REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL

 

October 18, 2007

(Recessed and Reconvened on October 26, 2007)

 

The Honorable,

The Board of Commissioners of Cook County

 

ATTENDANCE

 

Present:

Chairman Quigley, Vice Chairman Silvestri, Commissioners Beavers, Gorman and Peraica (5)

 

Absent:

Commissioners Moreno and Steele (2)

 

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

        Your Committee on Environmental Control of the Board of Commissioners of Cook County met pursuant to notice on Thursday, October 18, 2007 at the hour of 10:00 A.M. in the Board Room, Room 569, County Building, 118 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois.

 

        Your Committee has considered the following item and upon adoption of this report, the recommendations are as follows:

 

289094

COOK COUNTY BOTTLE WATER BAN (PROPOSED RESOLUTION).  Submitting a Proposed Resolution sponsored by Mike Quigley; Co-sponsored by Forrest Claypool, Roberto Maldonado, Larry Suffredin, John P. Daley and Gregg Goslin, County Commissioners.

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTION

 

COOK COUNTY BOTTLED WATER BAN

 

WHEREAS, bottled water costs up to 10,000 times more per gallon than tap water; and

 

WHEREAS, bottled water is often not of high water quality; and

 

WHEREAS, and in a study conducted by the National Resources Defense Council one third of bottled water tested contained significant contamination; and

 

WHEREAS, 60-70 percent of bottled water is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and

 

WHEREAS, for the 30-40 percent it does regulate, the FDA only requires companies to test a sample of water once per week; and

 

 

WHEREAS, the EPA requires testing of municipal water systems between 300-480 times per month; and

 

WHEREAS, supplying the plastic for the water bottles consumed by Americans required more than 47 million gallons of oil annually, equivalent to the release of one billion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; and

 

WHEREAS, the transportation and shipment of bottled water burns massive quantities of fossil fuel; and

 

WHEREAS, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the U.S. end up in landfills, where they will take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade; and

 

WHEREAS, the incineration of the plastic bottles releases toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash laden with heavy metals into the air; and

 

WHEREAS, the cities of Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara have banned the city-financed purchase of plastic water bottles and the sale of plastic water bottles on municipal property; and

 

WHEREAS, the cities of Oklahoma City, Charlottesville (VA), and New York are considering bans; and

 

WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling for a study on the impact of plastic water bottles on municipal waste systems, citing the increased plastic waste created by the bottles, the fossil fuels used to produce and transport them and the billions spent by city governments on water each year; and

 

WHEREAS, methods exist to provide purified water to County employees through means that minimize harm to the environment. 

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Cook County Board of Commissioners that no County department or agency shall purchase single serving bottles of water using County funds, unless an employee contract specifies usage, and that this prohibition will apply to County contractors and County funded and/or sponsored events; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Purchasing Agent and Department of Maintenance shall, within 90 days of passage, work with all County departments to conduct a water audit to assess their current water usage, availability of fresh tap water, and the feasibility and cost of installing water purification systems; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that such audit shall determine the viability of switching all bottled water dispensers to bottle-less water dispensers; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that such audit shall also determine the viability of turning on all currently disconnected drinking water fountains; and

 

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that no County department or agency shall purchase bottled water dispensers or bottled water refills beginning December 1, 2007, and the County shall install bottle-less water dispensers where appropriate. 

 

After determining that a quorum was not present, Chairman Quigley convened the meeting for the purpose of taking witness testimony until such time a quorum was present. 

 

Commissioner Beavers inquired as to the cost of installing water fountains if this resolution were to be approved.  He added that water fountains were removed from City Hall due to security reasons.

 

Chairman Quigley responded that part of the resolution calls for an audit to assess the County’s current water usage, availability of fresh tap water, and the feasibility and cost of installing water purification systems.  He stated that currently the County spends an estimated $400,000 per year on bottled water.

 

Chairman Quigley asked the Secretary to the Board to call upon the registered public speakers, in accordance with Cook County Code, Sec. 2-108(dd):

 

1.         Cameron Davis           President, Alliance for the Great Lakes

2.         Daniel Felton               Director of Government Relations, International Bottled Water Association

                                                (Written testimony also provided)

3.         Melanie Napoleon        Director of Great Lakes Conservation, Shedd Aquarium

4.         Tim Bramlet                Executive Director, Illinois Beverage Association

 

Chairman Quigley asked the Secretary to the Board to determine whether a quorum was present.  Upon taking the roll call, the Secretary to the Board informed Chairman Quigley that a quorum was present. 

 

Chairman Quigley asked the Secretary to the Board to resume calling upon the registered public speakers, in accordance with Cook County Code, Sec. 2-108(dd):

 

5.         Kevin Morris                Vice President of Public Affairs, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Chicago

            Karen Marshall            Director of Operations, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Chicago

                                                (Written testimony also provided)

 

Commissioner Peraica stated for the record that he is in support of this resolution, particularly as it relates to a potential reduction of County expenditures for the purchase of bottled water.

