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CCC 11/13/02 Meeting Summary

Date Posted: 12/4/2002
 

 

Citizen Coordinating Council - November 13, 2002 Organizational/Informational Meeting Highlights

On Wednesday, November 13, citizens from Idaho and Washington gathered at the Kootenai County Administrative Building in Coeur díAlene, Idaho to learn about the Citizens Coordinating Council (CCC) of the Basin Environmental Improvement Project Commission.† The CCC is being established to provide advice to the Basin Commission which was established by Idaho state law in April 2001 to address heavy metal contamination in the Coeur díAlene Basin of Idaho.

The following meeting highlights document presents discussion points and issues that were raised over the course of the evening.† Please also see the attached meeting presentation materials for additional details.

CCC Organization

  • The CCC will be successful if it can:
    • Encourage a diversity of views and be broad-based;
    • Draw its membership from across the valley and the Spokane River;
    • Allow the "smallest voice" to be heard;
    • Educate citizens about issues related to the remediation of heavy metals in the Basin;
    • Influence Basin Commission decisionmaking; and
    • To the maximum extent, be self-directed.
  • Several citizens expressed skepticism about the Basin Commission Board approving the CCC membership or selecting individuals to serve as the Chair/Vice-Chair of the group.† Individuals expressed the belief that the CCC should set its own membership and leadership, recognizing that the Board will review the functionality of this group from time to time.
  • Citizens wanted to think about whether they want the CCC to be a fully open membership body or be representative-based (or a combination of the two).† Generally, most meeting participants favored an open membership organization.† A few citizens noted, however, that the CCC could become too large to be productive. [NOTE: Basin Commissioner Dick Panabaker clarified that at this time, the Board has not discussed limiting the groupís membership.]
  • Several citizens noted that they are new to the process and will need to be educated on key issues to participate meaningfully in the CCC.
  • One participant expressed an interest in understanding the time commitment associated with being a CCC member.

Communication Issues

  • One citizen observed that citizens who submitted applications to join the CCC and/or the Technical Leadership Group (TLG)--a second advisory group also being established to support the Basin Commission--in July have not yet heard back from the Basin Commission and should be notified immediately of the status of their applications.
  • One citizen expressed a strong interest in seeing acknowledgement of the CACís hard work in the Basin and wanted to hear more about the plan to transition from the CAC to the CCC.† [NOTE: The Citizens' Advisory Committee (CAC) was developed approximately 10 years ago as an advisory group to the agencies and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe cooperating in the Coeur d'Alene Basin Restoration Project.† In 1999 they formed the CAC RI/FS Task Force which provided input to the agencies and Coeur d'Alene Tribe during the Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study process in the Basin.† The Task Force fulfilled its original intent upon the release of, and its comment upon, the Proposed Plan.†† Currently, the CAC is an autonomous group that sets its own membership and rules.]

Communicating with the TLG

  • Some citizens expressed an interest in either participating in or at least observing TLG discussions held by conference call.† Citizens were also interested in what actions could be taken to help minimize their expenses (e.g., long-distance phone charges) for participating on these calls.† [NOTE: TLG members attending the meeting offered to explore whether citizens (either an open group of citizens or possibly one or two citizen representatives from the CCC)† could join TLG conference calls and committed to provide an answer by the December 4, 2002 Basin Commission Board meeting.]

Information Needs and Interests

  • Several citizens expressed an interest in receiving information/learning about the following:
    • How remediation and Lake Management Plan activities can be connected;
    • What institutional controls are envisioned by the Lake Management Plan;
    • How the CCC can fulfill CERCLA-mandated community involvement requirements;
    • Studies used to develop the Lake Management Plan, especially those conducted by Horowitz and Morra.
  • Several citizens expressed a special interest in understanding what institutional controls are in place for farmlands adjacent to the Rails-to-Trails trail.
  • One citizen asked whether the human health evaluation would be also conducted for Union Pacific lands.

Miscellaneous

  • Several citizens expressed concerns about only having 30 days to review the Lake Management Plan.† At least one citizen committed to write a letter to her representative requesting a 180-day extension and encouraged others to do the same.

*NEXT MEETING:

Citizens attending the informational meeting agreed tentatively to hold the first CCC meeting on December 11 at 6:30 pm in Coeur díAlene.† They considered electing an interim Chair (and at least one person was nominated) but recognized that several interested citizens were not at the November 13 meeting and would want to participate in that decision.† The group also considered whether they could meet before the December 4 Board meeting but decided that this would be difficult, given their interest in involving more people/interests and the Thanksgiving holiday.† The citizens requested the support of a facilitator for the December 11 meeting and were informed that Ross & Associates would provide that assistance.† A few citizens commented that agency staff should not attend the CCC meeting.† Additional meeting details will be posted on www.basincommission.com.