Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Council
General Meeting
April 2, 2014

Attendees:   Present were Council members Karen Dolan, Tracy Oscavich, Mike Topping and George Yasko.  Also present was Lynn Rothman.

Approval of March Minutes:  Karen moved approval; seconded by Mike; approved.
Sub Committee Reports:
            Energy:  Jack and George have been very busy at work, but should have something for us to look at in the near future.

            Green:  No report.

Transportation:  Anne Felker will stay on the Transportation Committee but was not at the meeting.  She will inform George of any new developments.  Karen noted that the Parks & Public Property Committee is studying the 941 Articles in the City Ordinances, which are concerned with the City Park areas, and include the use of bicycles in the park areas.  Bikes are presently only allowed on paved vehicle roads and she noted that the Committee is looking into multi use trails on park lands, which could include bikes, pedestrians and possibly even horses on a limited basis.  She recommended that the EAC also study the 941 Articles and make recommendations to the Council Committee.  Feeding of wildlife, fishing, wading, tubing, and the use of alcohol will also be reviewed.  Any proposed changes should be sent to the EAC members prior to the next meeting.  

External Committee Reports:
Zoning:  No report.
Planning:  No report.
City Council:  Karen is now on the LVPC.  She noted that City Council appears supportive of a Solar Panel Ordinance and the EAC should recommend something soon.

Correspondence:  Karen recommended that everyone join Facebook to help spread information about the City.

Old Business: 

  • Karen noted that Ralph Carp, Parks & Public Property Director, will be coming to future meetings.

New Business: 

  • Bylaws Amendments:  Karen noted that permanent members could not be added to the EAC, but that alternate members could be chosen by the EAC and that they could have voting privileges in the absence of a permanent member.  Thus, a few alternate members could help guarantee that enough members will be available to vote on subjects during meetings.   George asked everyone to review the proposed amendments so that they could be voted on at a later meeting.
  • Dumping Sites in the City:  Tracy noted that dumping has taken place behind her home in the Aurora Street area north of Moravian College and east of the Monocacy Creek.  Discussion followed concerning various dumping sites in the City and the need to clean them up.  Mike noted that students from Bethlehem Catholic had helped the Saucon Creek Watershed Authority clean up a number of sites on the South Side and that a similar effort could be helped by students from Liberty, Freedom and/or the Fox Environmental Center. 
  • Road Salts:  Karen stated that the PA Clean Water Act forbids the dumping of any pollutants, including salt, in a way that they could reach a stream.  She will present this to a meeting of the Human Resources and Environment Committee of City Council, which will also be attended by appropriate City Staff.  She expects them to approve a snow removal plan for the City, which includes the proper disposal of snow and the accumulated salts in the snow.   She noted that there may be grant money available to help the City in this effort.   Other materials besides salt may also be available to the City to help in snow removal.
  • Riparian Buffers:  George will send to Rep. Marcia Hahn a letter stating our objection to the removal or lessoning of riparian buffers in the Commonwealth.  If anything, they should be increased depending on the location.
  • LEED Ordinance:  City Clerk, Cindy Biedenkopf, had sent out a survey to cities large and small to get feedback on what they are doing in this area.  Some of the more progressive Bureaus were also contacted.
  • Meeting Location and Time:  The EAC will discuss a revised time and location for future meetings at the next meeting.   Everyone should bring a calendar.  So far, the first Thursday at 6 AM appears to be the best time and the location would be at the Fox Environmental Center.  Once the time and place is approved, Karen will ask Cindy to post this information in the paper.
  • Nomination To Fill Open Seat:  George will contact Lynn Rothman to see if she would agree to join the EAC.