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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Viewpoint



The following Viewpoint was published in the Sun Bulletin last week (Dec 10-14) by CSD Board Member Lisa Schicker. The EIR Scoping meeting is tonight (Dec 18) at the Los Osos Community Center at 7 pm. These kinds of issues will be discussed, so I hope the community will attend and let the county know any concerns you have as to the updating of the EIR be given to them. Speak now or forever hold your peace. (I hope the links will work. A reader noted that a previous link listed for Ron's Sewerwatch site apparently kept leaving off an important tag. Hmmmm)



Tri W is Dead – Viewpoint by Lisa Schicker December 10, 2007

A recent article about Los Osos and snails at the old downtown sewer site (Tri-W), states that the County says they are “required by law” to re-evaluate TRI-W.




As an environmental professional who writes CEQA/NEPA documents for a living, I disagree with that statement – I can find no environmental law that “REQUIRES” the County to re-evaluate the abandoned downtown (TriW) sewer site. If that were true, the County would also have to re-evaluate all of their past selected sewer sites – are the Turri Road and Pismo sites, for instance, also being re-evaluated?



As an elected official who helped expose the numerous environmental, engineering, health and safety flaws of the abandoned downtown-by-the-National Estuary-sewer site, I also disagree that the County must re-evaluate Tri-W.



There is ample evidence to abandon Tri-W now, and not waste another minute of time: The citizens of Los Osos elected a Board of Directors (and recalled three old directors) in three separate elections that ran on a “Move the Sewer” platform (move it away from tri-w). The citizens voted and approved Measure B – an environmental siting ordinance based on the original flawed selection of the downtown site.



The LOCSD Board rescinded the 2001 EIR’s CEQA/NEPA Statement of Overriding Considerations (SOC) in Resolution 2006-20, because most of the 2001 SOC’s were based on fraudulent statements and unsubstantiated conclusions. Coastal Commission official transcripts reveal “had they known then, what they know now, they would have never approved a project” at TRI-W.



New laws and the newly designated Morro Bay State Marine Reserve have made it unlikely that the downtown site is environmentally viable at all. The County’s 2007 Fine Screening Report, the 2006 Ripley Project Report Update and 2006 National Water Institute’s Independent Professional Review have also discounted the environmental viability and logic for choosing this site.



The County has ample justification under the laws of our state to abandon any further evaluation of this old sewer site, especially when our budget is so tight and the project will be so expensive and also because Tri-W is "ESHA" (environmentally designated sensitive habitat).



Since the County has already identified several other feasible, non-ESHA sites, that instantly makes building at Tri-W a gross violation of their land use ordinance called the CZLUO. ("CZLUO Section 23.08.288d allows public facilities within ESHA only where there is no other feasible location.").



There is no justifiable reason or law to keep Tri-W alive any longer. SLO County, please don’t waste any more of our money and time, those of us who are paying for this project and your services, with any further consideration of this Tri-w downtown sewer site.



Thank you. Lisa Schicker, LOCSD Director and Baywood Park Citizen…..



Please also publish on your website the following attachments, to support these claims that Tri-W should be abandoned now, and not later.

SLO County CZLUO Section 23.08.288d allows public facilities within ESHA only where there is no other feasible location. http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/PL/Ordinances/Title+23+-+Coastal+Zone+Land+Use+Ordinance.pdf

Link to 2007 County Fine Screening Report: http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/PW/LOWWP/document+library/FINAL+Fine+Screening+Report+8-07.pdfLink to 2006 Ripley Project Report: http://www.losososcsd.org/
SLO County CZLUO Section 23.08.288d allows public facilities within ESHA only where there is no other feasible location. http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/PL/Ordinances/Title+23+-+Coastal+Zone+Land+Use+Ordinance.pdf
2006 National Water Research Institute Report (attached) and linked http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/PW/LOWWP/NWRI+LOWWMP+Update-Dec+4+2006.pdf.pdfLOCSD Resolution 2006-20 – Rescission of 2001 EIR Statement of Overriding Considerations (attached) Link to Research conducted by Ron Crawford and Ann Calhoun Independent Journalists:
http://sewerwatch.blogspot.com/2006/08/loopiest-of-loopholes-recently.html

23 comments:

TCG said...

