Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The TCRPC meets this Friday.

Take Note: The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) meeting in August was cancelled and the Draft Minutes from the meeting in July are available. For that information and more, including the time, location and more details about the upcoming meeting please continue reading this blog post.

From the draft minutes in July there are over four (4) pages of minutes on one topic:

“Management Alternatives for Human Wastewater Biosolids — Resolution”

From the staff report on the agenda for the July meeting of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) is this information:

“Of additional concern are compounds found in human wastewater biosolids which may include: hormones; steroids; bacteria; viruses; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); pharmaceuticals; antibodies; polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE fire retardants); polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) like Teflon, polishes, waxes, paints, and household cleaning products; organics; metals; and artificial sweeteners. Although these materials are applied in a manner that may not be harmful to humans according to EPA guidelines, their accumulated secondary impacts are not entirely known.” [emphasis added]

The topic of biosolids first came to the attention of many in the public here in Palm Beach County when Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy, an alternate member on the TCRPC, presented his liaison report to the Lake Worth City Commission on August 7th. To read all about, “The other human poop problem plaguing the Treasure Coast and St. Lucie River, basins and estuary” click on this link for more information.

Briefly, before we proceed, the August meeting of the TCRPC was cancelled and the next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Friday, September 21st at 9:00.

Meetings are held at the Wolf High Technology Center, Indian River State College (Chastain Campus) located at 2400 SE Salerno Rd. in Stuart. To look over the agenda this month use this link.

Note that public comment is strongly encouraged at the TCRPC. For example, below is public comment by Mr. Drew Martin. For those who wish to attend the meeting this month carpooling may be an option for those who have an interest in topics such as the water releases from Lake Okeechobee and the water quality in the Indian River Lagoon.

Also of special note is on October 12th will be the “Joint Meeting with the South Florida Regional Planning Council in Broward County”. Meeting details and the agenda will become available at some time in the near future.

Now back to the minutes from the TCRPC meeting in July and the resolution, “Management Alternatives for Human Wastewater Biosolids”, several excerpts:

Staff indicated the proposed resolution is an outgrowth of the June Regional Biosolids Symposium Council co-sponsored with the Indian River Lagoon Council. Staff explained the resolution is intended to mark the time when we [Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin counties] start to work together as a region and as a state to increase awareness of current and future biosolids management.

and. . .

Councilman [Jeff] Hmara* from the Village of Royal Palm Beach asked how Council can go about reaching out to the federal government on this issue. Commissioner [Doug] Smith suggested using the fact that this will eventually lead into the Indian River Lagoon South and affect Everglades Restoration. . . . He stated the message needs to stay consistent and unified in order to get something accomplished in terms of policy.

On topic of wastewater biosolids Chair Drew Martin from the Loxahatchee Sierra Club had comments:

Under public comment, Drew Martin thanked Council for the resolution, because there is strong evidence that biosolids are getting into the [Indian River] lagoon and causing water quality problems.

And near the end of the meeting following the “Council Member Update” came the general Public Comment portion:

He [Drew Martin] stated there is not a lot that can be done in terms of releases from Lake Okeechobee, but there are things that can be done locally such as fertilizer ordinances, encouraging people to do septic conversions [to municipal sewer], and having people limit watering their lawns. . . . He encouraged Council to use biodegradable cups rather than Styrofoam when serving coffee.

Once again, the upcoming TCPRC meeting is on Friday, September 21st. The link to the agenda is above in this blog post.

There is also another very important meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20th: “Public Review and Comment Requested for A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Draft Visitor Services Plan and Environmental Assessment”. To learn more about that meeting in Wellington click on this link.

*For the list of all TCRPC members and alternates click on this link.