Minutes of the Meeting
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CONTROL OF EMISSIONS FROM MOTOR VEHICLES
MINUTES FOR THE I/M MEETING
Chairperson Lloyd Nelson bought the I/M meeting to order. Members in attendance were:
Russ Wilde - NDOT
Agenda Item #2 was Washoe County representative, Andy Goodrich, going over the Grant Funding request for FY2005. Mr. Goodrich explained the grant was essentially broken out into three parts. Task 1, “Support of the District’s Motor Vehicle Emission Program”, Task 2, the maintenance and operation of the ambient air quality monitoring network operated in Washoe County and Task 3, is the portion forwarded to the TMRPA under a memorandum of understanding. For both Task 1 and Task 2, the monies/funds are used entirely for salaries and travel. The Chairman asked for questions. Dennis Ransel introduced a motion to approve the proposed grant funding request and Colleen Cripps seconded the motion.
Agenda Item #3 was Clark County representative Dennis Ransel. Dennis went over the Grant Funding request for FY2005. He spoke about the amount projected by the DMV. He indicated there was a little change this year, basically breaking the grant into 2 parts or 2 programs. The first was the monitoring sections program. Essentially that entire budget was going to go towards personnel costs. The monitoring section provides and operates all the monitoring devices in the Las Vegas Valley and around Clark County. This is critical to their program management. The second element is the planning projects section. New positions were requested in the past. Those positions now have been filled and added to the Department. The request this year on the budget shows the entire amount that would be available for air quality planning. That amount will be utilized to pay for personnel expenses. The entire $96,000.00 is essentially paying for the salaries and benefits of both the monitoring and planning sections. This does not pay for all the personnel in these sections, it is only part. Lloyd Nelson had questions on the Attachment E and C, “Salary and Benefits.” Lloyd needed clarification on how many people were paid from the funds. Dennis responded that 6 people were on the payroll. The monitoring section has other sources of funding, as well. They have a federal grant, which Mr. Ransel is part of, in addition to some of general fund money they allocate among all their people. The allocations are still pretty much the same way they have always been. The Chairman called for questions. No questions arose and a motion to approve the funding request was entered by Andy Goodrich. Colleen Cripps second the motion. All members were in favor of the approval.
The chairman then explained he would draft a letter to the DMV deputy director and the administrator of the air quality division of the department of conservation pertaining to the grant funds as soon as he returned to the office.
Chairman Nelson then introduced discussion of appointing a new Chairperson to the I/M Committee. It was time for him to step down, as he has been the chairman since 2001. Mr. Clay Thomas, Department of Motor Vehicles Deputy Director explained to the committee the NAC which outlines the term and extensions available when granted by the deputy director of the DMV. He expressed his thanks to Mr. Nelson for his service to the committee and added that he, too, felt it would be appropriate to hear from the members as to who would like to volunteer to step in and be the next chairperson for the I/M Committee for a term of two years. Mr. John Koswan indicated that he would like to nominate Mr. Michael Uhl’s for consideration as the new chairperson. He also would like to request that the nomination be tabled until such time as Mr. Uhl was designated and approved as a member of the committee. A question was raised as to when the nomination process should be revisited and again Mr. Koswan suggested as soon as Mr. Uhl was seated as a member, the next meeting or the meeting after next. Mr. Thomas indicated he had no problem with that suggestion and then asked if Mr. Nelson had any input in the matter. Mr. Nelson interjected his feelings regarding the matter and stated that he felt, as outgoing chairman, someone who had served on the committee for some time and had seniority with the committee would be his preferred choice and indicated that he would personally looked towards Mr. Andy Goodrich to accept the chairmanship and hoped Mr. Goodrich would entertain the idea. Mr. Nelson further advised Mr. Goodrich that the department would assist him with the position and clerical support will also be provided. Mr. Goodrich appreciated Mr. Nelson’s nomination and would do it if that were the wishes of the committee but if it was okay with the deputy director to let this be done in a process where they submit nominations and then take a vote. Mr. Thomas agreed with his comments. He also concurred with Mr. Nelson’s opinion that the nominee should be a member with some time on the committee. A member who served on the Committee for a period of time and has a good understanding of the current issues. This member would be called upon to possibly meet with other entities and legislative representatives. He also agreed that the democratic process was fine but that the statute indicated that the deputy director could appoint an individual. However, he didn’t feel he was in a position to do so as the members have worked together longer as a group. Therefore, Mr. Thomas deferred to the chairman as to how he would like to proceed with the replacement process. Mr. Nelson then agreed to waiting until the next meeting. At that time nominations will take place along with a vote. The majority of that vote will place us with a new Chairperson. A motion was then introduced that nomination of members for a new Chairperson and vote will take place. Then a recommendation will be made to the deputy director of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Just as a matter of discussion, a proposal was introduced that possible alternates can be made between county and state members as Chairpersons. This would be a good idea but would add stipulation and might complicate the nomination process. The discussion continued and it was agreed, by those involved, it might be a good idea not to put too many bounds on the process. The nomination and voting by the committee with the recommendation submitted to the director for approval would meet all the statutory requirements.
