NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes September 27, 2011



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
September 27, 2011


(As approved by the Board of Directors on October 25, 2011)

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

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson, Vice Chairman, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • George Lamb, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  • Adria Bordas, Extension Director, NVSWCD
  • Bob Kohnke, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Jerry Peters, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Debbie Cross, Conservation District Coordinator, DCR
  • Jim McGlone, Virginia Department of Forestry (until 10:30)
  • Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, NRCS
  • Diane Hoffman, Administrator, NVSWCD
  • Lily Whitesell, Outreach and Watershed Programs Coordinator, NVSWCD
  • Asad Rouhi, Urban Conservation Engineer, NVSWCD
  • Dan Schwartz, Soil Scientist, NVSWCD (until 10:30)
  • Willie Woode, Senior Conservation Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Tom Cranmer, Visitor

Rain Barrel Video.  Ms. Whitesell introduced a video produced by Channel 16, which describes the benefits to both homeowners and the environment when rain barrels are used to harvest rain water.  The show included interviews with Kim Scudera and Lily Whitesell.  Mrs. Whitesell added that the Northern Virginia Rain Barrel Program is very popular.  It is a five-partner initiative that includes NVSWCD, the cities of Falls Church and Alexandria, Arlington County, and Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment.  About 600 rain barrels are distributed annually, either through workshops where participants build their own barrels from used pickle barrels or through distribution events where people can buy ready-made rain barrels.  The workshops and distributions take place at locations throughout the northern Virginia area.

Litter Grant Project.  Mr. Schwartz said the District has been invited to participate with Clean Fairfax Council and DPWES-Stormwater Planning Division in a grant-funded project focusing on cigarette litter.  It will include an educational awareness campaign and a pilot project.  The pilot project includes selecting twenty sites at public facilities that have significant cigarette butt litter, conducting a pre-cleanup survey, cleaning up the sites, posting signs, providing receptacles, and conducting a follow up survey six months later.  The education component will include a smokers pledge not to litter.  Those who sign the pledge will receive a receptacle that fits into a car cup holder.  The grant application for $9,900 is being made to the Chesapeake Bay (license plate) Restoration Fund. 

Watershed Calendar.  Mr. Schwartz said he sends the monthly Watershed Calendar to approximately 950 recipients, announcing stream monitoring sessions and other events of interest to watershed stewards.

Replanting with Natives.  Mr. Schwartz announced a mini-conference on revegetating the Hot Lanes corridor and beyond.  It will be held on October 8 at the Kings Park Library from 10 a.m. to   1:00 p.m.  Speakers will talk about how beneficial and easy it is to landscape with native plants and how to get help with landscaping decisions. 

Approval of Minutes. Mrs. Gagnon said she reviewed the minutes and recommended approval.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to approve the Minutes of the July 26, 2011 Board Meeting.

Treasurer’s Report.  Mr. Lamb reviewed the Treasurer’s Reports.  A motion (Lamb-Peterson) passed (5-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Reports for July and August 2011. 

2013 Budget and Funding Request to Fairfax County.  A motion (Lamb-Bordas) passed (5-0) authorizing Mrs. Hoffman to prepare the FY 2013 budget and funding request to Fairfax County, based on the standard guidelines from DMB, the base funding received in FY 2012, anticipated increases in health benefit costs, and in consideration of the 2% market rate adjustment recently authorized by the County Board of Supervisors for County staff for the remainder of FY 2012. 

