Minutes of the

99th Quarterly Meeting

of the

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

 

August 24, 2006

La Crosse, Wisconsin

 

 

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. by UMRBA Chair Mark Holsten.  The following were present:

 

UMRBA Representatives and Alternates:

 

Gary Clark

Illinois (DNR)

Martin Konrad

Iowa (DNR)

Mark Holsten

Minnesota (DNR)

Dick Lambert

Minnesota (DOT)

Mike Wells

Missouri (DNR)

Dru Buntin

Missouri (DNR)

Gretchen Benjamin

Wisconsin (DNR)

 

Federal Liaisons:

 

Charles Barton

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVD)

Bill Franz

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 5)

Mike Jawson

U.S. Geological Survey (UMESC)

Mike Sullivan

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Doris Bautch

Maritime Administration (Great Lakes Region)

 

Others in attendance:

 

Jim Fischer

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Larry Kieck

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Tim Schlagenhaft

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Rich Worthington

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (HQ) (via phone)

Col. Robert Sinkler

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Chuck Spitzack

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Marv Hubbell

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Ken Barr

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Gary Loss

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Roger Perk

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Scott Whitney

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Karen Hagerty

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Jeff DeZellar

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVP)

Gary Wege

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Sharonne Baylor

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Scott Yess

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/UMRCC

Brad Walker

Prairie River Network

Heather Schwar

HNTB Corporation

Lynn Muench

American Waterways Operators

Mark Carr

AEP-Memco Barge Line

Tom Boland

MACTEC St. Louis

Paul Rohde

MARC 2000

Ron Kroese

The McKnight Foundation

Robin Grawe

Mississippi River Citizens Commission

Holly Stoerker

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

Dave Hokanson

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

Barb Naramore

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

 

Meeting Minutes

 

Dru Buntin moved and Martin Konrad seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 18, 2006 meeting, as drafted.  The motion was approved unanimously.

 

Greetings and Announcements

 

UMRBA Chair Mark Holsten said that yesterday’s EMP 20th Anniversary celebration was a great event and thanked the Corps of Engineers, Wisconsin DNR, and all involved.  He also thanked the Corps for the award that was given to UMRBA. 

 

Colonel Robert Sinkler introduced himself as the new Commander of the Corps of Engineers Rock Island District.  He commented that the partnership on the Mississippi River is a valuable and unique asset.

 

Executive Director’s Report

 

Holly Stoerker reported the following:

 

The packet of meeting materials includes a list of acronyms frequently used on the Upper Mississippi River.  Please alert UMRBA staff to additional acronyms that may be useful to include.  The list will be a standing feature of future meeting packets.

 

The written Executive Director’s Report includes a summary of the status of appropriations for a number of federal programs of longstanding interest to UMRBA.  The House has recommended $20 million for the EMP, while the Senate has included only $16 million.  In contrast, the House has not included any funds for NESP, while the Senate is recommending $20 million.  Stoerker noted that in recent years there appears to be a relationship between the funding decisions made by Congress for these two programs.  In particular, as NESP funding is increased, EMP funding is typically decreased. 

 

There is an error on the summary appropriations table.  The Section 319 nonpoint source grants should be listed under the Environmental Protection Agency, rather than the Department of Agriculture.

 

In July, UMRBA sent a letter of comment to the Corps of Engineers on the public review draft of the Upper Mississippi River Comprehensive Plan.  The letter addressed emergency action scenarios, hydrologic data and modeling, reconstruction authority, and follow-on studies.  However, UMRBA did not choose to comment on the flood damage reduction alternative plans presented in the draft report.

 

Last month UMRBA submitted its FY 07 cooperative agreement proposal to EPA for ongoing OPA-related planning and mapping activities.  The proposal requests $75,000, which is based on what EPA has indicated is available.  This level of funding, if approved, will be lower than what has been provided in recent years.

 

The Interstate Council on Water Policy (ICWP) will be hosting a series of regional roundtables on the USGS Cooperative Water Program.  The purpose of the meetings is to bring together nonfederal cooperators with USGS management to discuss how the program could be improved.  One of the roundtables may be in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.  Stoerker asked if UMRBA would be interested in being a sponsor and assisting with the planning of the event.  Mike Wells expressed support for having a meeting in this region.  He noted that USGS and the Corps are proposing to drop 11 stream gages in Missouri.  Holly Stoerker said she will follow up with ICWP Executive Director Peter Evans to determine what role UMRBA might play.

