Tag Archives: MS4

May 18, 2016 EAC Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance:

  • Karen Polesir
  • Susan Johnson   
  • (No Quorum)

Absent Members:

  • Stephen Maakestad
  • Mary-Margaret Monser  (3 vacant seats)

Associates and visitors in Attendance:

  • Brooke Marshall
  • Ben Bergman,
  • Jill (and Christian) Sanchez,
  • Susan Curry

Next EAC Meeting Date: June 15th at 7:00 PM – 131 Rosemary Ave, Council chambers

Action Items by Person:

Jill Sanchez – Meet with Mary-Margaret Monser and Chris Raines regarding tabling at the Ambler Farmers’ Market to discuss involving other organizations for presentations/education for children at the market.

Brooke Marshall:  Compose a statement outlining concerns about what is missing or not communicated well in the Ambler MS4 TMDL Strategy.

Ben Bergman: Apply for a vacant position on the EAC. Write up this meeting’s minutes.

Agenda Topics

  • Council/Planning Commission Updates:
  • The Riparian Buffer Ordinance was narrowly passed by Ambler Borough Council. With a tie vote, Mayor Jeanne Sorg voted in favor of the ordinance.  Two weeks later, amid controversy, the Council has requested an ordinance to be written by Borough Solicitor Joe Bresnan to rescind the Riparian Buffer ordinance. Like other ordinances, this ordinance will go to Planning Commission for their vote, and if passed by the Planning Commission, will come back to Ambler Borough Council. The ordinance to rescind the Riparian Buffer Ordinance would then be advertised and have a hearing before Council votes on it.
  • Council will not vote on the SALDO amendment regarding extra riparian plantings until after the Riparian Buffer Ordinance is settled.
  • Council voted to bridge the budget gap ($1,705 dollars) for Edgewood Preserve from the Park and Recreation funds.
  • Gym Rental budget was tabled.
  • Announcements and Opportunities
  • There is a Bux-Mont EAC Summit on Thursday June 16 in Doylestown from 7 to 9 pm. Summits are a good way to learn to be an effective EAC. It is suggested that Steve, Mary-Margaret and Susan might attend since one presentation is on land-conservation.
  • Rain Gardens Tour July 24
  • Susan Johnsson is allowed one volunteer day by her employer – she is seeking suggestions
  • Farmers’ Market Programming
  • Ben Bergman of the Ambler Farmers’ Market suggests that any presentations organized by the EAC at the Farmers’ Market should be geared toward very young children (tots and toddlers) as a means of educating them, along with their parents who are standing by on market days.
  • Jill Sanchez suggests co-presentations with like-minded organizations.
  • Plant swap has not started yet.
  • Borough Park Maintenance
  • Item is tabled until next meeting when Raija can be present.
  • Tutorial on Using One Drive
  • Members present thought that Google Drive instead of One Drive would be more accessible for sharing and collective editing of documents such as Minutes, Agendas, and EAC statements.  Some members cannot open One Drive on their phones.
  • TMDL Strategy
  • TRANSPARENCYissue:  Ambler Borough was tasked by PADEP to develop a strategy to use best practices for limiting its contributions to TMDL.
  • Susan and Mary-Margaret offered their participation early in the Borough’s TMDL Strategy process. Mary Aversa, Borough Manager, deflected public involvement at that time stating that it was premature to the multi-municipal consortium working out their mutual approach.
  • It is a shared opinion that the MS4 TMDL Strategy featured on the Ambler Borough website is unclear and could be worded and packaged in a way to reach more people.
  • Susan offered a drafted layman’s text version of the Strategy for the group to comment on.
  • Susan suggests that much more public involvement and education is important regarding TMDL strategies/ best management practices.
  • Brooke will look at the Borough Strategy, and offer edits of Susan’s document, as well as compose all her concerns in a statement.
  • It is suggested that EAC consider applying for another WREN Grant ($5,000) to support more public education.
  • COMPREHENSIVENESS issues: Further discussion of additional BMPs appropriate for Ambler to implement is tabled to the next meeting when: we can project information on the screen in the Council Chambers room and Steve and Mary-Margaret can participate.
  • New Business
  • The Recycling Plant transfer station is no longer offering tours. We wondered if too much contamination and the state of recycling economics was turning single-stream recycling into a bad idea.  Susan Johnsson will be more aggressive in asking for a tour of the plant to support our learning if single-stream is really a good idea. Brooke mentioned a connection to Veronica Harris, county recycling coordinator.
  • Fall mini-campaign on minimizing lawn chemicals is tabled to next meeting.

