009 Board Meeting.   

Treasurer’s Report.  A motion (Lamb-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Report for September 2009 and the First Quarter of FY 2010. 

Approval to Support a DPWES Grant Proposal.  Mrs. Packard said the District has been assisting DPWES staff with the design of a rain garden at the Noman M. Cole Jr. Pollution Control Plant.  She had given preliminary approval for the District to submit a letter to the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund in support of the Wastewater Management Division’s grant proposal to help fund construction of the rain garden.  The rain garden would provide both water quality and educational benefits.  A motion (Gagnon-Lamb) passed (4-0) to approve a letter of support for the Wastewater Management Division’s grant proposal to construct a rain garden at the Noman M. Cole, Jr. Plant. 

Bay-Friendly Clean Water Farm Award.   Mrs. Hoffman relayed Mr. Woode’s recommendation that Gunnell’s Run Farm receive the NSVWCD 2009 Bay-Friendly Clean Water Farm Award.  Gunnell’s Run Farm is a horse-keeping operation owned by Lucy Masemer.   She follows a soil and water quality conservation plan and uses best management practices for her pastures that include a nutrient management plan and rotational grazing system.  Last year, the District facilitated the design and construction of a manure composting facility at Gunnell’s Run, which was funded by a Virginia WQIF grant.  The facility not only provides the best way to manage horse manure at Gunnell’s Run, but serves as a best practice demonstration for managers of other horse-keeping operations.  In addition to providing assistance with the composting facility, Mrs. Masemer hosted an on-site workshop for area horse-keepers, which was sponsored by the District and a local Saddlery.  Those attending had an opportunity to tour the facility and to learn about other best management practices.  Mrs. Hoffman said that Gunnell’s Run is recommended for the award because the management practices in place help to protect water quality in receiving streams.  A motion (Bordas-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to name Gunnell’s Run Farm as the recipient of the District’s 2009 Bay Friendly Clean Water Farm Award.  In turn, the District will nominate Gunnell’s Run Farm for the Potomac Basin Clean Water Farm Award. 

2010 Annual Plan of Work.  Mrs. Hoffman reviewed the draft Annual Plan of Work for 2010, which is arranged under the District’s five major strategic goals.  She provided a two-page synopsis of the highlights, which include core programs and services, special projects continued from previous years, and new initiatives.  On-going core programs include: site plan and rezoning reviews; technical assistance to government, private industry and homeowners; soils-related information, work and research; conservation planning and implementation for horse-keeping operations, nurseries, and other agricultural activities; the land conservation awards program; the storm drain marking and rain barrel programs; volunteer stream monitoring program; bi-monthly green breakfasts; seedling sale; school programs; exhibits; the Potomac Watershed Roundtable; technical and educational classes, workshops and seminars; tours, such as the watershed friendly garden tour; and participation on boards, committees, and organizations.  Work and follow-up will continue on several special projects, including: the Falls Hill Residential LID Demonstration Project; the Williams Lane facility; three recently installed rain gardens; the Rain Garden study; stream crossings at Turner farm; composting facility at Gunnell’s Run; the Fairfax County Restoration Project; distribution of the Rain Garden Design and Construction Guide for homeowners (a joint project with the Park Authority); and participation on several county work groups.  New initiatives include: planning and implementation of stormwater management strategies at the BLM property on Mason Neck; a feasibility study at Lake Braddock Secondary School; assistance with the rain garden at Noman Cole plant; training associated with rain gardens; assistance with an LID article in a national publication and a local brochure on RPAs; exploring new LID-related studies; and developing a web-based trouble-shooting checklist for homeowners.   A motion (Lamb-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to approve the 2010 Annual Plan of Work as presented. 

Annual Operation and Maintenance Inspection of the Pohick Creek Watershed PL-566 Structures.    On October 8, Mr. Wilkinson, NRCS, and Mr. Kohnke, NVSWCD, participated in the annual Operation and Maintenance inspection of the six PL-566 structures in the Pohick Creek Watershed – Woodglen, Braddock, Royal, Barton, Mercer and Huntsman.  Mr. Wilkinson handed out a summary of the findings for each site, saying that, as always, the structures are maintained in an excellent manner by DPWES-MSMD.  He said one of the main problems is keeping the brush and invasive vegetation under control.  Several minor problems were noted during the inspection, such as the need for grouting on the end of a pipe outfall, which will be addressed this year.  Mr. Wilkinson took pictures of the structures during the inspection and placed them on a CD, along with pictures taken during the rehabilitation of Royal Lake.  He provided two copies to the District.  He also provided two CDs with copies of Pohick PL-566 documents.  

DPWES Land Development Services (LDS).  Ms. Brickner said that in addition to participating in the Accotink Creek and Chesapeake Bay TMDLs, county LDS and SWPD staff are exploring the development of a Fairfax County stormwater ordinance.  Currently, regulations addressing stormwater are spread throughout other ordinances. This will be a one to two year effort.  Once a draft is developed and as milestones are reached, DPWES will brief industry, other County agencies, NVSWCD, EQAC, and interested citizen groups. 

