Category Archives: Conservation News

ADDITIONAL NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
MSD would like to inform you that the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) will conduct an additional public hearing to consider the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati’s (MSD) recommended 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), 2017 Operating Budget, and a revised rate structure for sewerage service charges and surcharges.

There are two scheduled public hearings at the Hamilton County Administration Building, 138 East Court Street, Room 603, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.

There is also a a public meeting where sewer rates will be discussed but it is not an official public hearing. It is scheduled for
Monday, November 13, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at Communities United for Action (CUFA), 1814 Dreman Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45223

MSD’s annual capital improvement budget and annual operating budget are developed and recommended by MSD to the BoCC each year along with any rate or fee recommendations that support the budget proposal. The budgets and associated rate recommendations reflect the resources required to ensure full compliance with all regulatory requirements as well as to protect public health throughout Hamilton County.
View the Additional Notice of Public Hearing.

View the original Notice of Public Hearing.
Sincerely,
MSD Communications
Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati

Green Cincinnati Plan 2018 Kick-off Meeting!

The Green Cincinnati Plan presents a comprehensive set of recommendations for addressing global climate change as a City and region. The City of Cincinnati will be doing a major update of the plan to advance the sustainability, equity, and resilience of the city for the next five years!

Click here to learn more details.

To be apart of the upcoming Kick-off Meeting, register here !

Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 6:00-8:00pm

Cincinnati Zoo Harold Schott Education Center

Cincinnati and Hamilton County rush to deal on 45-year County take-over of Sewer District

Infighting between Cincinnati and Hamilton County has gotten in the way of implementing sewer consent decree projects that would clean some of the worst polluted water in the United States. By the Sewer Districts own reckoning, over 8 billion gallons of untreated sewage mixed with rain water, go into the Ohio River, Mill Creek and Muddy Creek. The Sewer District continually violates the Clean Water Act, exceeds standards by millions and continues to maintain illegal Sanitary Sewer Overflows.

Sierra Club remains concerned that the creation of a new five-member board of City of Cincinnati (2) and Hamilton County (3) appointed members to oversee operations, recreates the same potential for conflict. “Supermajorities” (4of 5) are required for major decisions; supermajority requirements tend to prevent, rather than encourage projects. The commitment letter seeks to let the City out of the consent decree, yet maintains a level of control that could interfere with consent decree work. These delays will add to the City’s prediction that a number of consent decree projects will already be late. The importance of the consent decree work needs to have primacy in the new agreement, but currently doesn’t. At the same time, the commitment letter also leaves the dispute about asset ownership up in the air.

We sought to have the deadline extended to allow for more consideration of this 45-year deal to fix it and allow other options to be explored. While the deadline was extended from the original 1 week, it did not allow sufficient time for the public to be more fully informed and consider other options.

The mediation between the City and County, which led to the commitment letter, was under a gag order by the judge assigned to the consent decree. The next set of projects to be completed by the Sewer District, under the consent decree, were due to US EPA on June 30. The County requested, and may still want, a one year delay in submitting this set of commitments for work that begins in 2019. US EPA, at this point, has granted a 4-month extension until October 31, 2017. Bizarrely, the City and County will not release even a draft of the Phase 2 plan for public review (beyond the list created in 2010 which has most likely changed in at least some respects.)

Sierra Club is also concerned about the status of verbal commitments made by the current management to businesses and residents about sewer projects. Will they be honored by the future management?

Thanks to diligent and fast work by Sierra Club attorneys and many members of the public, some changes were made to the commitment letter, over the weekend before the Monday morning vote. Sierra Club offered draft language, some of which was accepted. We appreciate members of Council and the Commission’s willingness to meet and discuss issues of concern about this 45 year agreement.

Call city council and county commission about the proposed MSD agreement !

Call city council and county commission about the proposed MSD agreement !

Many concerns still exist about the new city /county proposal for running the Sewer District. This agreement will last for 45 years so it is important to take the time to get it right!

  1. The requirements for board decision-making (supermajority) will stall the implementation of the consent decree and lead to more sewer backups into homes and businesses.
  2. There is no need to rush the deal and cut off public participation — there are options that also accommodate the need to reassure the bond market.
  3. Any other issues from the Sierra Club letter or your personal experience.

