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Meeting Minutes for January 2012

Sierra Club meeting January 18, 2012
China Inn

Attendees:  Devawn Oberlender, Maria Bowling, Chris Wilson, Karen Doyle, Jessica Bennet, Tom Hoffman, Alan Heath, Sandy Sclaudesker, Steve Haimann, Nancy Mignone, Judy Lindberg, David Jenkins, Mary Ratliff, Anton Boudoin, Bruce Grimes

We discussed moving the meeting time to 7pm and the meeting place to Lucy Monroe’s Coffee Shop in Christiansburg.  They have a meeting room that we could have at no charge if some people buy drinks or food.  There is also WI-FI available.  Chris would also like to add a guest speaker at each meeting.  Nancy made a motion that we move our meetings to 7pm at Lucy Monroe’s Coffee Shop starting with the February 15th meeting.  It was seconded by Maria and passed.  Meetings will continue to be on the third Wednesday of the month.

Increasing our membership was the next topic.  Virginia’s numbers are down.  We will try to have a table at upcoming festivals in the NRV:  Steppin’ Out, Wilderness Festival, Claytor Lake Festival, etc.  We would also like to go to RU and VT events to recruit college students.  Mary and Nancy will look into the possibility of having or sharing a spot at the Blacksburg Farmers Market.

Chris will create our Facebook page.  She has our new NRV Sierra Club website up and running.

We discussed Floyd County’s proposed ban on all structures over 40 feet.  This proposal is aimed at keeping wind turbines out of the county.  This will be discussed and/or voted on in Floyd on January 31.  Maria made a motion that the Sierra Club is against this resolution.  Chris seconded it and all were in favor.

It was asked that we all send letters to the editors on 2 topics:  keeping the ban on uranium mining and keeping VT’s stadium woods intact.  However, if was noted that the governor will likely stay the ban, at least temporarily.  In regards to the stadium woods, it was clarified that originally it was publicized that the total acreage was 20 acres.  But now it is stated that the woods are only 14 acres with 7 being slated for destruction in order to building a sports facility.

Nancy attended a Livability Initiatives event and was in an air quality group of 1.  They would like our input on health indicators on air and water as well as other areas.  They will email this to us and would like our input by February 7.

Devawn, who belongs to Environmental Advocates of the NRV, gave us information on the pollution created by the Radford Arsenal.  She said that it is the most toxic business in the State and that there is very little oversight of their activities by the DEQ or EPA.  She said that their clean air permit has expired and that they continue to do open air pan burning of toxic compounds with no air quality monitors present.  Also, our Karst topography allows for contamination of ground water and wells.  One of their group’s goals is to get another federal agency, ATSDR, to do a full health assessment to determine the potential for human exposure to hazardous emissions.

Sherman Bamford has been reviewing our Mountain Treasures areas.  He is finished with the project and the job took more hours than expected.  We would like to pay him an additional $400 with $300 coming from what is left in the Mountain Treasures fund and $100 from the general fund.  David so moved and Bruce seconded the motion.  It was approved.

David gave an update on the Global Community Monitoring company and our air quality project.  He said he had sent them a Memorandum of Understanding.  They are working on preparing a budget and a plan for community education.  There is a VT faculty member who has the equipment to do the air monitoring if we decide to go that route.  It was suggested that we ask Frank Adams from the regional DEQ office to come speak at our February meeting.

Submitted by
Mary Ratliff

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