ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2020 – 6:00 P.M.
1. Call to order – Michael R. Leszcz, Chairman
2. 2. Introduction of all attendees
3. 3. Revisit approval of minutes from Wednesday, September 19, 2018
4. 4. Review of Community Survey
5. 5. New Business to come forth
6. 6. Next meeting
7. 7. Adjournment
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2020 – 6:00 P.M.
Attendees: Bill Bailey, Monte Burrough, Krystiana Bonheur, Kyla M. Clark, Cynthia Woods, Michael Leszcz and Kenya Barno.
Need to understand the point of this Environmental Affairs Committee.
Patuxent River goes through seven counties throughout Maryland.
Councilwomen from Columbia, Maryland went to all the counties to get them to sign off on “Policy Planning”, House and Senate signed off; took a year to sign.
Laurel for Patuxent – March 11th meeting at City Hall, they meet once a month sometimes every other month. Information group sharing then send letters to legislature.
Bag-Bill was thrown out. You can’t throw plastic bags into recycling.
When the Europeans landed in Maryland, there were 300 Indians. They didn’t go anywhere in the winters because there was plenty to eat here. However, diseases killed them all.
Currently attending the Climate Academy, per Chairman Michael Leszcz.
Reporting requirements for sustainability is different from what the City of Laurel is doing.
INTRODUCTION OF ATTEENDEES:
Krystiana Bonheur- Works at College Park Academy interested in Public Policy, currently working on degree.
Cynthia Woods - Very interested in what she can do for the environment.
Bill Bailey – Been on Tree Board; here to support you all.
Monte Burrough – Planner, been in planning over three years deal with zoning and planning for the City of Laurel.
Kenya Barno – Work for the City Council been in position for a little over one year. Was shifted into this assignment, looking forward to learning new things.
Kyla Clark- Originally from New York, worked on Capitol Hill, worked with commissioner, currently a Director of Media also work for real-estate.
Some people don’t believe in climate change. Tropical and ice age periods come and go. The earth is a self-healing planet. The difference today is burning fossil fuel. The majority of water comes from Greenland.
Tree Board - The City of Laurel have a mass number of trees but no tree canopies.
There are ways to capture carbon dioxide.
Bob cats in the area; nocturnal. There are coyotes in Laurel, been seen on 4th street.
The other problem is the generation of methane gas from cows.
Getting a lot of rain, terrible rain storms this year. People don’t know there’s under-pipes underneath the damns.
There are cleanup events - Laurel Lake clean-ups, Laurel for Patuxent clean-ups.
The City of Laurel will be moving to use a salt and water pretreat before snow storms. This pretreat is better for our roads.
Some jurisdictions outlawed lawn federalizer.
Major part of climate is health. Limited number of townhomes and houses don’t have air conditioning. Sitting in front of a fan don’t help sweat absorb quickly; too much salt in the body.
Doing a lot of work in West Laurel, millions of dollars in rain fee pot. Side walk near Laurel Mall four feet was dug down to put in retention capability.
Won’t get the same flooding like in Ellicott City but will get a boat load of water according to NOVA. The ground can’t absorb water dumping quickly.
All wild flowers are weeds. The issue with grass growing 8 inches or higher cause’s critters, rats, raccoons, snakes etc.
In upstate New York the Government gives funding to farmers for windmills.
In the fall season inside the piles of leaves there’s larvae and butterflies lay their eggs.
Chickens eat ticks and deer’s are dropping ticks when approaching residential backyards etc.
The white footed mice carries lime disease.
Should be allowed to have bee boxes within the City of Laurel. We need bees they are on the decline. No restriction in Howard County. The African bees are no longer a problem they mate with American bees.
Homelessness still an issue in Laurel, anywhere they are homeless people there are no bathroom facilities. Place porta potties to keep bathroom use out of the watershed. The City of Laurel is working on the issue for the “City Service Center” looking for money to build a service common center. City of Laurel Homeless Task Force is in effect.
There are no affordable housing in Laurel. Lots of veterans in the tent communities in Washington, DC.
Looking in the future for advocacy for affordable housing. Funding comes from statistics.
Advocacy at the Legion in Laurel.
Army and Navy facilities have vacant rooms in Silver Spring for the homeless; suffering from PTSD.
Grocery Stores are wasting food and will not give it away if expired been told it’s a liability issue to give out so instead they trash it.
The birds at Laurel Lake fly over to the Evolution apartments of Laurel and bring worms. The worms multiply rapidly in many cases covering the entire ground, swimming pole area etc. Lots of people have moved out due to this issue. The birds continue to bring the worms; possible parasites (this happens during summer seasons).
Recycling not in compliance however it’s still a volunteer system in the City of Laurel.
Department of Public Works (DPW) won’t take contaminate trash.
Owners of pets are not picking up waste. This is an Ordinance within the City of Laurel however they can’t be sited.
The meeting adjourned at 7:47 P.M.
Administrative Assistant I