 

In contrast to what was reported at the May quarterly meeting, it will not be necessary to execute a new office lease.  Rather, UMRBA only needs to exercise its “renewal option” via a letter to the landlord.

 

The independent accounting firm of Mahoney, Ulrich, Christiansen and Russ will be conducting UMRBA’s biennial audit during the week of August 14, 2006.

 

FY 2006 ended with a net gain $77,845.  This figure differs from what is shown on the FY 2006 budget report included in the packet of meeting materials.  In particular, the year-end adjustments related to depreciation and partial payroll periods are not reflected on the budget report in the packet.

 

Water Quality Task Force Activities

 

Dave Hokanson briefly reviewed the history of the UMRBA Water Quality Task Force.  He explained that the group has prepared a work plan that will not only assist staff and Task Force members in prioritizing work efforts and tracking progress, but will also support individual States’ efforts to secure funding to support Task Force activities.  Hokanson highlighted the following project areas of the work plan:

§      Sediment-related water quality criteria

§      Fish consumption advisories

§      Assessment and listing consultation

§      UMR water quality organizational options

§      UMRBA water quality web page

§      General consultation

§      UMR monitoring strategy

§      Nutrients and hypoxia

 

Hokanson also provided an update on the Task Force’s ongoing work on sediment-related water quality criteria.  An MOU has been prepared describing the need for UMR sediment-related water quality criteria and identifying the near-term activities to address that need.  The MOU should be signed soon. 

 

The sediment issue paper will be finalized within the next few weeks and the Task Force will then begin developing a sediment criteria guidance document, a “white paper” on issues related to sedimentation, and a list of research needs.  The next meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for September 19-20 in Dubuque, Iowa.  In addition to further work on the sediment criteria project, the Task Force will consult on preparation of the States’ 2008 UMR assessments and impaired waters lists.

 

Water Quality Organizational Options Project

 

Holly Stoerker reviewed the progress to date on the “Organizational Options” project, including a) the conclusion that UMRBA does not qualify as an interstate organization under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act, b) identification of the desired functions for a future UMR interstate water quality organization, and c) review of interstate organizations in other river basins.  She also described the range of options that the State water quality administrators have reviewed and considered regarding the authority, structure, and funding of a new interstate water quality organization on the UMR.

 

Stoerker presented the preliminary findings and recommendations resulting from the Organizational Options project over the past eight months.  She emphasized that these are preliminary recommendations and that the State water Quality administrators are currently reviewing the draft write-up and will discuss it further at their meeting in September.  The recommendations include:

  1. Establish a UMRBA Water Quality Executive Committee (2006 – 2008)
  2. Restructure UMRBA to more fully involve State water quality agencies (2008 - 2015)
  3. Reevaluate need for interstate compact (2015 - 2020)

 

Stoerker noted that interstate compacts have many advantages, but are quite difficult to establish.  That is why the recommendation is being made to pursue changes to UMRBA first and then revisit the need for an interstate compact if structural changes to UMRBA are not sufficient to achieve the water quality management objectives.  Stoerker explained that, as part of the November 14-15 UMRBA quarterly meeting, a special joint meeting of the UMRBA Board and the water quality administrators will be held to discuss the recommendations and next steps.

 

Stoerker explained that the first step in the recommended strategy is to establish a UMRBA Water Quality Executive Committee composed of the water quality administrators from each of the five basin states.  That process has already been initiated.  UMRBA has received letters from the directors of each of the States’ environmental protection agencies making such a request.  She distributed copies of the letters.

 

In response to a question about the recommendation concerning restructuring UMRBA, Stoerker explained that the intent is to better align the States’ representation on UMRBA with the full range of UMRBA’s programmatic work.  Although details of how this might be accomplished have not yet been determined, it could include expanding each States’ representation to include appointees from environmental protection agencies, as well as natural resource management agencies. 

 

Mark Holsten asked if the recommended strategy implies that UMRBA would be phasing out its navigation and ecosystem restoration activities.  Stoerker explained that the recommendation to expand water quality efforts does not necessarily imply a reduction of effort in other issue areas.

 

Gary Clark commented that it is better for UMRBA to expand to meet growing water quality coordination needs than to have the States create a separate organization to deal with those issues. 