DPWES Environmental and Facilities Inspection Division (EFID).  Mr. Weyant said that DCR has completed a review of the Erosion and Sediment (E&S) Control programs in local jurisdictions.  He said that Fairfax County has had good reviews in the past several years, and that other jurisdictions in the state make inquiries to the County about its program.  Mr. Rouhi noted that Fairfax County’s E&S regulations have requirements that are more stringent than those in the state regulations.  Mrs. Cross said that Fairfax County is well-recognized as an innovator and as having a model program.  Mr. Weyant said that DCR is forming a committee to discuss local programs, regulation upgrades, and possibly changes for the E&S Handbook.  The County has been invited to participate on the committee.   Mrs. Packard asked if the new stormwater regulations will affect the E&S regulations.  Ms. Brickner said they will indirectly.  The stormwater regulations relate to MS-19 (adequate outfall), which is a part of the E&S regulations.  Also, there may be a relationship between the quantity specifications of the new stormwater regulations and the E&S regulations. 

Land Conservation Awards.  Mr. Rouhi reported that the fall judging for the Land Conservation Awards took place on October 20 and 21.  The judges visited six sites, which included five categories.  He said that Chuck Craft and the EFID staff did an excellent job of preparing for the site visits.  Mr. Rouhi will combine the results of the spring and fall judging sessions and make recommendations to LDS for the winners.  The District will showcase the winning sites during the Land Conservation Awards ceremony in January.

Green Breakfast.   Mrs. Packard announced thenext Green Breakfast will be held on November 14 at Brion’s Grille.  Mrs. Hoffman said Ms. Brickner is helping to determine the topic and to secure a speaker.  It may be an update on the new tree ordinance, given by Urban Forest Management, or an update on the Accotink Creek and Chesapeake Bay TMDLs and their implications for Fairfax County, given by Stormwater Planning.  Mr. Lamb and Mr. Glasgow volunteered to participate on a committee to plan several Green Breakfast topics related to the BRAC and Tyson’s Corner developments and the related transportation and environmental issues. 

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD).  Mr. Lamb, Mr. Peterson and Mrs. Hoffman will attend the VASWCD Annual Meeting December 6-8 at the Richmond West Sheraton.  Several of the Associate Directors, who have been attending the board meetings, may attend.  The Potomac Council Annual Meeting will be held Sunday evening, December 6, at the same location. 

Engineering Standards Review Committee (ESRC).  Mr. Kohnke said he was unable to attend the meeting, but reported that the committee passed a proposal dealing with traffic calming in residential areas.  Mike Knapp, Director of Urban Forest Management, provided an update on the implementation of the new tree ordinance.  There may be minor modifications for the ESRC to consider at a future meeting. 

Tree Commission.  Mr. Glasgow said Mike Knapp spoke to the Tree Commission about proposed modifications to the County’s tree ordinance that are under consideration.  The Tree Commission plans to review and comment on the proposed changes.  He said the Commission continues to have three vacancies, from the Sully, Springfield and Providence Districts. 

Lee Heights HOA.  Mr. Lamb said he will attend the Lee Heights Homeowners Association meeting on October 29.  He said the District may be able to help with some issues the Association plans to discuss.

Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC).  Mr. Lamb said that EQAC’s Annual Report on the Environment will be published in November.  The large report will be available only on line; a smaller summary will be printed.  Plans call for the large report to be published every four years and the summaries to be published every year.  The summaries also will have a section on stewardship, which will help people become active in the areas that interest them.  The annual EQAC Public Hearing is scheduled for November 30 at the Government Center auditorium.  The South County Center will have a remote connection. 

Fire Station Open House.  Mrs. Gagnon said she represented the District at the Fire Station #24 open house.  She gave the District office some suggestions for handouts at similar events in the future.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Mr. Wilkinson announced that the Joint Employee Development Training will be November 10.  There will be an explanation of the new standards for some of the conservation practices and a discussion about treated wood.  Also there will be an opportunity to check survey equipment.  The Natural Resources Inventory has been updated; there are several points in Fairfax County.

Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Mrs. Cross reported:

  • The Agricultural BMP Cost-Share funds are now available for transfer to the Districts. 
  • District funding in FY 2010 will be reduced by 10%. 
  • The Soil and Water Conservation Board adopted the Stormwater Regulations on October 5 and suspended them for 30 days in order to receive additional public comments on the parts with changes.  Final adoption is expected at its meeting on December 9.
  • Monira Rifaat has stepped down as VASWCD Area II Chair.  Jim Christian, Vice Chair, will serve until the end of the year.  He has agreed to be appointed at the December meeting as Chair to serve the remaining year of the three-year term.  At that time, a new Vice Chair will be needed. 
  • The State Agricultural BMP Advisory Committee will meet October 28. 
  • The deadline to nominate local Clean Water Farm Award winners for the Basin Awards is November 2.

Mrs. Cross handed out copies of the report DCR made to the Soil and Water Conservation Board on September 17. 

Dedication of Important Bird Area.  Mrs. Hoffman said 19 Important Bird Areas have been identified in Virginia.  One of them includes the BML property in Mason Neck, where a dedication will take place in the morning on November 7.

Sally Ormsby Park.  Mrs. Hoffman said the Park Authority will dedicate the Sally Ormsby Park on November 14 at 11:30 a.m.  It is located in the Accotink stream valley in Mantua and includes a segment of the Cross County Trail. The District provided help with the invitation list and will provide the refreshments for the ceremony.

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 11:35 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted, Diane Hoffman's signature
Diane Hoffman

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