Upcoming Meetings

Jill Sanchez will get the key to the Council Room from Melissa on June 15 so we can review best management practices on the screen at the next EAC meeting.

The meeting was adjourned around 8:45 PM

June 6, 2015-Meeting Minutes

June 17th, 2015 7:00PM to 8:30PM

EAC Meeting Minutes June 2015 in PDF Format

Members in Attendance:

Peter Amento
Dottie Beachum
Charles Charlesworth
Susan Curry
Stephanie Figary
Susan Johnsson
Mary-Margaret Monser
David Morgan
Chris Raines
Raija Suomela

Next Meeting Date: Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 at 7:00PM – Borough Hall Conference Room

Action Items by Person:

  • David Morgan – Place Clear Stream recycling containers at public events.
  • Mary-Margaret –
    • Place Clear Stream recycling containers at events when David is out of town.
    • Discuss Clear Stream Container’s with Mary Aversa.
  • Charles Charlesworth – Coordinate TeraCycle Program
  • Chris Raines – Print flyers, post on social media, update web site
  • Rachel Rosenfeld –
    • Use Volunteer Match to obtain volunteers for Park Clean-up.
    • Create the Park Clean-up handout.
    • Shop for work gloves, food and beverages
  • Lindsay Blanton – Give talk to volunteers at Park Clean-up on July 11th.
  • Stephanie Figary –
    • Give talk at Park Clean-up on July 18th.
    • Get donations for Park Clean-up Day.
  • Susan Curry –
    • Ask Frank DeRousi for a copy of the park maintenance contract.
    • Contact Sharon McCormick about Park Service Day.
    • Give River Keepers Brochures to Dottie Beachum for GA camp
    • Send comments to the EPA about proposed TMDL
  • Susan Johnsson – Clean out the EAC supply closet in the borough building

Agenda Topics:

  1. Recycling Collection Proposal: Shady Grove Elementary School has a TeraCycle Program. Tape dispensers, pens, markers, glue bottles, squeeze bottle triggers, juice pouches are collected. Only items outside the scope of single stream are collected. The Church of the Brethren has a container located in the church lobby. Sue Garrity will coordinate a drop-off at Ambler Borough Hall with the help of Charles Charlesworth. This project will not begin until the borough offices have completed the move to the old Mattison Avenue School. A flyer announcing the collection program will be designed and delivered with the new trash containers.
  2. Five Clear Stream Recycling Containers will be placed at Ambler public events and festivals, and possibly First Fridays. The Clear Stream Containers will be stored in Susan Johnsson’s garage. Mary Margaret will contact Mary Aversa to ask if borough crew will pick up the recycling containers at the end of events.
  3. Council/Committee Updates:
    1. The borough will be moving to Mattison Avenue School in mid-July
    2. Ambler Borough will apply for a 2015 Growing Greener Watershed Protection Grant that is offered through the DEP.
    3. Paving will occur on several streets in Ambler during the late summer.
    4. Borough Hall will be auctioned
    5. The Parking Ordinance is being reviewed
    6. The wetlands ordinance will be reviewed at the next planning commission meeting on June 23rd at 7PM.
    7. A special meeting was held Tuesday, June 23rd, to choose a council person to fill the vacancy. The Vacancy Board Chairman broke the tie and Karen Polesir was appointed.
  4. Borough Park Survey: 300 surveys were completed. The majority of respondents prefer the park to remain natural.
  5. Ambler Borough Park Clean-up Days – July 11th and 18th. Susan Curry will ask Frank DeRousi for a copy of the park maintenance contract to learn specific responsibilities of the maintenance crew. Hiring Bob Adams as a consultant may be considered for seasonal cleanup of invasive plants. Raija stated that maintenance contracts are typically limited to mowing of grass and removal of downed trees. She said that higher level tasks are not included. She stated that it would take less than 40 hours to remove invasive plants from the park.