Approval of Contracts for Little Pimmit Run Sanitary Sewer and Streambank Stabilization Project.  Mrs. Hoffman described the professional services contract and a work order with VHB and the construction contract with Angler Environmental.  As authorized previously by the Board, the chair gave preliminary approval for these agreements so that the project could proceed.  A motion (Peterson-Bordas) passed (5-0) to confirm approval of the contractual agreements with VHB and Angler Environmental.   Mrs. Hoffman said the project will protect a 21 inch sanitary sewer line, which currently is exposed, and the stream segment will be restored.  A j-hook will be installed to control the energy of the flow and the sewer line that is now exposed will be contained within the restored bank.  Also, the drainage ditch on Dr. Rossi’s property that is contributing to the problem will be re-designed to include several step pools and to discharge in a way that will no longer contribute to erosion of the stream bank.  The project is being completed for and funded by two divisions within DPWES – Maintenance and Stormwater Management and the Wastewater Collection. 

Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans.  Mr. Woode presented two soil and water quality conservation plans for approval.  One was for a horse operation that is not in compliance with the County regulations, for which Code Enforcement asked the District to provide technical assistance to resolve the problem, and the other is for a traditional mini-farm in Fairfax County, which provides therapeutic opportunities for physically challenged and psychologically disturbed residents.  A motion (Peterson-Lamb) passed (5-0) to approve Soil and Water Conservation Plans for Larissa Miller in the Mt. Vernon District (5 acres on 1 parcel with 3 horses), and Winfield Farm (Hopewell House of Independent Living) in the Sully District (18 acres on 2 parcels with 4 horses, 15 laying hens, 4 goats and 2 pigs).

Approval of Cost Estimates for Agricultural BMP practices.  Mr. Woode presented a list developed by NRCS of unit costs for agricultural BMP practices.  He said that actual costs in Fairfax County averaged at least 25% higher, especially when heavy equipment was needed and special work was performed.  A motion (Peterson-Bordas) passed (5-0) to adopt the NRCS cost list for estimating costs for practices installed through the Virginia Agricultural BMP cost-share program, and with approval to increase estimates by 25% for those practices that require heavy equipment and have special needs.  Mr. Peterson noted that he was in favor of providing a cost estimate for all conservation plans.

Agricultural BMP Cost-Share Program.  Mr. Woode described a potential cost-share project for the McCormick horse farm in Great Falls.  It is a five-acre property with a plan that had been approved in June.  Mr. Woode had presented the landowner with cost-share options that would protect the stream and RPA and provide water for the horses.  The options included a traditional stream crossing that would give the animals access to water, or a piped stream crossing that would not provide animal access and establishing several pastures using cross-fencing and providing access to water in each of the pastures by means of drinking troughs.  A motion (Lamb-Peterson) passed (5-0) to approve up to $8,500 to cost-share with Cara McCormick to implement practices that will protect the stream and provide water to the horses, pending approval of a final soil and water conservation plan that reflects the planned practices.  Mr. Woode will continue to work with Ms. McCormick to determine which options she will be able to implement that will meet the clean water objectives and will incorporate them into a final plan for approval by the Board. 

2012 Annual Plan of Work.  Mrs. Hoffmanpresented the highlights of the draft Annual Plan of Work, which included on-going programs and activities, projects continued from the previous year, and several new initiatives.  A motion (Bordas-Gagnon) passed (5-0) to approve the Annual Plan of Work for FY 2012, as presented. 

VASWCD Legislative Agenda for the 2012 Session of the General Assembly.  Mr. Peterson reviewed the legislative items that were approved by Area II and forwarded to the VASWCD.  It includes the urban BMP cost share and tax credit proposal.  The VASWCD’s legislative agenda will be presented for approval at the annual meeting in December. 

Green Breakfast.   Mr. Lamb reported on the September 10 Green Breakfast.  Delegate David Bulova provided a sneak peak of environmental issues for the 2012 General Assembly and insight about the legislative process.  Issues discussed included funding for urban stormwater management, a proposal for Virginia to withdraw funding for the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, incentives for electric vehicles and the moratorium on uranium mining.  The next Green Breakfast will be November 12.  Noting that Mr. Schwartz has made several interesting presentations about soils, it was suggested that he be invited to speak.