A question was raised concerning the discussion that had arisen at the last advisory meeting regarding voting and non-voting members. Mr. Nelson related that it had not been approved and that it was merely a recommendation. The recommendation subsequently had been put into a letter and sent to the director of NDOT on March 16, 2004, and no response has been received to date. Mr. Nelson is still in the process of working on the regulations and has not yet submitted anything to LCB. The same is true for Agriculture. Mr. Nelson has the proposed drafts completed. He explained that he would need to schedule an appointment with Mr. Thomas to go over the suggested changes and make sure he approved them.
The meeting was opened to public comment. Mr. Thomas opened discussion under public comment. He indicated that most were in a meeting earlier, so this portion of the discussion will be a reiteration of what had already been said, but for those that were not present, he had a couple of topics or items he wanted to bring to the committee’s attention that the DMV is dealing with. Mr. Thomas had received a work program request from both Washoe and Clark Counties. The requests come to the DMV and then this agency takes it forward to the IFC committee. In the past, it has always been run through the advisory committee asking for their input. Mr. Thomas mentioned he had sent a letter out requesting that all voting members take the opportunity to review the work program requests that had come from both counties and either give their opinion of whether they approve or deny that request. Mr. Nelson was asked if he had received responses back from everybody and he indicated he had received a response back from DEP, Washoe County, DOT and DMV. The only thing he was still waiting for was Clark County. An acknowledgement was made that a letter had been drafted for Christine’s signature, recommending approval. Mr. Thomas appreciated their reviews, responses and recommendations. Mr. Thomas wanted to explain why he went this way. He felt that although the programs did not require the approval of the advisory committee, he still wanted their input as an added value along with their responses. The Committee knows the program better and this puts the department in a better position. The member’s responses would be put together with the work program packet and would be sent over to the legislature for an informed decision. Mr. Thomas thanked the members for the responses. Mr. Thomas went on to say that since he was new to the position he has reviewed the NRS and NAC and will be requesting audits be done on some of the programs by our internal auditors. They will be asked to look for consistency and insure that we are following the guidelines set forth. The audit would also insure that the money was being spent appropriately and would prove to protect the citizens of the State of Nevada. Additionally, they would have backup documentation showing that we are operating at the appropriate level and funds are being spent in the manner that they have been doled out for. He assured the committee that the audits were not being conducted due to a hidden agenda and there are no suspicions. He feels that we are however, duty bound to review these items. In addition, he stated that there would be some changes to the work programs coming through and then obviously to IFC. Just to reiterate a point made, that although the DMV is the vehicle to carry the work programs forward to IFC, we will not be the ones that are there to testify on its behalf. Representatives from the two counties will need to present to answer questions to the IFC committee, should they have any. Obviously, the counties are in a much better position to explain or justify the requests. Mr. Thomas will be asking for the names of the representatives and will notify them of the dates and times they will be needed for legislature. If the work program methods continue to be used for release of grant monies, everyone is going to have to start looking at rewriting some regulations if there are no further changes made. Then we will need to address how we are going to operate under this environment. I know with the Advisory Board there are certain methodologies that come into play, such as, you have to go in front of the board of examiners, then the need for inter-local agreements and other things like that. He wanted to make sure that whatever the advisory board has done in the past that it is revisited to see if it needs to be carried over to the work program arena. If it is, that may require some changes to regulations. But, that is down the road. The Chairman, at this point, asked for a moment to thank Dennis Ransel for arranging the meeting accommodations and telephone equipment for conferencing.
Mr. Thomas had two more things to quickly relay. He requested that a DEP representative be present for IFC since they have been involved in the discussions since the beginning. Secondly, Mr. Thomas discussed the NACs and the terms of the Advisory Board members. He requested that if there were any changes needed, they needed to be submitted in writing. If there are not any changes, approval will be made for the next two years of the current existing members.
Mr. Thomas asked for questions, there were none. He thanked the board for the time, energy and effort they have dedicated to the program. He wanted to express the importance of their involvement. He will rely on their expertise to guide him and the program into the future. Importance being emphasized on the team effort required.
Colleen had a question. “Will the comments Mr. Thomas made regarding the changes to the regulations be placed on the agenda for the next committee meeting for discussion?”
Mr. Thomas’s responded that he was not sure at this time. This is the first time we have gone through with a work program. We have always used the advisory committee and obtained the funds through the grants process. So he would like to hold off to see, “how this works, how receptive IFC is to it, if there are any hurdles, if there are any problems, and if there are any guidelines that they want or suggestions that they have.” Mr. Thomas thinks at that time, collectively that the board could probably meet and see if there are any changes to the NACs warranted. This is a new way of releasing the funds and a new process. There is no certainty as to where it is going to lead. The potential is there, but we may have to make changes. However, none have been identified at this time. Mr. Nelson included that more will be known after the June 16th IFC meeting.
