Ohio River Basin Alliance
Steering Committee Conference Call Minutes
January 20, 2012
Steering Committee Members: Carolyn Hefner, Chair, WV Conservation Agency
Jessica Fox, EPRI
Mark Kessinger, USACE Huntington District
Fred Nyhuis, Marathon Petroleum
Kari Mackenbach, URS
Mike Steinmaus, Monday Creek Restoration Project
Working Group Leaders: Dr. Harry Stone, Battelle
Support Staff: Trena Bradshaw, USACE Nashville District
Beth Cade, USACE Huntington District
Carolyn called the meeting to order and wished everyone a happy new year as we get the new
year off and running.
Carolyn referred to a copy of the financial report which was provided to the members and shows
a balance of $8,898.59.
Candidates for Steering Committee
On the topic of new candidates for the Steering Committee from the USEPA, and having
someone serve on the Committee who has knowledge of the basin’s history and heritage, the
action was tabled since Dr. Somerville was not on the call.
Logistical Update for Nashville Conference
Trena reported that Carolyn signed the contract with the Gaylord Opryland Resort yesterday.
The Gaylord is allowing all ORBA members to book rooms for the government’s rate of $107
but there is an additional $15 resort fee that everyone must pay. She said we are scheduled to
begin around 8:30 on March 27th and finish around 3:00 on the 28th. We are planning for two
continental breakfasts and two lunches and Trena is working to have the registration fee be $150
or less. Since meals at the Gaylord are expensive, ACTION 1: Trena will look into the option
of our group going to 2nd Avenue in downtown Nashville for dinner.
Agenda Topics for Nashville Conference
The Committee then discussed several possible topics for the Nashville agenda:
Topic Speaker POC
Environmental Sustainability Leigh Ann Baird, Ingram Barge Fred
2010 Nashville Flood Gaylord Resort, Others TBD
Facts Behind Nashville Flood David Meadows Mark
Construction at Wolf Creek Dam TBD Mark
USGS New Nutrient Loading Model TBD Jessica
Economic Dev thru Water Tech Sally Guterez, USEPA Harry
AEEP Watershed Roundtable Panel Members TBD Mike
USDA Sustainability Projects in ORB TBD Jessica/Carolyn
Decision Mgt Investment Model TBD Jessica
Climate Change Affects on ORB NOAA Mark
ACTION 2: Mark will review the comment sheets from previous conferences and
summarize suggested topics to review during our next call. ACTION 3: Carolyn, Mark,
Trena and Beth will conduct a conference call next week to work out the time slots for the
Letter from the Chair
Now that the hotel contract is signed, ACTION 4: Mark will work to get Carolyn’s next
“Letter from the Chair” out to the membership with information about the Nashville
Working Group Reports
Enterprise and Infrastructure – Kari reported that Carol Warren had been working for her on the
E&I Working Group’s initiatives and Carol recently retired. ACTION 5: So, Kari will get
with Trena next week to restart their activities.
Restoration and Protection – Carolyn referred to an update email from John Stark. He reported
he is drafting a strawman version of the R&P Working Group’s pamphlet and the ORB’s Fish
Habitat Partnership aquatic habitat assessment report is nearly complete.
Sustainable Growth & Competitiveness - Harry noted that the SG&C Working Group had quite a
few things underway. He is in the process of setting up a working group conference call on
February 8th, he’s working on coordinating with the Water Technology Innovation Center, he is
going to contact Jessica to discuss the EPRI Nutrient Trading Project, and Batelle is partnering
with TNC to identify environmentally protected areas for assisting with energy siting because
these areas can be linked to an area’s economic development. He is also presenting on
Ecosystem Services at the EcoSummit Conference in the fall.
Fall ORBA Conference
Regarding the Fall ORBA conference, Jessica mentioned the EcoSummit Conference would be
held in Columbus from September 30th to October 5th. Mike added the cost to attend is $500 for
early bird registration and $625 for regular registration. DECISION: The Committee decided
to schedule our fall conference away from this week but to determine the date soon so folks
can get it on their schedules.
Mark reported that he must resign from the Steering Committee due to new restrictions issued by
the Army. The new requirements are very strict for Army-sponsored conference and Corps
Counsel determined that by Mark’s serving on the Steering Committee it could be perceived that
the Corps was a co-sponsor of ORBA. Therefore, to avoid the new restrictions, Mark thought it
best to step down. The Committee thanked Mark for his efforts.
Our next monthly call will be on the morning of Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. EST.
Mark D. Kessinger