A targeted application of a herbicide called Rodeo in the fall is needed to adequately remove Japanese Knotweed. Contacting neighborhood residents to let them know about the application in advance was suggested.
Greg Gagliono of Red Tail Restoration Management was suggested as a source for invasive cleanup.
Susan Curry mentioned that the website weeds.inc provided in depth information about removal of invasives.

Park Clean-up flyers have been completed and were distributed. More flyers will be printed.

Rachel Rosenfeld is using Volunteer Match to find volunteers for the Park Clean-up.

The Park Clean-up was posted on Ambler 19002, the Ambler EAC Facebook Page, the EAC website, other Ambler Facebook groups and the Wissahickon Watershed Facebook Page.

Plan for the Clean-up Day: Volunteers will be provided with a handout describing the purpose of a riparian buffer and why invasive plants need to be removed. A short talk will be given to volunteers at the beginning of each workday (July 11th – Lindsay Blanton, July 18th – Stephanie Figary). Wetland ordinances and (Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) will be included in the talk. After the talk, volunteers will get a quick tour of the park, before beginning their work.

Rachel mentioned that she would like all volunteers to arrive at 9am, so that they are present for the talk.

Specific plants that should be removed by volunteers was discussed. Japanese Knotweed, honeysuckle vines and garlic mustard will be considered. Plants to be removed will be tagged or painted prior to July 11th. Rachel and Raija will meet a Ambler borough park to decide which plants will be included in the clean-up.

Rachel will email volunteers with information about the workday. They will be asked to wear long pants. Work gloves, tools and bags will be provided by the EAC.

Stephanie will look into getting donations. Rachel will purchase contractor grade trash bags and work gloves will be purchased from Decks Hardware and pick up food and beverages. Seeking donations from Whole Foods was suggested.

Susan Curry will call Sharon McCormick to ask if volunteers could use their bathroom during Park Clean-up.

  1. Science Camp Supplies: Dottie Beachum will be teaching a unit on ecology during science camp at Germantown Academy. She would like some brochures to distribute to campers. Susan Curry will check her supply brochures to determine if there are enough for the camp program.
  2. A Healthy Wissahickon Movie: The EAC will coordinate a showing of the movie with Lindsay Blanton.
  3. EAC Supply Closet: Susan Johnsson will clean out the EAC supply closet in the borough building.
  4. Public Hearing: EPA Proposes Total Phosphorus (TMDL) for the Wissahickon Creek Watershed The June 10th public meeting was summarized. The public comment period is open until July 4th. A request for extension of the comment period deadline was made by several people who attended the meeting. The EPA has not responded to this request. The comment period may be extended. Susan Curry will send comments.
  5. Items Postponed Until The Next Meeting: Plant Swap, Downtown Tree Advocacy, Fall Mini-Campaign.
  6. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15pm.

Next Meeting Date: Wednesday, July 15h, 2015 at 7:00PM – Borough Hall Conference Room

April 15, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, April 15, 2015     7:00 to 8:55 PM  at Calvary United Methodist Church

Member Attendance (quorum): Charlie Charlesworth, Matt Cooley, Steve Maakestad, Mary-Margaret Monser, Alex Pratt

Member Absence: Steph Figary, Susan Johnsson

Associates: Susan Curry, Chris Raines

Also in attendance: members of Earth Fest Planning Committee: Chris Mrozinski, Eileen and Mark Wenckus, Julia and Gary LeFevre, Peter (Democratic Committee), Louise Eltrick (Calvary), Mike Koslowski (Stantec)

Next Meeting Date: May 20, 2015 To Be Determined (Outdoor Location)

Action Items by person:


  1. Assist in organizing music, PA system, children’s activities and compost bins for Earth Fest.
  2. Identify landscapers that could offer services to support the rain garden program.
  3. Transport compost bins –run raffle, coordinate water conservation display (laptop)
  4. Contact Frank DeRuosi to offer EAC support in processing park surveys and deciding what actions/ policies the surveys point to
  5. Meet Susan April 24 8:00 AM to scout Tannery Run access and debris.


  1. Confirm all previous rain gardens are registered and have signs.
  2. Process checks for Earth Fest


  1. Support Rachel Rosenfeld as requested.


  1. Participate on Rain Gardens Tour planning committee


  1. Send photo and short bio to Raines for website.


  1. Send photo and short bio to Chris Raines for website.
  2. Send contact info for persons to complete infiltration testing for rain garden program.


