ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2021 – 6:00 P.M. ZOOM
1. Call to order - Michael R. Leszcz, Chairman
2. Approval of Minutes from Wednesday, August 8, 2021
3. Discussion modification vote: City of Laurel-Three Year Action Plan 2021
5. Next Meeting
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2021-6:00P.M. ZOOM
Attendees: Mike Leszcz, Brian Lee, Bill Bailey, Monta Burrough, Cynthia Wood, Kyla Clark, Laura Christoplos and Kenya Barno
- Approval of Minutes:
Tuesday, May 25, 2021, and Tuesday, July 13, 2021, no objection meetings approved.
- Topic regarding Planting in Road Verge(s):
Cynthina Wood stated she was directed to plant grass and was instructed if not the City would plant sod. It was stated that Mayor Moe was going to send all the Council and the CAC’s a memo discussing this issue and to give their thoughts about it.
There is a current Ordinance dealing with what goes in the “right of ways”. If this is looking to be changed then a councilmember needs to sponsor the legislation, they will speak with the City attorney, Planning and Zoning to make appropriate changes.
There are certain trees that can not be planted in the right of ways (something to do with roots) per Chairman Leszcz.
Cynthia Wood is looking to possibly change the current Ordinance. To have the Ordinance read “with reason” so that people don’t go all natural with growth.
Mike Leszcz: Going to send a memorandum to Mr. Carl DeWalt (due to his involvement with picture taking and in agreement with Cynthia regarding the road verge issue) perhaps he will want to introduce this legislation to the Council. For all those who would like to plant flowers in the right of ways.
- Bag Bill: The City passed one piece of Legislation which was the “Bag Bill”. This past year the State Legislature approved a Bag Bill. However, when it went to the Senate side it did not pass. Montgomery County has a Bag Bill which could be the problem because they collect a nickel for every bag. The City is not interested in the nickel the City is trying to get rid of the plastic bags because it becomes litter in the rivers, on the sidewalks, in the streets etc. The legislation that they sent to the Senate allowed Montgomery County to keep the nickel per bag. However, for anyone else they will not let them keep the fundings from it. County against County therefore the City of Laurel decided to pass this bill. However, there is no money being gained this is more about education. I (Mike Leszcz) have been in contact with Christian Pully, City Deputy Administrator on how to get the word out to the grocery stores. It may be a little difficult for the liquor stores because they use black colored bags.
- Biodegradable Bags: Biodegradable plastic bags are an option for the City to use, but they are very expensive. We performed a test, we sent a quantity to LARS and a quantity to St. Mary’s for their food pantries. We want to eventually give all the pantries in Laurel biodegradable bags for their food distributions.
- New Executive Order: “Eliminating the Use of Single-Use Straws and Stirrers. This Executive Order has been posted on the City’s website for further review.
- Recycled Pencils: We were going to hand out pencils made with recycled newspaper. This was going to the fourth and fifth graders of the elementary schools within the City of Laurel. However, we were informed that outsiders are not allowed into the Prince George’s County schools until the springtime. I did get a commitment from the Mayor to be able to purchase these items.
- Kayla Clark: Founding Farms, all their restaurants are made from recycled material. Down to the tables and the walls etc. Maybe we could have a business meeting and or they could speak with us.
- Laura Christoplos: There is a business in Hyattsville, Maryland called Community Forklift and they reclaim construction material and sell them at a very reasonable price.
Kyla Clark: Dog feces especially around the Town Center. This issue is heavily prevalent near the AAA building. Was instructed my Chairman Leszcz to contact the Deputy Administrator regarding this issue.
- Next Meeting Date:
Tuesday, September 22, 2021