Category Archives: Conservation News

Connect the Dots Leadership Training (March 24th & 25th)

The Connect the Dots Leadership Training is March 24th and 25th at  Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, 103 William Howard Taft Rd. Cincinnati OH 45219. Allison Chin from the national Sierra Club Board will be helping to facilitate the leadership seminar.  The training will be Saturday from 8:30am-5:00pm and Sunday from 1-5pm., food and materials are included. The Sierra Club with the support of the Seasongood Foundation is providing the training for free but space is limited.

Click to Apply and Learn More.  

This training is designed for teams of individuals who are working on a single issue or priority. All organizations and individuals are welcome to apply, and you do not need to be a Sierra Club member or part of an existing team to apply.  The goal of this training is to be a resource for new and existing leaders to deepen their commitment and connection, increase confidence in campaign planning and community organizing, and enhance their contribution to engaging more people in transformational opportunities.

Connect the Dots will include:

• Campaign Planning & Strategy

• Environmental Justice and Building Partnerships

• Engaging New Volunteers & Leaders

• Creating a Vision & Narrative

• Connecting to Community Values

• Power Mapping & Target Engagement

Senate Bill 210 Places Threat on Plastic Bag Fee

Special interest groups backed by the Koch brothers are trying to take away our local authority! Senate Bill 210 would preempt us from being able to pass a plastic bag fee in cities across Ohio. This is not only an issue of sustainability, but also of our democracy and local governments.

TAKE ACTION: Follow the link below to send a message to Ohio legislators and let them know that SB 210 is NOT okay.

https://sierra.secure.force.com/actions/Ohio?actionId=AR0101373

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 [email protected]
Commissioner Todd Portune 946-4401 [email protected]
Council member Yvette Simpson 352-5260 [email protected]
Council member PG Sittenfeld 352-5270 [email protected]
Council member Chris Seelbach 352-5210 [email protected]
Council member Charles Winburn 352-5354 [email protected]
Council member Wendell Young 352-3466 [email protected]
Council member Chris Smitherman 352-3464 [email protected]
Council member Kevin Flynn 352-4550 [email protected]

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”