 

Doris Bautch said it was important that UMRBA not neglect navigation issues.  She suggested that UMRBA look at the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) as a model.  Dick Lambert commented that GLC is very successful in securing federal funding.  Stoerker explained that GLC is not responsible for interstate water quality functions, similar to those being contemplated for UMRBA.  Rather, EPA has a Great Lakes National Program office that addresses water quality issues on the Great Lakes.  The states are not particularly interested in replicating that approach on the UMR.

 

In response to a question about whether a new interstate organization would “take over” the TMDL process, Stoerker explained that States are responsible for developing TMDLs for impaired waters.  However, they could choose to contract with an interstate agency like UMRBA in the future.  The recommendation for increasing UMRBA’s water quality responsibilities and capacity would not have any effect on the underlying Clean Water Act authority.

 

Gretchen Benjamin offered the following resolution and moved its adoption:

 

Resolution of the

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA)

 

Creating the Water Quality Executive Committee

of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

 

WHEREAS, the UMRBA Water Quality Task Force, created in 1998, has been instrumental in advancing interstate water quality discussions and agreements on the Upper Mississippi River, particularly with regard to the responsibilities the States share under the federal Clean Water Act; and

 

WHEREAS, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have requested that UMRBA establish a Water Quality Executive Committee to support and empower the Water Quality Task Force;

 

NOW THEREFORE  BE IT RESOLVED, that UMRBA hereby establishes a Water Quality Executive Committee, to be composed of each member State’s water quality administrator, or equivalent, as determined and appointed by the director of the State agency with responsibility for water pollution control activities under the federal Clean Water Act; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that UMRBA staff, in consultation with the five State water quality administrators, develop a charter for the Water Quality Executive Committee, describing the Committee’s purpose, operation, and relationship to the UMRBA Board and the UMRBA Water Quality Task Force.

 

Mike Wells seconded the motion, which then passed unanimously.

 

Mark Holsten noted that the UMRBA has a deficit budget in FY 07 and that the cost to UMRBA of supporting the work of the Water Quality Task Force is estimated to be $85,000 annually.  Mike Wells offered a motion authorizing UMRBA staff to invoice the environmental protection agencies in each of UMRBA’s five member States for $17,000 to help support the work of the UMRBA Water Quality Task Force and Executive Committee in FY 07.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Ecosystem Restoration and the Clean Water Act

 

Dave Hokanson and Barb Naramore made a joint presentation describing the relationship between mandates of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and river restoration efforts, such as those being undertaken via the EMP and NESP. 

 

Under Section 303(d) of the CWA waterbodies are listed as “impaired” if they do not meet water quality standards.  This triggers development of a TMDL.  The Upper Mississippi River is currently listed as “impaired,” with identified causes including PCBs, mercury, fecal coliform, nutrients, arsenic, manganese, and turbidity.  Some EMP and NESP ecosystem restoration projects are designed to address habitat-related water quality concerns, including some of the pollutants for which the river is listed under Section 303(d). This raises a variety of questions, including:

  • Can effective linkages be made between the CWA and ecosystem restoration programs given that the geographic scale of TMDLs and restoration projects are typically quite different? 
  • Are the objectives of the CWA and EMP/NESP compatible enough to allow for mutual benefit?
  • Is any potential connection limited to sediment-related issues or are there other pollutants that could be jointly addressed?
  • There are few sediment-related impairments currently listed by the States under the CWA.  However, much of the ecosystem restoration focus is on sediment-related impacts.  How can this apparent discrepancy be reconciled?

 

Naramore summarized a proposal from UMRBA staff that UMRBA facilitate a series of discussions on the relationships between ecosystem restoration projects and Clean Water Act programs.  She identified the following questions for discussion and further consideration:

  • Is there enough potential connection between the programs to justify the effort?
  • Is there an interest by the partners (States, USACE, US EPA) in participating? 
  • When would meetings/discussions take place? In relationship to other meetings?
  • How many meetings would be needed?
  • Who would attend?
  • What resources would be needed?

 

Gary Wege noted that the EMP and water level management are being considered as part of the Lake Pepin TMDL.  Robin Grawe commented that the public is very focused on sediment.  Mark Carr said sediment is a big issue for the navigation industry as well.