Please call (or email) the following and ask them to allow time to review and amend the agreement.

Commissioner Denise Driehaus 946-4406 denise.driehaus@hamilton-co.org
Commissioner Todd Portune 946-4401 Todd.Portune@hamilton-co.org
Council member Yvette Simpson 352-5260 yvette.simpson@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member PG Sittenfeld 352-5270 pg.Sittenfeld@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Chris Seelbach 352-5210 Chris.Seelbach@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Charles Winburn 352-5354 charlie.winburn@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Wendell Young 352-3466 wendell.young@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Chris Smitherman 352-3464 christopher.smitherman@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Kevin Flynn 352-4550 Kevin.flyn@cincinnati-oh.gov

Check out Sierra Club’s  letter about the MSD commitment letter. 2017-08-07 Sierra Club and M. Wall Review of Proposed MSD Agreement

See the City and County Commitment Letter –>1013-Notice-of-Filing-Letter.pdf for their rough outline of the 45 year deal.  See what Sierra Club thinks of the deal–>   Deep Flaws in Sewer Deal Require Your Help at Monday Evening Meeting

Michael Miller wins seat Hamilton County Soil and Water District Supervisor Board

Michael C. Miller, Professor Emeritus from Biological Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, has been elected to the Hamilton County Soil and Water District Supervisor Board !
Thanks to all the Sierra Club members and friends who voted to elect Dr Miller.

from Mike Miller “I have never won an election of any kind. Because of your help and that of your membership we received the most votes ever for this volunteer office. I owe you and your members a great debt of thanks. Sincerely, Michael”

vote for Michael Miller for Hamilton County Soil and Water District Supervisor

Sierra Club is supporting Mike Miller for the Soil and Water Board.

Michael C. Miller, Professor Emeritus from Biological Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, has studied waters of S.W. Ohio and the Ohio River for more than 40 years and has been a board member of many nonprofits working to improve water quality and minimize impacts of urban runoff.  I would like to put this expertise to work for the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District.   I have worked on the impacts of urbanization from hydro-modification,  pulsed flow from rainfall runoff, WWTP effluents, and nutrients on many streams and our regional rivers.  I have done this by research projects with graduate students, other faculty from UC, personnel form  OKI Regional Planning, and Mill Creek Watershed Council and by helping coordinate the monthly examination of water quality by volunteers for 10 years,  now reaching 300 sites with Rivers Unlimited, Friends of the Great Miami, Mill Creek Watershed Council, and Greenacres Foundation.   I have experienced the history of water management and land use practices in Hamilton County since 1970 that can help interpret our future needs on the HCSWD Board.    I want to work with the HCSWD Board to develop Hamilton County with good water quality.

Water quality and its analysis has been a major driver with my 40 years in the Biology Department and Environmental Studies Program at UC and 10 years of retirement with many non profits.  I am member of Green Umbrella Watershed Group, Greater Cincinnati Water Works Advisory Board, Rivers Unlimited, Saturday Stream Snapshot of Greenacres Foundation, Oxbow Inc., Sierra Club, Buckeye Fly Fishermen, Cincy Paddlers, American Rivers, Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research and Education and I follow Ohio River Fish Habitat Partnership, Ohio River Valley Mussel Group, Water Management Association of Ohio and have served on committees for Great Parks, Municipal Sewer Department Consent Decree Planning, ORSANCO, Mill Creek.  But I have done research to evaluate industrial and landuse impacts on water from Uranium from Fernald in GMR, thermal effluents on Ohio and Great Miami River,  WWTP effluents impacts on the Mill Creek, Little Miami River and Oho River, oil spill impacts on streams, ponds, and lakes in Arctic Alaska, impacts of road dust and particulates on vegetation and runoff impacts on stream morphology.  I am prepared to evaluate and recommend management of our fresh and ground waters from an ecological and hydro-chemical basis.

Thank you for sending for an absentee ballot and returning the ballot by Aug 9 to HCSWCD office or go to the HCSWCD office at 1325 Kemper Road Ste 115 during business hours on Aug. 14 and vote in person.

Michael C. Miller, Professor Emeritus
University of Cincinnati, Aquatic Biology
Vice President of Rivers Unlimited/FOGM

Dayton Dragons RBI “Recycling Bin Initiative” Program in Dayton

A program sponsored by the Dayton Dragons organization in Dayton Ohio works to reward people who recycle their waste and report it to earn tickets to a minor league baseball game!