 

Commissioner Peraica requested to be added as co-sponsor of the proposed resolution.

 

Chairman Quigley stated for the record that Commissioner Peraica has been supportive of every environmental measure that has been introduced since he has been on the Board.

 

Vice Chairman Silvestri, seconded by Commissioner Peraica, moved the approval of Communication Number 289094.

 

Vice Chairman Silvestri, seconded by Commissioner Peraica, moved the approval of the following amendments to Communication Number 289094:

 


PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO COMMUNICATION NUMBER 289094

 

COOK COUNTY BOTTLED WATER BAN

 

WHEREAS, Cook County spends over $400,000 annually on the purchase of bottled water for County employees; and

 

WHEREAS, bottled water costs up to 10,000 times more per gallon than tap water; and

 

WHEREAS, bottled water is often not of high water quality; and

 

WHEREAS, and in a study conducted by the National Resources Defense Council one third of bottled water tested contained significant contamination; and

 

WHEREAS, 60-70 percent of bottled water is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and

 

WHEREAS, for the 30-40 percent it does regulate, the FDA only requires companies to test a sample of water once per week; and

 

WHEREAS, the EPA requires testing of municipal water systems between 300-480 times per month; and

 

WHEREAS, supplying the plastic for the water bottles consumed by Americans required more than 47 million gallons of oil annually, equivalent to the release of one billion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; and

 

WHEREAS, the transportation and shipment of bottled water burns massive quantities of fossil fuel; and

 

WHEREAS, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the U.S. end up in landfills, where they will take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade; and

 

WHEREAS, the incineration of the plastic bottles releases toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash laden with heavy metals into the air; and

 

WHEREAS, nearly 28 percent of U.S. children ages 2 to 5 have at least one cavity; and

 

WHEREAS, the increased use of non-fluoridated bottled water contributes to tooth decay, cavities, and periodontal disease; and

 

WHEREAS, the cities of Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara have banned the city-financed purchase of plastic water bottles and the sale of plastic water bottles on municipal property; and

 

WHEREAS, the cities of Oklahoma City, Charlottesville (VA), and New York are considering bans; and

 


WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling for a study on the impact of plastic water bottles on municipal waste systems, citing the increased plastic waste created by the bottles, the fossil fuels used to produce and transport them and the billions spent by city governments on water each year; and

 

WHEREAS, methods exist to provide purified water to County employees through means that minimize harm to the environment. 

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Cook County Board of Commissioners that no County department or agency shall purchase single serving bottles of water using County funds, unless an employee contract specifies usage or unless needed for public health purposes, and that this prohibition will apply to County contractors and County funded and/or sponsored events; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Purchasing Agent and the Bureau of Administration Department of Maintenance shall, within 90 days of passage, work with all County departments to conduct a water audit to assess their current water usage, availability of fresh tap water, and the feasibility and cost of installing water purification systems; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that such audit shall determine the viability of switching all bottled water dispensers to bottle-less water dispensers; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that such audit shall also determine the viability of turning on all currently disconnected drinking water fountains; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that no County department or agency shall purchase bottled water dispensers or bottled water refills beginning December 1, 2007 February 1, 2008, and the County shall install bottle-less water dispensers where appropriate; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that no County department or agency shall enter into a bottled water contract that extends beyond February 1, 2008.

 

On the motion to approve the amendments to Communication Number 289094 made by Vice Chairman Silvestri, seconded by Commissioner Peraica, a voice vote was taken and the motion carried. 

 

Chairman Quigley asked the Secretary to the Board to resume calling upon the registered public speakers, in accordance with Cook County Code, Sec. 2-108(dd):

 

6.         Jordan Taylor              President, Environmental Futures

 

Vice Chairman Silvestri, seconded by Commissioner Peraica, moved the approval and adoption of Communication Number 289094, as amended. The motion carried.  Commissioner Beavers voted no.

 

Vice Chairman Silvestri moved to adjourn the meeting.  The motion died due to lack of a second.

 

Chairman Quigley recessed the meeting to the call of the Chair.

 


October 26, 2007

 

The recessed meeting of Thursday, October 18, 2007 of the Environmental Control Committee of the Board of Commissioners was reconvened on Friday, October 26, 2007 at the hour of 9:50 A.M. in the Board Room, Room 569, County Building, 118 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois.

 

Commissioner Peraica, seconded by Commissioner Gorman, moved to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried and the meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING ACTION

WITH REGARD TO THE MATTERS NAMED HEREIN:

 

Communication Number 289094                               Approved as Amended

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Committee on Environmental Control

 

 

 

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Mike Quigley, Chairman

 

 

Attest:

 

 

 

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Matthew B. DeLeon, Secretary

 

** The audio recording for this meeting is available from the Office of the Secretary to the Board, 118 North Clark Street, Room 567, Chicago, IL 60602.