Sig turned the committee’s attention to a news item directed at the counties and DMV. He indicated HDD emission folks might also be interested in this. He was on a call with the western air regional partnership mobile sources forum. This is group of western states interested in the regional air issues and regional haze issues. They made the announcement that; EPA had recently announced a grant program aimed at retrofit projects for HDD. This is for both on road and off road. What they want to do is fund about 10 demonstration projects at about the $100,000.00 level to retrofit vehicles. They are interested in areas of non-attainment PM that certainly our two counties qualify for. They were also interested in areas where there are environmental justice issues or tribal areas. Sig stated that he had just found out about this and still hasn’t had the chance to look through it all, but he thought we might send this out to the counties and anyone interested to see if maybe they could find a fleet somewhere of “on road or off road vehicles” that we could get some grant money for and have a little demonstration project. John Koswan announced that they had gotten the notice also and were looking at it and will proceed accordingly. It is $150,000.00 per project, with 10 projects around the country.
Representatives of the I/M Committee expressed their appreciation to Mr. Thomas for taking time to participate today. Members were happy to hear the deputy director’s perceptive regarding the programs, as Mr. Thomas was new to the position. The Chairman asked for questions. Mr. Goodrich was interested in the agenda item that had been removed from the agenda. “EPA Proposal requiring state and counties agencies to submit an annual report of the performance of their air quality programs”. Mr. Goodrich was curious about it. Mr. Jaunarajs spoke to the issue indicating that he had submitted the item and it was withdrawn. Briefly, there had been an EPA announcement in the federal register. They plan to reinstate a requirement to air agencies that have emission testing programs. They would like them submit data and reporting to the EPA evaluating the performance of those programs. They were seeking public comment about this renewal for requested information. Mr. Jaunarjas told the questioner that he would be happy to get the information on how to reply if he would like it. The questioner was just curious as to whether the new reporting was over and above what they already do. Sig reported that it is specific to I/M programs and agencies that implement those programs. The chairman interjected that it looked like a requirement they were reinstituting; they hadn’t required this in a while. Lloyd (Chairman) stated that he had read the email that Mr. Jaunarajs had forwarded and it was his understanding they wanted yearly reports. Mr. Nelson was asked if we did a report now and his response was no. Currently, we do a quarterly report and submit it to DEP. Mr. Nelson went on to say that he was receptive to amending his quarterly report if needed to fulfill the requirement. Lloyd suggested getting an informal update on what is required, and then he will be able to see what needs to be done. As he understood it, this will be an annual requirement the EPA. This rule specifies what needs to be reported to them. Apparently it is more than what we are looking at on the quarterly basis now. Lloyd stated to Dennis that there is a Question on his part, “ How does this requirement you are referring to Dennis, fit in with what appears in the federal register on April 2nd?” It needs to be resolved! We need to determine what the notice says and the purpose of it. Then we will look at what we understand to be the recurring reporting requirements that EPA has established. Then we will need to comply. It was suggested that perhaps a phone call would be in order between the 4 different agencies, EPA, DEP, DMV, and the air quality agencies in the two counties. They all agreed that would be a good idea. If we need more detailed reports, Mr. Nelson suggested obtaining the Ad Hoc reporting program from MCI. Mr. Jaunarajs agreed to setting up a time and sending out an email for a Conference call, such as what was used for this meeting. Mr. Ransel offered to assist.
Next on the agenda is scheduling the next meeting. It was determined tentatively August 19th. In the meantime, a draft of the regulation changes would be sent out to the committee members for review. If another meeting is needed before July, one will be set up. It was reaffirmed that the major changes had already been agreed upon. There should be a subcommittee meeting on that day along with speakers from the propane and (C&G) industries to discuss emission testing of alternative fuels. Mr. Jaunarajs was asked if that was enough time. He affirmed that it was. Steve from the Department of Agriculture questioned if Mr. Jaunarajs planned on contacting the LPG board? Mr. Jaunarajs contact was Nina Laxalt an industry representative. Steve advised Mr. Jaunarajs that there is a board in Carson City that represents the LPG industry. Mr. Jaunarajs said he could make contact with them as well. Mr. Nelson added that we have a couple of in-depth reports that Mike McKenzie our Environmental Scientist, had finished regarding LDD testing. This too would be a good discussion topic for the subcommittee. Mike had also contacted all the other states doing LDD testing. He had obtained all their Regulation information. It was suggested that Mike’s report would be mailed out to everyone due to time constraints. The next meeting will be in Reno. DMV will get started on securing a location. Carson was also suggested as a possible meeting site. Ralph suggested NDOT. They have a nice teleconferencing and video conferencing facility in Carson City. The Chairman advised the committee he would look into it. The advantage there was the video conferencing, which would allow the ability to see both groups.
Chairman concluded the meeting.
Respectfully submitted by,