(Mr. Lamb left for another meeting)

Pohick Creek Watershed, PL-566.   Mr. Kohnke said the annual Operations and Maintenance inspection of the six Pohick Creek structures is scheduled for October 13, with October 21 as the rain date.  Both he and Mr. Wilkinson plan to attend.  Mrs. Hoffman said the dredged material from Lake Barton was taken to an EnviroSolutions landfill in Lorton.  Some of the decanted material was used for capping the landfill, some was used for a landscaping project at a hospital in Washington DC, and some was used to help restore the construction site area at Lake Barton.

Potomac Watershed Roundtable.  Mrs. Hoffman said that the quarterly meeting of the Roundtable is scheduled for October 7 at Aquia Harbour Inn in Stafford County.  The agenda includes presentations about the role trees play to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, an urban tree planting project in Fredericksburg, and the development issues associated with acid sulfate soils.  Also, a video about Virginia Mountain Treasures will be shown and Senator Stuart will discuss the fertilizer bill that was passed by the General Assembly earlier this year.  The meeting will be followed by a tour of Government Island.  It has a quarry that provided the limestone for the Capitol and the White House; today it is a natural area. 

Engineering Standards Review Committee (ESRC).  Mr. Kohnke, NVSWCD representative on the ESRC, reported that the ESRC met in September and considered three items: the revised street light installation procedure; the testing guidelines for infiltration facilities; and a proposed amendment to the PFM for sidewalks, trails and recreation. 

Deer Management Program.  Mr. Peters said he is volunteering with the County’s Wildlife Biologist.  He is assisting with the Deer Management program.  

NVSWCD Web Site.  Ms. Whitesell explained what it means to make the website ADA accessible.   As an example, she said there are ways to make it easier to use a screen reader, which is a device used by blind people when they access the web. 

October 25 Board Meeting.  Mrs. Hoffman said that Director Reese Peck, and Conservation Programs Director Mike Foreman, Stormwater Division, DCR plan to attend the October 25 Board meeting.  They are developing trigger questions, to help facilitate a discussion of the services that DCR provides to SWCDs.  Mrs. Hoffman will ask if the questions can be sent prior to the meeting.

Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson said that he and Mr. Woode will meet with a member of the US Fish and Wildlife Service staff, based in Annapolis, who has secured a grant for a project at Bellview School in the Mt. Vernon area.   Mr. Wilkinson reported the County initiated an inspection of all six Pohick Creek PL-566 structures the day after the recent earthquake.  No damage was found. 

Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Mrs. Cross reported the following:

  • She provided copies of the DCR’s annual assessment of NVSWCD’s compliance with the FY 2011 grant.  The District was found to have fully satisfied the requirements in the grant agreement
  • Nominations for the basin-wide Clean Water Farm Awards are due by November 1. 
  • Staff changes at DCR include Darryl Glover’s appointment as the Regional Operations Manager.  He will oversee the seven regional offices.
  • The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is hosting meetings for localities and SWCDs to discuss WIP II (Virginia’s Watershed Implementation Plan – Phase II) for achieving the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.  A meeting is scheduled for October 13 to explain the use of VAST, the Virginia Assessment Scenario Tool. 
  • The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board will meet on December 7 at a joint meeting with the VASWCD Board.
  • The Agricultural BMP Technical Advisory Committee will meet on October 25.
  • Conservation Selling Skills training will be held on November 9 and 10 at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton. 
  • The VASWCD annual meeting will be held December 4-6 at the Richmond Omni hotel.  Mr. Peterson, Mr. Lamb and Mrs. Gagnon plan to attend.

I-95 / I-395 HOT Lanes.  Mrs. Gagnon announced that there will be a public hearing on the design for the proposed I-95 / I-395 HOT Lanes (from Duke Street to Stafford County) on September 28 from 5:00 to 8:00. 

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 12:25 p.m.  

Respectfully Submitted,

Diane Hoffman signature

Diane Hoffman

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