Fenwick committee discusses CAC

The Fenwick Island Environmental Committee heard from Harry Haon of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Center for the Inland Bays on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Haon, also a member of the Fenwick Island Environmental Committee, spoke briefly on CAC activity and the status of the bays, in place of Todd Smallwood, who wasn’t at the meeting but had been expected to give a presentation. The committee expects Smallwood to give his presentation in its entirety at next month’s meeting.

Haon explained that, as an advisory committee, the CAC has gotten involved and spoken on record about such issues as the pollution coming from the Indian River Generating Station and old coal fly-ash piles. He spoke about the recent announcement of a possible shutdown of the IRGS’s Unit 3, the largest of the power plant’s electrical generating units.

Councilwoman and committee member Vicki Carmean asked if the resolution put forth by the Environmental Committee, and presented by the CAC to the board, had any influence.

“I think the position of the [Center for the] Inland Bays had a major impact, in combination with new leadership at DNREC. This guy, Collin O’Mara, he’s 29 years old, and he’s amazing.”

Carmean added, “It’s nice when little voices have an impact.”

Haon said that is but one example of work the Center for the Inland Bays’ CAC committee has taken a stance on, the other being a recommendation for an independent panel of experts to make mitigation requests about the an old fly-ash pile, rather than consultants working for the owners of the plant.

“That hasn’t happened yet.” he added.

He explained the purpose of sharing the information as to educate and inform, as well as to recruit people to want to get involved with the Center.

The committee on Feb. 9 also reviewed a proposed lighting ordinance. The council has already held a first reading on it, and Carmean said that, although she and fellow Environmental Committee member (and fellow Charter and Ordinance Committee member) Buzz Henfiin didn’t get 100 percent of what they wanted in the ordinance, “We got 50 percent of what we wanted, so that’s good.”

The Charter and Ordinance Committee edited the existing ordinance to get it to a more-concise four pages – rather than 10 – and got a clear purpose of the ordinance established, including conservation of energy. Carmean also said that they got a limit on grandfathering, so any houses built after 1996 have until July of 2016 to comply. “I was happy with that,” she said.

They also discussed any suggestions that could be given to the council regarding street lighting and emphasized the fact that, with MSA funding not available this year, they have to be looking at ways to cut costs. They decided to think about that some more and discuss it again at next month’s meeting.

The March meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 9.