Chairperson Beverly Budz called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this regular meeting has been provided to the public and the press on December 13, 2012 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Salute to the Flag

Roll Call

Beverly Budz P
Michael Cheski A
Traci Baldwin-Carter A
Helena Holmes P
Heloise Ruskin P
Diane Wexler P

Also Present

Jessi Paladini, Recording Secretary

Meeting Opened to the Public

No one came forward.

Meeting Closed to the Public

Land Use Board Liaison Report

Diane Wexler reported that the last two meetings of the land use board were canceled due to there being no applications. She reported a minor deck application was approved at the last LUB meeting held. She also reported that the board approved the age-restricted housing application on Theta Drive that the environmental commission reviewed at its June meeting but had no concerns about. No other applications are pending at this time. She also discussed the state-mandated regulations on lake community dams. Several lake communities in the township had to come under these regulations and do restoration work. The cost for the work is assessed in the lake community members’ tax bills.

Old Business

Three-Minute Idle Law

Chairperson Beverly Budz discussed where the law might be enforceable on private properties and on municipal properties. She questioned whether the town could enforce it at the A&P plaza on Route 515, at Mountain Creek, or at township schools with parents picking up children. The commission discussed how the law could be enforced on township properties. They discussed that the township council would have to approve any ordinances requiring enforcement on township properties. They discussed drafting a resolution to recommend stricter municipal ordinances concerning idling. They said since it is already a law that idling is limited to only three minutes, an ordinance might not be necessary but signage around town would remind people of the law. Diane Wexler asked who gets the money from penalties, the town or the state? Beverly Budz said she would research the answer to that question. She will email all before the next meeting with the answer to that question. They discussed putting signs up at Maple Grange Park for a start. They will discuss this further at their next meeting. More enforcement would bring down the level of carbon in the environment and be better for the town, the commissioners said.

New Business

Applications under Review

There were no applications under review.

Diane Wexler was contacted by the Highlands Coalition and Pine Barrens Stewardship Council after they heard about the work the Pipeline Walkers are doing. The council wants to come to Vernon for a site visit with the environmental commission. When they get a definite date, the site visit would have to be noticed in the paper under the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act.

Nomination of a Vice Chairperson

Since Mayor Marotta appointed Beverly Budz as environmental commission chairperson, the vice chairperson’s position is vacant. Heloise Ruskin nominated Diane Wexler. Beverly Budz seconded the nomination

Motion: Heloise Ruskin
Second: Beverly Budz
Ayes: Helena Holmes, Heloise Ruskin, Diane Wexler, Beverly Budz
Nays: None

Helena Holmes announced that she is scheduled to teach classes on the evenings the environmental commission meets in the fall so in the best interest of the commission she is going to resign. She said she does not know what her spring schedule will be as well. She said it is not fair for the commission that she is not able to attend meetings and thinks someone else should be appointed who can attend regularly. She will send her letter of resignation to the township clerk. Beverly Budz said they would forward names of potential environmental commission members for the mayor’s consideration. They also want the mayor to appoint a junior commission member from the high school, as has been customary in past years.

Heloise Ruskin said the environmental commission should continue to discuss a ban on fracking and heavy industry in the township. The zoning ordinances already address heavy industry in town. The commission will research what the ordinances are and make further recommendations to the land use board and governing body. Heloise said she will look into getting a copy of the ordinances from the township clerk. The ordinances are also online on the township website for review. Beverly Budz also said she will get the commissioners copies of the CD of the June meeting on fracking.

Approval of Minutes

June 11, 2013 Regular Minutes

Motion to Approve: Diane Wexler
Second: Beverly Budz
Ayes: Helena Holmes, Heloise Ruskin, Diane Wexler, Beverly Budz
Nays: None

Commission Concerns and Comments

Diane Wexler read a letter the commission proposes to send to Tennessee Pipeline. The letter is in response to the pipeline company’s April 30, 2013 letter, which did not adequately address commission concerns. It only addressed limited test results. The commission’s new letter asks the pipeline company to submit the results of all tests conducted and also wants confirmation that Tennessee Pipeline reported the results of those tests to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

Motion to Adjourn

Helena Holmes moved to adjourn the meeting at 8 p.m. Heloise Ruskin seconded. All in favor.

The next meeting of the environmental commission will be on September 10, 2013.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary
Adopted by the commission on September 10, 2013