Going, Staying Green with the Fair Haven Environmental Committee
The group has issued its 2012 report
The following is the annual 2012 report of the Fair Haven Environmental Committee (FHEC) — a solely advisory committee of volunteers — from its chairman, Ralph Wyndrum:
• Audit and implementation of borough infrastructure improvements ...
The implantation of the previous year’s energy audit was completed and 2012 annual energy usage was compared with pre-audit usage. The savings of electrical energy for all of Fair Haven’s buildings was 25.6 percent. The savings for gas energy for the buildings was 31.5 percent; (units are kwh and ccf, not dollars).
The ground rules we set were to aim for a maximum 4-5 year payback period; the data suggests that we will achieve this.
• Energy cost reduction ...
After completion of the audit and implementation phase, the FHEC has been working with Administrator Theresa Casagrande to change our gas and electric suppliers.
The best choice seems to be the Monmouth County Pool (SEM), which should save at least 15 percent more in dollars.
• Street lights ...
We have audited the street light performance, and found the down time (burned out lights) at any point in time to be about 20 percent in 2011. Under the JCPL contract, FH pays per streetlight, working or not.
After discussions with JCP&L, this appears to be getting under control, with earlier JCP&L response times. Continuing audits are needed to assure the performance of JCP&L.
Green projects ...
• The Rain Garden Project continues to drain off the storm-water from the Borough Hall and Municipal Parking Area, and met all expectations in heavy rainstorms, keeping pollution out of Fourth Creek and the Navesink River.
• The Rain Barrel Project, with a completed Borough Hall demonstration and residential sales of about 25 units, will now move to the full implementation state for 2013.
Fair Haven Hardware will offer the rain barrels for sale with a normal warranty.
This project reduces storm-water being sent to the streets and the Navesink River, and provides for watering residents’ gardens during dry spells in the summer and fall.
• Given the turbulent solar energy market, we feel we made the right decision early in 2012 not to support a project here until rapidly dropping prices and emerging technologies stabilize.
Water projects ...
• McCarter’s Pond
Discussions are underway with Monmouth County and the FH administration to initiate the cleanup of McCarter’s Pond. Formal discussions and a recommendation will take place around February to March, 2013.
• Fourth Creek
The FHEC has already implemented a two-stage cleanout of Fourth Creek. Using the methodology of the USDA’s “Stream Visual Assessment Protocol," the results covering pollution, flow regime and habitat structure were very encouraging. However, the culvert at the TRWRA Pump Station needs serious and early repair, and this is being coordinated by the FH administration.
• The Navesink River
The FHEC is becoming involved in Navesink water testing discussions, particularly in light of the river pollution from Sandy.
The waters are under state jurisdiction, and a state contract is being let to site and remove cars, boats, docks and similar objects sunk during Sandy.
We will monitor progress, and impact on Fair Haven residents, boaters and sport fishermen.
• Electronic Waste Recycling
The DPW is using a third party recycler to place a dumpster at the DPW and pick up and pay for the waste on an “as needed” basis. This is a net profit source for Fair Haven.
• Strategic Planning
The FHEC has begun discussions on its strategic role moving forward, to optimize its value to the environment, economy and residents and businesses of Fair Haven.
The comments and/or questions of the Fair Haven Council are welcomed.