Category Archives: *** Leadership Blogs ***

Blogs by ExCom members, committee chairs and other club leaders.

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

Past Plastic meetup July 25, 2017 6:30 PM 2330 Victory Parkway, 4th floor,Cin, OH 45206

We will be meeting this Tuesday, July 25 at 6:30 pm at 2330 Victory Parkway, 4th floor, Cincinnati, Oh, 45206, to discuss future plans for the Past Plastic committee.

1. Outreach to partners

2. Strategy for plastic bag fee/ban/alternatives

3. Reuseable bags for low income residents

4. Review tasks and set next meeting

Come with ideas to help project the Sierra Club’s initiatives for Plastic in Cincinnati to be a thing of the Past.

We will meet at the 2330 Victory Parkway location on July 25 at 6:30pm on the 4th floor in the meeting room near the elevators.

We hope to see you there!

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

NOPE Update by Nathan Alley

Beginning announcement at the June 5, 2017 Innings

NOPE Update by Nathan Alley

Nathan Alley is Transportation Policy Coordinator for the Ohio Sierra Club.

As an attorney, he has had extensive experience with federal and state environmental laws. and has worked on issues relating to coastal preservation, oil and gas development, clean water and sustainable agriculture. 

About NOPE!:  NOPE! (Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension) is a coalition of concerned citizens from over 14 Hamilton County communities affected by Duke’s proposed pipeline.  The mission of the organization is to ensure that any necessary natural gas infrastructure is installed in a way that is safe and responsible, away from densely populated areas.  For more information, visit www.NOPEcincy.org

Nathan will give us an update on NOPE activities, especially since there is an upcoming hearing with the Ohio Power Siting Board on

June 15, 2017. 

The local public hearing is scheduled:

June 15, 2017 from 3 p.m. to  8 p.m.

University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash

Muntz Hall, Room 119

9555 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash, Ohio 45236 

Sierra Club Ohio signs on to S.B. 36 letter

The Sierra Club Ohio Chapter along with partner organizations, Ohio Environmental Council, Arc of Appalachia Preserve System, Flora-Quest, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, North Central Ohio Land Conservancy and Rail to Trails Conservancy have signed a letter to Senator John Ecklund in support of Ohio S.B. 36. Sen. Ecklund is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means in Columbus Ohio.

S.B. 36 allows farmers who use some of their land for conservation practices or who enroll some of their land in a conservation program to enjoy the lowest possible CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Value) tax rates for their land. This is especially important now with the tax increases many farmers are experiencing.  Moreover, this bill is strengthening voluntary measures that combat harmful algae blooms on Ohio beaches and algae blooms threatening drinking water. S.B. 36 gives Ohio farmers incentives to create riparian buffers, filter strips, and field borders. This bill helps farmers manage soil erosion and water quality issues.

The letter referred to herein is dated March 7, 2017. The bill is sponsored by Ohio Senator Cliff Hite (R-01).

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club Miami Group – Executive Committee

fighting Scott Pruitt to head EPA

Four republicans who might vote against Pruitt include
Cory Gardner, Colorado 202-224-5941
Lindsey Graham, South Carolina, 202-224-5972
Lamar Alexander, Tennessee, 202-224-4944
Susan Collins, Maine, 202-224-2523
Please call them and especially encourage anyone you know who lives in these states to call them. Thanks!!

According to the Washington Post, 2/4/17, some groups are targeting the Democrats from the reddest states in order to interfere with opposition to Scott Pruitt, as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Mr. Pruitt has a record of suing the EPA and working closely with the big oil companies. American Rising Squared is a trump allied organization that is planning TV ads to pressure the following democratic senators:

Joe Donnelly (Indiana) 202-224-4814
Claire McCaskill (Missouri) 202-224-6154
John Tester (Montana) 202-224-2644
Heidi Heitkamp (ND) 202-224-2043
Joe Manchin III (WV) 202-224-3954

To combat this pressure it would be advisable for concerned citizens to call these senators and ask them to vote against Scott Pruitt for Administrator of the EPA. In addition, please call senators in your own state. If you know anyone residing in the above states, please contact them concerning this issue. Thanks!

