2009 Annual Report

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STAFF REPORT
Town Council, September 10, 2009

Environmental Advisory Board Annual Report (AD10-001)
Consideration of the annual report from the Environmental Advisory Board
Speaker:  Mr. Ed Clayton

Prepared by:  Environmental Advisory Board, Chair Ed Clayton, and Staff Liaison Lana Hygh, Assistant to the Town Manager 
Approved by:  Benjamin T. Shivar, Town Manager
Approved by:  Michael J. Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager

Executive Summary:  Council requested that all Town boards and commissions make an annual report to the Town Council.  This report details the activities of the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB).

Background:  Council established the EAB on March 13, 2008 and made appointments on June 26, 2008.  The Environmental Advisory Board is made up of nine members.  Members are appointed from the community at large, technical/professional and affiliate partner institutions.  There is currently one vacancy on the board. Current members, along with their appointment category, interest and/or expertise and personal and/or professional affiliations are listed below:

Name Appt Type
Interest / Technical Expertise  Personal / Professional Affiliation 
Elizabeth Adams  At large  Air quality modeling and policy development  UNC Institute for the Environment, Black Creek Watershed Association 
Judith Analco  Technical Expert  Human exposure and infectious disease outbreaks  EnviroKey, LLP 
Ed Clayton, Chair  Partner
Recycling and waste reduction  IBM Project Manager/ Electrical Engineer (retired), Sierra Club 
Andrew Hadsell  At large  Stormwater management  Chas. H. Sells, Inc. 
Stephen Johnston  Technical Expert  Energy and public utility economics  Veritas Economic Consulting, LLC 
Dan McFarland  Technical Expert  Energy efficient building  Southern Energy Management 
 Robert Myer Partner
Landscape architect/ green contracting  Skanska USA Building 
Oliver Pau, Vice Chair  At large  Brownfield redevelopment  Cherokee 

Council Liaison :  Julie Robison
Staff Liaison:  Lana Hygh
PRCR Liaison:  Steve Smutko

The Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) was established to provide feedback and advice to council on policies, ordinances and administrative procedures regarding environmental protection and conservation of energy and natural resources.  The first meeting took place on July 23, 2008.  The board met twice a month for four months including a 4-hour work session on August 9, 2008.  The board met monthly since December, except for July, including a 4-hour work session on Saturday, February 28.

The Environmental Advisory Board established a guiding principle that the Town of Cary should lead by example. Increasing the environmental stewardship of the community will enhance the quality of life of all who live and work in the Town by making it cleaner, more pleasant and healthier.  The Town of Cary must ensure that its own projects, initiatives and operations are sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially – as it encourages and regulates such sustainable actions throughout the community.

Highlights of the board’s activities over the past year include:

1. Drafting mission and vision statements

  1. Mission Statement:  Recognizing that quality of life is linked to a healthy environment, the Environmental Advisory Board advises the Town in ways to reduce the use of and impact on our community’s natural resources through a comprehensive and continuous review of best practices and innovations.

  2. Vision Statement:  Cary strives to become a sustainable community of energized citizens and businesses motivated to conserve and enhance natural resources through comprehensive, innovative and measurable policies, programs and outreach activities.

2. Researching environmental practices

3. Receiving presentations from staff members on current Town practices, programs and initiatives related to sustainability and environmental responsibility

4. Preparing interim reports which provide the basis for identifying strategic objectives:

  1. Land use, open space, development and redevelopment

  2. The built environment

  3. Transportation

  4. Water resources management

  5. Solid waste

  6. Community health and wellness

5. Providing a preliminary recommendation to council

  1. Develop a baseline emissions inventory
  2. Create a sustainability manager position
  3. Implement an environmental management system
  4. Develop performance-oriented standards such as LEED, ISO, Community STAR

6. Prioritizing potential actions and strategies

7. Providing recommendation to PRCR Advisory Board on its “Go Green” goal, recommending LEED standards for future PRCR facilities, increased recycling on greenways and in special facilities, and reducing solid waste at special events through composting and increased recycling.

8. Working to develop comprehensive policy recommendations for council

Next Steps

  1. Present a comprehensive report and recommendations to council
  2. Provide feedback on the Town’s future and continuing environmental initiatives and programs
  3. Identify and develop a board-supported environmental initiative or event

Fiscal Impact:  N/A

Staff Recommendation:  Staff recommends that Council accept the report of the Environmental Advisory Board.