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 January 3, 2014 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
Doreen Edwards P
Cathy McCartney A
Alyssa Portaro P
Diane Wexler A

Also Present

Jessi Paladini, Recording Secretary

Open Meeting to Public

Motion to open the meeting to the public was made by Doreen Edwards. Seconded by Alyssa Portaro

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Doreen Edwards, Alyssa Portaro, and Beverly Budz
Nays: None

Close Meeting to Public

Seeing no one come forward, Alyssa Portaro moved to close the meeting to the public. Doreen Edwards seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Doreen Edwards, Alyssa Portaro, and Beverly Budz
Nays: None

Land Use Board Liaison Report

As Land Use Board Liaison Diane Wexler was not in attendance, there was no report.

Applications under Review

1. Block 231, Lots 26 & 27

The commission reviewed an application by Daniel and Margaret Borstad, Block 231, Lots 26 & 27, for a lot line relocation. The commission had no concerns.

2. CVS

Recording Secretary and Land Use Board Member Jessi Paladini explained the details about the CVS Pharmacy application and approval.

Old Business

1. Camp Sussex

Chairwoman Beverly Budz reported that Superior Court Judge Weisenbeck dismissed with prejudice the petition filed by the Vernon Taxpayers Association concerning Camp Sussex. The judge ruled that the petition was invalid and would, therefore, not be on the November 4, 2014 ballot.

2. Mandate for Bear Proof Garbage Cans

The commission discussed a proposed resolution by the B.E.A.R. group to mandate the purchase of bear-proof garbage cans in communities considered “bear country” and highly populated with bears. Commission member Cathy McCartney suggested the environmental commission adopt a resolution to support the bill. Chairwoman Beverly Budz said she felt the resolution did not clearly define what is or is not “bear country.” She felt the proposed legislation was vague. While she said she was personally in favor of such legislation, she did not feel the environmental commission could support it due to its vagueness and the questions raised. She also questioned mandating residents to spend upwards of $80 for the bear-proof cans.

Commission member Doreen Edwards said she felt education was the most important thing and felt the commission should pursue that route in educating the public on dealing with bears and garbage.

Commission member Alyssa Portaro felt the legislation needed more specific language before it could be supported. She suggested perhaps bear-proof cans could be mandatory for businesses and commercial entities only.

Chairwoman Budz also stated it was not clear where the legislation came from or who actually sponsored it.

3. Three-Minute Idle Law

Chairwoman Beverly Budz will forward the resolution to the township clerk, along with a cover letter and the recommended signage. The resolution is aimed at creating greater awareness of the already existing idling laws within the community, particularly in large parking lots and areas where there are many standing vehicles.

New Business

Forestry Grant

The environmental commission will be getting a $364,000 grant for reforestation from the Department of Forestry because the Tennessee Pipeline Company violated the “No Net Loss” restrictions. Beverly Budz said if the township acquired Camp Sussex, many of the trees will be planted there. She said she has been in contact with the Department of Forestry, which is giving the commission an extension of filing the paperwork for the grant money.

Mountain Creek Proposed Indoor Water Park

The commission had directed the secretary to contact Mountain Creek applicant Andrew Mulvihill to ask him to come to an environmental commission meeting to discuss the proposal and answer the commissioners’ questions. Mr. Mulvihill has been contacted, and he will attend the commission’s December 9, 2014 meeting.

Approval of Minutes

September 9, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes was made by Doreen Edwards and seconded by Alyssa Portaro.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Doreen Edwards, Alyssa Portaro, and Beverly Budz
Nays: None


1. Pequannock Post

Chairwoman Budz read from the latest newsletter.


There was no information about ANJEC classes in the correspondence. Commissioners can check the ANJEC website to see if any classes are available at this time. Commission members may attend training meetings that will be paid for by the township, with the approval of the mayor and council.

3. Highlands Applicability Determination Application, Joel Schlesinger

The commission reviewed an application filed by Mr. Schlesinger of 5 Vernon View Drive, Vernon. The application seeks an exemption from the requirements of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act. All projects and activities on the subject property receiving a Highlands Applicability Determination shall be reviewed by the applicable area wide Water Quality Management Plan.

4. TWA Application, Block 260.27, Lot 14

The commission reviewed a letter from Careaga Engineering reporting on behalf of Tina Diakos the submission of a TWA application for 2 Andrea Drive, Block 260.27, Lot 14 concerning the abandonment of an existing septic disposal system.

Commissioner Comments

Commissioner Alyssa Portaro said she looks forward to her continued working with the environmental commission and said the commission is doing good things. She mentioned a concern about the lack of recycling at Great Gorge Village and suggested the commission might investigate that suggestion further.

Commissioner Doreen Edwards said she would like to see a copy of the township’s most current Natural Resource Inventory (NRI). Secretary Jessi Paladini will obtain a copy and get it to the commission. Chairwoman Beverly Budz said she thought she had the NRI on a CD and will make it available to the commissioners and also suggested doing a presentation of it for a commission meeting in the near future.

Chairwoman Budz also said she is concerned about the loss of many plant and animal species and would also like to see or do a presentation on the Indiana Brown Bat.

Alyssa Portaro questioned how the pipeline might be affecting amphibians.

Chairwoman Budz said she and Commissioner Diane Wexler are going to Mahwah to see and discuss the effects of the pipeline there. Mahwah’s mayor and council invited them to come to their community.

Motion to Adjourn

Doreen Edwards moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Alyssa Potaro seconded the motion. All were in favor.

The next meeting of the environmental commission will be on November 13, 2014.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary
Adopted January 13, 2015