1. Call to order – Michael R. Leszcz, Chairman
2. 2. Approval of Minutes from Tuesday, January 26, 2021
3. 3. Community Survey - Current Status
4. 4. Update on Three Year Action Plan
5. 5. Climate Action Plan Virtual Community Meeting
6. 6. Prices on pencils
7. 7. Biodegradable bags
8. 8. Once a month social media post
9. 9. Next Meeting
10. 10. Adjournment
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021
Attendees: Mike Leszcz, Monta Burrough, Kyla Clark, Bill Bailey, and Kenya Barno
Motion to approve Minutes from January 26, 2021, Minutes were accepted and approved.
Community Survey Status – Sent to Lou Ann in Administration for review.
Plan for the first Environmental Affairs Committee (EAC) Social Media post to go up. Kenya and Kyla come together for a headliner or picture(s), first proposal by the end of March 2021.
Texas has received high energy bills. There electric break went up hundredfold.
Not going to have a river clean up this year Parks and Recreation decided not to because of the current virus (COVID-19). Laurel still has a lot of plastic bags floating around.
Received a request from LARS to bring the biodegradable bags for them to hand out groceries in.
Purchased 500 bags, Kenya delivered 250 bags to St. Mary’s Church and 250 bags to LARS. Now what we are looking for is feedback to see if it satisfies their needs with groceries and handing them out to people. Did they work well and if they didn’t tear? After 30 days an assessment will be taken and if it works out well, we will find a way to get up the money to give to all the food kitchens in Laurel.
It appears that the Legislation of plastic bags statewide is not going to pass. Just sent a letter from the Patuxent River Commission encouraging them to pass the bill but it’s just not going to happen. The problem appears to be the lobbyist.
The biodegradable bags are expensive, twice as expensive then the ones you get at the grocery store.
If this works out, will ask the City’s Administration to pass an Ordinance so the bags can be biodegradable.
In San Francisco, California plastic bags are 5cents, if you want a paper bag you get it for free.
Kyla Clark - Pencils: “Reached out to Sprout more expensive than anticipated. For 500 they were $1.00 per pencil. Recycle newsprints getting back with prices”.
Pencils are used extensively in Europe. They have a standard EN713 that they must meet. They check for 19 toxic elements because they hand these out to children in elementary schools.
The Administration has not lost sight on the sustainability issue(s). They have been talking about getting a Sustainability Manager for the City of Laurel.
Laurel for Patuxent is pushing hard for sustainability.
The City is pushing hard, they are looking at electric vehicles. We would probably see this at the end of the year.
Community Garden every plot has been rented. The Mayor is consistently looking for additional property for a second Community Garden. We are lucky that the church allocated property.
Laurel for Patuxent has been advertising to get more butterflies and more bee’s etc. Let’s invite Frederick Smalls to our next meeting to speak about the Community Garden.
Three Year Action Plan - Making sure the facilities are virus free. The City is looking to see where it fits bets for solar panels. There is a sustainability study when it comes back that’s when the City will look and see what else is needed.
Let’s hold a “City-wide Forum” gather information for a Climate Action Plan. This will take a lot of efforts and hopefully the other EAC members will attend. Its hard to believe if we have a working climate why are we having these issues down in Texas? Suggest we send an email to the Mayor from the EAC to have a meeting discussing Climate Change and a Climate Action Plan for the City of Laurel.
This meeting was adjourned at 6:46PM
Administrative Assistant I