When a person tracks their recycle activity for two weeks and they send a record of their recycle activity in an email to the Dayton Dragons organization; four lawn tickets to a Dragons game are made available for the effort! Dayton is improving their awareness to recycling programs and involving the Dayton community to support glass, paper, aluminum and cardboard recycling.

The Dragons “RBI – Recycling Bin Initiative” hyperlink to the website is included below:

http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?sid=t459&ymd=20110331&content_id=17232822&vkey=tickets

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club Miami Group Executive Committee – Dayton Connections

What is going on at the University of Cincinnati in sustainability?

July 10, Monday, 7 pm at Boy Scout Achievement Center  at 10078 Reading Rd. Evendale, OH. 

This will be a brief overview of what the students, faculty and staff are doing, our goals moving forward, some lessons learned and a few big ambitions.

Mary Beth McGrew will be talking about initiatives at the University of Cincinnati in the area of sustainability including current activities, challenges and opportunities.

Mary Beth McGrew is the University of Cincinnati’s Sr. Associate Vice President of Planning + Design + Construction and the University Architect. She has been with the University for over ten years and prior to that worked for large multidisciplinary firms doing work around the country. Her educational background started in the sciences and health related professions before becoming an architect. At the university her department of 60 includes architects and engineers for small projects, project managers who for large capital projects; Environmental Graphic Designers, a Real Estate and Community Development group, a Space Management Office and a Sustainability Coordinator. She works very closely with the Office of the Provost, President and reports to the Sr. VP of Finance and Administration. Together the group works to keep the physical campus in support of the academic mission. The campus resources consist of 16Million SF of buildings, and 473 acres.

 

cincy climate rally FAQ

The Cincinnati RALLY will start at noon on Fountain Square on June 10.

RSVP to attend here!  or our Facebook event.  You don’t have to register to attend but it helps with our permits and logistics if you do!

What organizations are involved in planning the Rally event in Cincinnati?

think BIG strategies, Carla Walker
Sierra Club Miami Group, Marilyn Wall & Sandy Wood
For Our Future Fund, Chandra Yungbluth
Ohio Citizen Action, Melissa English
Citizens Climate Lobby, Debbie Potochnik, Doug Bell, Chris Heckman
Rebecca Surendorff, Lynn Fields, Michele Young, and other volunteers!!

How can I or my organization get involved?

We’ll be continuing to work on Climate issues ! Follow us on twitter

Twitter.com/CincyClimate #ClimateRallyCincy @ClimateCincy

or facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClimateRallyCincyNKY/

You can also email us at miamigroupsierraclub@gmail.com

This sounds great — where can I sign up to volunteer?

There are lots of ways to support the march — the first step is to sign up on the volunteer form. Click here to sign up to volunteer, and we’ll follow up with more information!

Important stuff

One last very – very important – difference,  the People’s Climate Rally – Cincinnati on June 10th will ONLY be a rally at Fountain Square. Organizers have planned for all speaking and activity to occur with the crowd on Fountain Square. There will be no plans to have attendees march or process to another venue. Once the rally is over on Fountain Square, we will ask the participants to disperse, return to their cars, in a peaceful manner

This event and its participants must follow the tenants of our permit and its limits and obey all traffic laws and follow directions from the police and city officials.  This event does not sanction civil disobedience of any kind. Do not march in the street or block the sidewalk.

If you have a medical emergency or need assistance of that nature call 911.

This is a family friendly event.

Some logistics stuff about the day of the April 29th Rally:

Where can I park?

There are numerous parking lots, garages and meters around Fountain Square. The best way to check for nearby parking is to download the parking app: bestparking.com.  You can also take metro or the streetcar. Carpooling is an environmentally friendly option, too.

Can I bring a sign?

Do bring a sign.  (Walking on the sidewalk with a sign is legal, just be sure that you don’t block the sidewalk, jaywalk or interfere with traffic while coming to or leaving the event.)

Bring water in a re-useable container and any snacks in a re-useable container.  We encourage making this a recyclable, zero waste event!

My question isn’t answered here! What do I do?

No worries! Send us an email with your question, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.