  1. Continue superb coordination of Earth Fest event. Post at Facebook.com/Ambler19002
  2. Daniel Brouse will submit the costs of EAC domain registration for reimbursement.


  1. Connect with rain garden homeowners to confirm commitment and dates
  2. Prepare EAC sign-up sheet for booth at Earth Fest
  3. Get flyer to Chris about Park clean-up for Earth Fest
  4. Support Alex with EAC panel display size
  5. Get names/contacts of rain garden installers: Mark Ryan, and from Mark Wenckus


  1. Introductions
  1. All attendees gave brief introductions.
  1. Earth Fest Planning:
    1. Chris Raines noted two articles publicizing the event including The Enterprise and the Home Town News as well as slides at the Sustainability Movies and handouts of flyers there. The Zumba leader is ill. Speakers will be video-taped.
    2. A program with maps and a rain plan were printed (250 copies); yellow vests for traffic control volunteers coming from the borough. Resulting donations and vendor fees, mean that the EAC budget for event will not be fully spent.
    3. T-shirts were available for all Earth Fest planners.
    4. Daniel Brouse and Rick Denzien will contribute to outside music
  1. Council/Planning Commission items:
    1. Steep slopes ordinance is projected to affect 65 properties. County is to make recommendations after survey other Boroughs’ steep slopes ordinances (densely built out towns). EAC goal was to have consistent ordinance in all municipalities along the Wissahickon Creek. It is not clear how “proof” of slope would be an additional burden on homeowner (need a survey already).
    2. Park survey will remain open for more inputs until end of April. The EAC will offer support to compile data and consider what decisions to make that incorporate the feedback.
  1. Announcements and Opportunities
    1. EVENTS: WVWA Stream Clean-up is on April 25th. The EAC meets at the Trax Restaurant at 9am.
    2. Eagle scout tree planting at Borough Park is also on April 25th.
    3. Wissahickon Watershed Congress: “Creek in Crisis” – May 13 5:30 pm at Germantown Academy. EAC will have a booth and support with $50. Writer’s Note: WVWA later informed the EAC that they are exempt from the $50 fee.
    4. OPPORTUNITIES: The company that installed the solar panels on Matt Cooley’s home is offering to install panels for free in exchange for agreement to buy your electricity from them at a price less that PECO rate. Allows you to get solar panels at no cost and you are doing a good thing for the environment
  1. Ambler Borough Park Clean-up Day
    1. Rachel Rosenfeld will coordinate a park Clean-up two Saturdays in a row (with Sundays the rain dates: July 18 (19) and July 25 (26).
  1. Ambler EAC Budget Review

It appears two categories will be underspent. We can shift funds into rain gardens or Fall Mini-Campaign if needed.

  1. Mini-Campaign       Alex would like to develop a more professional display. The EAC authorized Alex Pratt to contact Matt Hoot (Insignia) to develop panels that could be mounted on the EAC display panels by May 13 for display at the Watershed Congress. An interactive program will be available on Steve’s tablet at the Earth Fest.
  1. Rain Gardens Update
    1. Susan Curry is still developing a resource list for the homeowners of landscapers, excavating contractors, and infiltration professionals. Please send known resources to Susan Curry. There are four interested homeowners.
    2. Susan did not gather the Rain Gardens tour committee which includes Chris Raines, Christopher Mrozinski, and Mary-Margaret.
  1. Facebook Page and Website
    1. Alex Pratt and Charlie Charlesworth to send a short bio/photo for website update.
    2. Daniel Brouse will submit the costs of EAC domain registration for reimbursement. Chris Raines will coordinate with Daniel Brouse.
  1. BoRit Community Action Group:   The presenter on Mesothelioma has asked to present to the community at large at Calvary Church on May 19 (a Council meeting date). Risks during development of the Crossings townhomes were discussed.       Matt questioned whether the EAC wanted to submit a position paper. The item was tabled with no vote.
  1. Next Meeting: May 20 , 2015 LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED (may be outside on Susan’s deck – weather and daylight time permitting).

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.

Future Agenda Items:

Fall Mini-Campaign

Park Survey recommendations

Downtown Tree management

Public Involvement for MS4 Permit