DP&L’s Six Year Settlement to End Ownership of Coal Generation Power in Ohio

According to North American Clean Energy, The Dayton Power and Light Co, a subsidiary of the AES Corporation and the Sierra Club along with a list of parties who agree in principle to a six year settlement. This agreement will strengthen DP&L’s infrastructure, end it’s ownership of 2,093 megawatts of coal fired generation power and begin more integrated renewable generation.

DP&L has asked for an extension of the February 8, 2017 hearing date to allow more time for parties not joining the settlement, including the PUCO staff, to file testimony. The final decision on the matter is expected on March 31, 2017. If the PUCO agrees to the settlement,  the average DP&L customer can expect a rate increase of $2.39 per month.

This settlement includes a five year Distribution Infrastructure Rider (DIR) that enables the implementation of a smart grid and advanced metering. A Distribution Modernazation Rider (DMR)  will be dedicated in “continuing DP&L’s debt repayment to enable the Company to make additional capital expenditures to modernize and maintain”  their distribution and transmission systems. In the sixth year of the plan, both DMR and DIR amendments will expire and will no longer be collected.

If approved by the Public Utility Commission of Ohio, the plan calls for DP&L to exit 100 percent of it’s interest in 2,093 MW of coal fired generation. Specifically the Company will close two co-owned, coal-fired plants in Adams County, Ohio. The Stuart and Killen plants are scheduled to close in mid-2018. In addition, DP&L agrees to begin the process to sell ownership shares in the Conesville, Miami Fort and Zimmer plants. In part, this agreement begins a procurement of solar and wind generation, economic development funding for communities near the Killen and Stuart plants, funds for low income customers and a commitment from DP&L to maintain the headquarters for the Company in Dayton Ohio.

Look to the link below for more reference from North American Clean Energy’s online website from where I received much of the content, some verbatim.

http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/25523/dp-l-reaches-agreement-with-various-intervenors-in-electric-security-plan-case

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

 

Wayne National Forest Fracking Strategy Session Fixed for 1/17/2017

According to the Ohio Environmental Council, a strategy session to address the concerns of oil and gas fracking in the Wayne National Forest is scheduled in Columbus Ohio for Tuesday January 17, 2017. The Bureau of Land Management opened an auction of leases between seventeen  and twenty one parcels of the forest on December 6, 2016. The auction is scheduled to begin March 23, 2017 and is open to 1,186 acres in the Marietta Unit of the forest.

The Notice of Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale is available at the BLM-ES website. The posting of the lease sale begins a thirty day protest period of the proposed leased parcels. Protests must be delivered in hard copy via postal service or fax, not emailed or by hand. The BLM received consent from the US Forest Service to offer these parcels in accordance with the revised 2006 Land and Resource Management Plan and the 2012 Supplemental Informational Report. In addition, resource specialists in the BLM Northeastern States District completed an (EA) Environmental Assessment During the process at the Athens Ranger District, public meetings were held in Athens, Ironton and Marietta Ohio. The final EA was released on October 13, 2016.

The March 23, 2017 lease sale will not authorize the successful bidders to develop their leases, according to the Bureau of Land Management, rather they are purchasing a lease which allows them to develop the parcel of land within ten years of the sale date.Because the sale does not authorize drilling, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was released at the same time as the final Environmental Assessment (EA). Although the lease holder will need further authorization before drilling or developing a well, the leases do contain some stipulation, mostly due to risk mitigation that are specific of the parcel. The risks can include soil erosion during construction, sensitive habitat disruption to the Threatened and Endangered Species Act, impairment of archeological research and detriment due to authorized recreational use.

Before any ground disturbing activity may begin on the auctioned parcels, operators must submit an Application for Permit to Drill (APD) to the BLM-ES. At that time, the BLM will initiate a site specific environmental analysis with the Wayne National Forest to determine the feasibility of the drill plan. The Ohio State of Department of Natural Resources will concurrently evaluate the APD for operational risks to groundwater.

The Bureau of Land Management oversees more than 245 million acres of public land, more than any Federal agency. The land is also known as the National System of Public Lands located in twelve Western states, including Alaska.  The BLM also administers to 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the USA. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

This collaboration between the Ohio Environmental Council, Ohio Revolution and a long list of interested organizations is scheduled at the Northwood High Building at 2231 N. High St. Columbus OH 43201. The event, hosted by Ohio Revolution, begins at 6:30 pm and ends at 8:30 pm. Off street parking is available for attendees.

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club / Miami Group – Executive Committee