 

Martin Konrad questioned whether UMRBA has the resources and staff time to take on this project.  Holly Stoerker explained that it would depend on the scope of the effort.  If there is positive feedback to the idea, as generally described today, staff will prepare a more specific proposal for consideration at the November meeting. 

 

Stoerker also noted that EPA Region 5 had recently written a letter to the Corps of Engineers, raising questions similar to the ones this project is designed to address.  Bill Franz affirmed that EPA has an interest in the relationship between CWA programs and river restoration programs.   He commented that EPA would likely support the type of project being proposed by UMRBA.  Karen Hagerty said the Corps and EPA have encountered these issues in working together on the Illinois River Section 519 plan. 

 

Dru Buntin and Gretchen Benjamin expressed general support for having UMRBA sponsor meetings to address the connections between ecosystem restoration and the CWA.  Holly Stoerker said that UMRBA staff will develop a specific proposal for consideration at the November 2006 quarterly meeting.

 

Water Resources Development Act

 

Gary Loss and Rich Worthington (by phone) provided an overview of some of the general provisions of the Water Resources Development Act.  In particular, Loss described the features of the House and Senate versions of the bill that are generally known as the “Corps Reform” provisions, including those related to project streamlining, mitigation of fish and wildlife losses, independent peer review, and establishment of a Water Resources Planning Coordinating Committee.  Although the House and Senate bills differ on many of these provisions, there seems to be general agreement on the need for the following:

  • Timely and expedited feasibility studies and reviews 
  • Formulation of multi-purpose projects and integrated water resources management
  • Calculation of residual risk for flood damage reduction and evaluation of upstream and downstream impacts
  • Concurrent mitigation
  • Detailed mitigation planning and monitoring

 

In response to a question from Holly Stoerker, Ken Barr said that the mitigation features of NESP are consistent with the proposed WRDA provisions related to concurrent mitigation.  In particular, Barr noted that the NESP plan contemplates having mitigation for traffic impacts in place by the time traffic increases are realized. 

 

Loss also described Section 2001 of the Senate WRDA, which addresses credit for in-kind contributions from nonfederal sponsors, and Section 2015, which requires cost sharing for monitoring.  He noted that Section 2015 could present problems for NESP, depending on how it is interpreted and implemented. 

 

Loss also explained that, on July 18, the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on the Senate version of WRDA.  Among other things, the SAP supports the intent of the Senate with regard to aquatic ecosystem restoration opportunities along the Upper Mississippi River, but says the ecosystem restoration work should be cost shared 50-50.  The SAP also recognizes the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway as one of the most important operation and maintenance projects.  Rich Worthington cautioned that the SAP should not be interpreted as expressing support for new UMR locks. 

 

Paul Rohde asked if provisions in the Senate bill related to Corps oversight or independent peer review would apply to NESP.  Worthington said he couldn’t say definitively, but thinks such provisions may apply to the reevaluation report.  Rohde noted that during the Senate WRDA debate, peer review proponents said such review would not apply to NESP and members voted based on that assurance. 

 

Lynn Muench said the Corps announced at the ECC meeting that it was planning to change the location of the mooring cells recommended in the navigation feasibility study and specifically authorized in WRDA.  She asked if this is a problem.  Chuck Spitzack explained that some of the mooring sites may be changed as a result of industry input.  However it is premature to identify new sites.  Scott Whitney and Rich Worthington said it would be better for the WRDA language to be general, if the analysis is still in flux and sites may change. Holly Stoerker noted that the appropriations authorized by WRDA for mooring facilities would probably need to remain the same, even if specific authorized locations changed. 

 

Stoerker suggested that UMRBA consider asking Congress to amend the mooring cell language in WRDA.  In particular, the mooring cell issue could be added to the two NESP changes UMRBA is already promoting related to the LTRMP and partnership language.  Stoerker suggested that a small group meet over lunch to develop specific draft language to amend the NESP authorization mooring cells.

 

Following lunch, Stoerker offered the following language for consideration:

 

Problem:  The NESP language in WRDA authorizes construction of mooring facilities at seven specific lock locations, as identified in the original feasibility study.  While further economic and environmental evaluation may confirm those seven sites, it may also reveal a different optimal suite of mooring facilities.  In either case, the authorization should provide the necessary flexibility to accommodate changes in the location of mooring facilities, while not changing the authorized funding level.

 

Proposed Solution: Revise the authorization for mooring facilities by adding the following italicized phrase: “construct mooring facilities at Locks 12, 14, 18, 22, 24, and La Grange Lock, or other alternative locations that are economically and environmentally feasible” to Section 1002 (b)(1)(A)(i) of the Senate bill.

 

Mike Wells moved and Gary Clark seconded a motion to add the language offered by Stoerker to the list of WRDA amendments UMRBA is pursuing during the WRDA conference process.  The motion passed unanimously. 

 

With regard to the other NESP amendments UMRBA is seeking, Stoerker reported that communication with committee staff and Congressional members from the region is continuing.  In general, there appears to be little appetite for making changes during conference.  However, there seems to be at least some acknowledgment that the lack of a monitoring authorization in NESP could be a problem.  In contrast, there is less interest in addressing the issue of partnership consultation and funding transfers.  Stoerker also noted that the Upper Mississippi River Congressional Task Force may send a letter to conferees supporting the amendments proposed by UMRBA.  Conferees have not yet been appointed.

 

Barb Naramore described the provisions in WRDA affecting the Environmental Management Program (EMP).  The Senate version of the bill includes language that would allow NGOs to be nonfederal sponsors of EMP habitat projects and an amendment expanding the purposes of the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) to include research on elevated nutrient levels and development of remediation plans.  There are no parallel provisions in the House version.

 

Naramore reported that these proposed amendments to the EMP authorization were discussed at yesterday’s EMP Coordinating Committee meeting.  At that meeting, concerns were voiced about expanding LTRMP responsibilities without also increasing the funding for LTRMP.  It was noted, however, that it is not yet clear that the proposed amendment will survive conference, nor how it will be implemented if enacted.  Naramore pointed out that there is no committee report language related to the amendment, so it is difficult to determine Congressional intent.

 

Mike Jawson commented that USGS already does some research regarding nutrients, but not necessarily under the authority of the LTRMP.  However, he noted that development of a remediation plan would be a different sort of responsibility for USGS and potentially very difficult.  He observed that approximately 20 percent of denitrification could be accomplished through backwater lakes, but that the remainder would involve uplands.  

 

Gretchen Benjamin stressed how difficult it will be for the chronically underfunded EMP program to accommodate an additional research and planning mission of this magnitude.  She noted, however, that it is probably most appropriate to simply let the process play out in conference.

 

Navigation & Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP)

 

Chuck Spitzack presented the following summary of the NESP budget for FY 06 and FY 07 (in thousands of dollars):

 

 

February 2006

August 2006

FY 2007

Programmatic

1,050

645

600

Econ Re-Evaluation

300

807

2,000

Ecosystem Restoration

4,425

4,147

3,700

Navigation Efficiency

4,125

4,300

3,700

TOTALS

9,900

9,900

10,000

 

Spitzack explained that funds were shifted between February and August 2006 to support the economic reevaluation.  Other funding shifts were the result of changing capabilities.  In FY 07, funding for the economic reevaluation will increase substantially to meet the September 30, 2007 deadline for the results of that reevaluation.  Spitzack noted that the FY 07 allocation assumes an appropriation of $10 million, even though the Corps’ capability is quite a bit higher. 

 

Spitzack said the Federal Principals Group met in July.  Topics discussed included the status of the NESP authorization, how NESP may contribute to nutrient reduction, and consideration of multimodal congestion in the economic reevaluation.  The next meeting of the Federal Principals Group will take place after WRDA is enacted or in June 2007.

 

Spitzack reported that Commanders of the Corps’ three Upper Mississippi River districts signed an agreement in June, affirming the Corps’ responsibility for facilitating integrated management.  The Agreement also identifies some specific initiatives, including inter-district program development, support for the River Council, and support for a UMRS communication strategy. 

 

Spitzack reported that the NESP Science Panel met with the Illinois Science Panel and is developing relationships with the project delivery teams (PDTs).  The Regional Support Team’s role is changing to provide more support to PDTs and to serve as a liaison between the Science Panel and PDTs.  The 42 goals and objectives, which were developed by the Science Panel by consolidating longer lists of objectives identified by resource managers, are now being used by PDTs.  The next task for the Science Panel will be identifying system level objectives and indicators.

