ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
MINUTES OF MEETING OF APRIL 25, 2005
Approval of Minutes: Mr. Heil moved to approve the minutes of April 25, 2005. Mrs. Crescenzo seconded and the motion passed 3-0-1, with Dr. McEachron abstaining.
The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council held its meeting on Monday, April 25, 2005, in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Susan Sciarratta, Vice Chairman; Michael Kaner, Secretary; Nancy Crescenzo, and William N. Heil, members. Also in attendance was John Boyle, Assistant to the Township Manager.
Call to Order
Ms. Sciarrotta called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM
Review of Goals
Ms. Sciarratta and Mrs. Crescenzo shared sample statements that they had prepared in advance of the meeting. Ms. Sciarratta read into the record the two draft statements to be discussed:
The mission of the Environmental Advisory Council is to build an environmentally sustainable community championing and promoting natural resource conservation, consideration of environmental impacts in decision-making, education and awareness of environmental issues in the Newtown area.
The Newtown Township Environmental Council will identify, recommend and promote conservation of natural and environmental resources.
Mr. Heil noted that he thought it would be important to include a reference to education in the statement.
Mr. Boyle said that he had researched the statements of other municipalities, and most were about two sentences, and very similar in tone to the first statement. He suggested that Newtown area be changed to Newtown Township.
Mrs. Crescenzo moved to adopt:
“The mission of the Environmental Advisory Council is to build an environmentally sustainable community championing and promoting natural resource conservation, consideration of environmental impacts in decision-making, education and awareness of environmental issues in Newtown Township”
as the mission statement to be presented to the Board of Supervisors. Dr. Kaner seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Mr. Boyle advised the Council that if it wishes to report to the Board of Supervisors on any matter, Ms. Russo, the Municipal Secretary, should be notified one week in advance in order to appear on the agenda.
The Council agreed to postpone reporting to the Board of Supervisors at a regular meeting for a few months, until a clear direction has been established for projects to be undertaken.
Correspondence with Neighboring Municipalities
In Dr. McEachron’s absence, the recording secretary reported that letters had been sent to the EAC chairmen in Wrightstown, Upper Makefield and Lower Makefield. Copies of these letters were provided to the Council members. There had been no response to these letters.
Mrs. Crescenzo suggested that Representatives Petri and Steil also be contacted. She asked whether Newtown Borough also has an EAC.
These suggestions will be passed on to Dr. McEachron before the next meeting.
Dr. Kaner and Mr. Heil prepared a list of Web sites dealing with environmental topics and links to other Pennsylvania municipalities’ EAC sites. Included with the list were an EPA map of Newtown showing water bodies, air emissions, hazardous waste and superfund sites, and a FEMA flood hazard map.
Mr. Heil said that the Bucks County Planning Commission has had copies of the natural resource plan for the County.
Ms. Sciarratta said that the EPA also provides a chart of the data reported on the map. She suggested that the sites listed could provide tools and ideas for this Council to begin its work. She also suggested that the Delaware River Keeper might be a source of funding for stream assessment.
Mrs. Crescenzo said that she has been very concerned about the stream running through the Clark Nature Center, and has noted erosion along the stream banks. She suggested this might be a good starting point for stream assessment. She requested that the Council be provided with copies of the Township’s stormwater regulations.
Ms. Sciarratta suggested that the Council members each prepare a list of topics of interest as possible direction for future work.
Mr. Boyle said that Mr. Thomas Harwood, the Township Code Officer, would like to address the Council on a project dealing with stormwater management.
Mr. Heil said that he would like to address the issue of water quality through education. He and Ms. Sciarratta briefly discussed the TMDL (total maximum daily load) of phosphorus in water run off. Mr. Heil suggested that an education program could help reduce the level of phosphorus.
(Mrs. Crescenzo left the meeting at this point)
Mr. Heil asked if there was a definition of “environmentally sensitive areas” available.
Mr. Boyle said that the Township lanner had provided him with a definition, which he would forward to the Council members.
Ms. Lynn Koenig said that she lives on Wrights Road and has had increased flooding on her property as a result of recent development. She has had the water in the stream on her property tested, and has seen an increase in coliform levels. There has also been a decrease in number of the fish and turtles. She thanked the Council for beginning its work, and hoped that clean water would be a priority.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Heil moved to accept the minutes of March 28, 2005. Dr. Kaner seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Sciarratta moved to adjourn at 8:40 PM. Mr. Heil seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary