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03/12/2020 Conservation Commission Minutes



MARCH 12, 2020

6:00 PM Library


PRESENT: Chair Lindsay Webb, Nicole McGrath, Cheryl Jensen, Linda Moore, Margaret Gale.

ABSENT: Vivian Winterhoff, Alternate Marilyn Johnson

GUESTS: Christopher Jensen, Jon Swan


The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm.


The meeting minutes of January 23, 2020 were reviewed. There were minor changes and edits made to the minutes. Margaret motioned to accept the minutes as corrected. Cheryl seconded, Motion passed 4-0, with Linda abstaining.


The BCC reviewed a response from NH DES to the BCC’s letter regarding NCES water quality issues and a letter of Deficiency dated October 31, 2019. NH DES tests the Ammonoosuc River for 1,4-dioxane and PFAS, neither of which have been detected in the river. There are no surface water standards at this time for either 1,4-dioxane and PFAS.

The BCC reviewed NH DES response to the BCC’s letter regarding Presby out of compliance groundwater permit. It appears that some of the monitoring wells were destroyed when the facility was upgraded. DES met with Thad Presby and his consultant and replacement wells are expected to be installed by April.


The BCC discussed the DOT bridgework and their request for mitigation projects in case mitigation is needed.  Chris Jensen met with Brett Jackson. He has a report for a possible mitigation project that would benefit both wildlife and infrastructure.  The report is on Black Brook and was put together by HEB Engineering outline their recommendation for what work should be completed and an estimated cost. The culvert is large enough that it would be considered a bridge by the state of NH. Cheryl said that Black Brook is noted as an area of concern in Elise Lawson’s report on Northern Pass.  Nicole will see if she can locate a copy of the culvert presentation. The BCC discussed reviewing the report and other BCC resources to create a priority mitigation list.


Margaret gave an over view of what NRRA is and the benefits of joining. She estimates it would cost less than $200 to join. One of the benefits of becoming a member is the town would join the cooperative market for recyclables. She recommends that the BCC pay the dues for Bethlehem to join. Chris Jensen said he thinks the Transfer Station Committee will be bringing a recommendation to the Select Board for the Town to join and that the BCC should wait. The BCC agrees to wait but support the Transfer Station Committee in their recommendation to the Select Board. 


The BCC reviewed Barry’s Op Ed letter on the recycle study committee report. The BCC likes the idea of bringing attention to the report but thinks the letter is too long. There is discussion about tying the report into out roadside clean up, the best timing for submitting something to the newspaper and the possibility of submitting multiple letters to the editor focusing on one or two points at a time. Chris Jensen also offered to include the write ups in the Town of Bethlehem Newsletter.

The BCC discussed sending Barry’s letter with some edits to our local representatives. It was suggested that rather than re-write the letter the BCC could instead write that we support the reports recommendation and should any bill come forward to address these concerns that they have our support. Jon Swan cautioned against a blanket statement of support, after further discussion the suggestion was withdrawn.  Lindsay volunteered to review the report and write up something addressing one or two points from the study.  The write up will ty into the roadside clean up and she will have it ready to submit to the newspaper mid to late May.


There are no updates at this time. Linda will reach out to Gardener Kellogg.


Nicole will email the map to the BCC members and they will review and get back any comments or feed backr. Nicole will also contact the Towns insurance company to see if we need to have any type of disclaimer on the brochure. The BCC can also check in with NH Municipal Association if needed.


The BCC reviewed the roadside clean up to do list. There was discussion on trying to eliminate disposals at the post clean up ice cream social. Some ideas were: bring your own, meeting the church or school, and purchasing compostable bowls and silverware. The BCC decided against changing location of this year social but may consider it in the future.


The BCC discussed the flower gardens at the Gazebo, Chris will check in with the Select Board and let the BCC know if the beds are available for planting.


Jon Swan let the BCC know that there was recently an Alteration of Terrain violation on Doug Ingerson’s property in Dalton at the location of the proposed drag strip. The access road to the property is in Bethlehem.


The next meeting will be April 23, 2020 at 6:00pm in the Library.

Cheryl moved to adjourn at 7:47pm, Margaret seconded, Motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,

Nicole McGrath, Secretary