Chairperson Beverly Budz called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.
Statement of Compliance
Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this regular meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 3, 2014 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.
Salute to the Flag
Jessi Paladini, Recording Secretary
Motion to go into executive session made by Beverly Budz.
Seconded by Diane Wexler
All in favor
The commission went into executive session at 7 p.m.
Motion to come out of executive session and return to public session made by Beverly Budz.
Seconded by Diane Wexler
All in favor
The commission resumed public session at 9:17 p.m.
Meeting Opened to the Public
No one came forward.
Meeting Closed to the Public
Land Use Board Liaison Report
Diane Wexler said the land use board approved an application for an extension of a cell tower and said there were no new applications for the April 9, 2014 meeting.
1. Three-Minute Idle Law
Chairwoman Beverly Budz reported that the commission would put up a sign for the Three-Minute Idle Law at the table for Earthfest to promote public awareness of the law and the environmental commission campaign to enforce it.
2. Resolution 14-03: Banning Hydraulic Fracturing in Vernon Township
The commission amended the original resolution. The only change in wording was the title of the resolution and the word “ordinance” was changed to “resolution.”
Motion to adopt the resolution was made by Diane Wexler.
Seconded by Alyssa Portaro
Ayes: Michael Cheski, Cathy McCartney, Alyssa Portaro, Diane Wexler, Beverly Budz
3. Reforestation Grant
Beverly Budz said everything is in order for receiving the $364,000 NJDEP grant for reforestation. She said ordering and planting can begin as soon as the township receives the money. The commission will use part of the grant money to purchase Chestnut trees to reintroduce the cultivar in the township.
Alyssa Portaro, Michael Cheski, Diane Wexler, and Beverly Budz will be at the environmental commission’s table at Earthfest on April 27. Beverly will have a display on carbon and its effects on the environment, along with the Three-Minute Idle Law sign Jessi Paladini will make. Jessi will also create a poster about the life cycle of the frog. Beverly discussed the things the environmental commission will have on their Earthfest table. Michael Cheski and Cathy McCartney will create a presentation on frogs and other amphibians. Jessi Paladini will provide high-resolution photographs for Mike and Cathy to use. Alyssa Portaro will do something about bats. Cathy McCartney said she does not know if she will be able to attend, but if she does she will be at the B.E.A.R. table.
There was no correspondence.
Approval of Minutes
March 11, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes was made by Beverly Budz.
Seconded by Michael Cheski
Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Cathy McCartney, Michael Cheski, Diane Wexler, Beverly Budz
Applications under Review
The commission discussed an application of a bridge in Lake Wallkill on Owens Station Road. Diane Wexler said the bridge is very dangerous and must be repaired or replaced. The application requires NJDEP approval because it goes over wetlands.
Diane Wexler also discussed infrared probes/thermometers. The commission will continue to monitor the temperatures over areas of the pipeline throughout the township. Diane Wexler and Beverly Budz went out in frigid temperature and checked the temperatures along the pipeline route and found them to be very high, despite the freezing temperature. On the 11-degree day they went out, the thermometer they used measured about 80 degrees over the pipeline. A few feet away from the pipeline, the thermometer showed 28 degrees. They took photographs, which are date and time stamped. Last month, Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, a world-renowned expert on fracking, told commission members the temperature inside the pipe could potentially reach up to about 100 degrees. Beverly Budz suggested the commission do a site visit to continue to measure the temperature over areas of the pipeline and document the temperatures.
Beverly Budz said on April 26, the Dakota Nation, Indian tribes, and many other people will be going to Washington, D.C. to discuss concerns about pipelines and protest the construction of pipelines. She and Diane Wexler and Michael Cheski will also be going to Washington, D.C. by bus, which will leave from Paramus.
Cathy McCartney discussed a resolution in support of bear smart legislation, which calls for people living in bear country to contain their garbage properly to secure it from bears. She said although there is already an existing law, this legislation is a stronger version. The legislation also bans the feeding and baiting of bears. She said 74% of voters support non-lethal methods of bear management. If the commission adopts the resolution, it would give the legislation more support, she said. Chairwoman Budz said she would like to table the resolution until the next meeting so they have more time to read it and discuss it.
Michael Cheski said he wants to write a letter to the editor to local newspapers and asked if he could represent the Vernon Environmental Commission in doing so. He said he would like to write a column for some local newspapers and would like to identify himself as a member of the Vernon Township Environmental Commission. It was suggested that while he may state that he is a member of the environmental commission, he should not write anything as representing the commission. He said he would wait to see what response he gets for his offer to write the column for the newspapers before he discusses it again with the commission.
Beverly Budz asked the commission secretary Jessi Paladini to report on getting the township password for accessing wireless Internet within the municipal building during environmental commission meetings. Ms. Paladini said she inquired about it with township officials on the commission’s behalf and was told only municipal employees may have access to the password. Commission members said they should be able to obtain a guest password. Beverly Budz will speak with the mayor.
Motion to Adjourn
Beverly Budz moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:00 p.m. Michael Cheski seconded the motion. All were in favor.
The next meeting of the environmental commission will be on May 13, 2014.
Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Adopted May 13, 2014