 

Spitzack explained that the economic reevaluation report scheduled for completion by September 30, 2007 will satisfy the recommendation in the original feasibility study that a “notification” report be prepared after three years.  Spitzack commented that the reevaluation report is the number one priority for the Administration for determining their support for the navigation improvements.  He said that it will be impossible to eliminate all uncertainty related to the economic analysis, but the reevaluation should increase confidence in the projections. 

 

In describing the differences between the original feasibility study, completed in 2004 and the reevaluation to be completed by September 2007, Spitzack noted that the revaluation:

  • Only addresses the navigation component
  • Starts with reevaluation of the recommended plan
  • Uses updated models and data
  • Allows for more consideration of other accounts

 

Spitzack explained that an External Peer Review Panel is being established to review the economic models, model inputs, underlying assumptions, economic analysis, and process of evaluating alternatives.  Federal and State partners were asked to recommend candidates for the panel and the Corps has now narrowed the list and is in the process of contacting candidates to determine their interest.  The final list will be sent to the Corps’ Navigation Center of Expertise, which will establish the panel.  Spitzack said that when the list is finalized, it will also be forwarded to the ECC and UMRBA. 

 

Doris Bautch noted that most of the potential panelists appear to be academics.  She suggested that representatives from other sectors and organizations be invited to participate.  Spitzack explained that experts from outside of academia were not necessarily excluded as Science Panel members.  However, NECC and ECC were designed to be the vehicles for input from industry and agricultural groups.

 

Holly Stoerker asked if the External Peer Review Panel being formed for the economic reevaluation would satisfy the requirements for peer review being considered for inclusion in WRDA.  Spitzack said the NESP panel does not conform entirely to the WRDA provisions, but the intent is to achieve genuine external peer review early in the process, rather than at the end. 

 

Spitzack concluded by describing NESP communication activities, including website planning, development of a monthly newsletter, and development of a “fast start” communication plan to be activated as soon as WRDA is enacted.  He commented that there was a high level of communication over the summer, including a meeting with an OMB examiner, the June Rivers Conference, and the EMP anniversary celebration.

 

Illinois Mississippi River Coordinating Council

 

Gary Clark reported that Illinois will be establishing a Mississippi River Coordinating Council, effective January 2007.  The Council is an initiative spearheaded by the Illinois Lieutenant Governor and is based upon the Illinois River Coordinating Council.  The state statute creating the Council was passed unanimously by both the Illinois Senate and House.  Clark explained that during the process of bill analysis, concerns were expressed about whether the Council would be duplicative of other groups, such as UMRBA.  Language was added to clarify this was not the intent.

 

The Council will consist of 13 members appointed by the Governor, including representatives of Illinois state agencies, soil and water conservation districts, local communities, nonprofit organizations, businesses, agriculture, and recreation.  The Council will be grass roots and citizen-focused.  It will primarily address connections between upland and river activities and gaps in existing programs.

 

In response to questions, Clark clarified that the leadership for the Council will come from the Lieutenant Governor’s office and not the Governor.  In addition, he noted that even though the directors of state agencies are often appointed to groups like this Council, they typically delegate the responsible to other staff.

 

State Dues Assessments

 

Mark Holsten noted that the agenda packet includes summary tables of the history of UMRBA state dues and revenue.  He expressed support for maintaining state dues at their current level of $48,000.  Martin Konrad moved and Gary Clark seconded a motion to establish annual dues for FY 2008 and FY 2009 at $48,000 per State.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Future Meetings

 

Holly Stoerker said the schedule for the November 14-16, 2006 quarterly meetings will involve the following sequence of meetings:

 

November 14

NECC/ECC Joint Meeting

 

UMRBA and Water Quality Committee Joint Meeting

 

 

November 15

UMRBA Quarterly Meeting

 

EMP-CC Partner Pre-meetings

 

 

November 16

EMP-CC Meeting

 

Stoerker suggested that the order of meetings be changed in the future so that the UMRBA meeting takes place first, followed by the NECC/ECC and EMP-CC on the following two days.  Gretchen Benjamin, Gary Clark, and Doris Bautch expressed support for that approach.  There were no objections and Stoerker said the new order would be tried at the winter meetings in February 2007.

 

The dates and locations for future meetings include:

  • February 20-22, 2007 in St. Louis
  • May 22-24, 2007 in the Quad Cities

 

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:15 pm.