Ms. Schicker has NO credibility with me concerning how to most effeciently develop and construct a sewer project.

I trust the County's process, and find it incredible that she would second guess them with her track record.

Area51 said...

A quote from Ann Calhoun's December 8 posting:

"What’s Chairman Young’s obsession with Tri-W? Why would he think the County would pick Tri-W? That project came in dead last on the TAC’s evaluation process. Heck, even the Peer Review Dr. T Group listed Tri-W as at the bottom of the heap."

Just replace "Chairman Young" with Lisa Schicker's name. Or Julie Tacker's. Or Cessina or Mc Pherson or Calhoun ad nauseum.

I have no doubt Tri-W is dead, because I trust the county process and they will conclude such, as I'm sure our survey's will. So why the obsessive hand-wringing by these people over Tri-W? If it sucks, allow the process to play through and prove that it does.

Why the fear Ann? And why again is it you think Chairman Young is "obsessed" and not Lisa Schicker and her cronies?

Mike said...

Lisa Schicker is so wrapped up in her personal rage to eliminate the Tri-W site that she has lost all semblance of a credible CSD Director or a professional biologist... Her performances in front of the BOS and RWQCB have been so lacking in professionalism that it very obvious that no Board members are even paying courtesy attention...

"IF" Schicker wanted to have eliminated the Tri-W site, she would have had a realistic PLAN presented to the entire community right after the recall AND she would have had REASON, not EMOTIONAL hand-wringing to convince the community that she and her board knew what they were asking the taxpayers to buy into... She would also have launched a 218 ballot to obtain voter approval of her PLAN... She is so blinded that she can't even back the Reclamator that Ann seems to find so technically superior...

To-Date, the LOCSD, has never produced any PLAN...but you all already know all this...and now we're being assailed by all the snake-oil sales rep's in the world...I can't wait for the next "greatest" system, product or magic sand to be tossed into the mix...

All that is being accomplished by this blog and the many many appearances by the 16 is some effort to counter the forward production by the County in producing a waste water project for this very divided community...

Mark said...

I appreciate your work and sharing it with us! Information is key to sucess, good information leads to good sucesses.

Lisa wrote-

The LOCSD Board rescinded the 2001 EIR’s CEQA/NEPA Statement of Overriding Considerations (SOC) in Resolution 2006-20, because most of the 2001 SOC’s were based on fraudulent statements and unsubstantiated conclusions. Coastal Commission official transcripts reveal “had they known then, what they know now, they would have never approved a project” at TRI-W.

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
Thomas Jefferson

Go LOSCD!!

Mark said...

There are two p's in success, patience and perseverance. There are also two c's.

I am a spell check victim. Technology strikes again!

Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.
Thomas Jefferson


Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to one and all.

Area51 said...

"There's a sucker born every minute."
PT Barnum (actually, David Hannum)

“Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it.”
George Bernard Shaw

"Two salesmen who say their device would end the need for a sewer in Los Osos have filed a claim against the state, demanding nearly $80 million for alleged defamatory statements about their product.

It’s the latest move by Tom Murphy and his business partner, Mark Low, of AES Central Coast Discharge Elimination Co. to persuade authorities to scrap the long-awaited sewer and install the unconventional “Reclamator” on thousands of properties in the coastal town.

The men say their machine will turn sewage into drinking water."

What more needs to be said.

Ron said...

Mike wrote:

"... this very divided community..."

How is Los Osos a divided community? I don't see it.

Almost everyone in Los Osos wants an efficient, environmentally friendly sewer system, with a treatment facility out of town... just like it's been ever since the Solution Group's "better, cheaper, faster" ponding system failed in late 2000.

So where's the division? Are you saying there's a division between the ones of people in Los Osos (the same people responsible for developing the terribly ill-conceived Tri-W project) that want a sewer plant at the Tri-W site, and those that don't?

If so, that's just a division between those ones of people and everyone else. That's not "very divided."

A-51 wrote:

"I have no doubt Tri-W is dead... So why the obsessive hand-wringing by these people over Tri-W? If it sucks, allow the process to play through and prove that it does."

I agree, Tri-W is dead. It will never work, for many excellent reasons, one of them being that the process has already proved that it is illegal to build a sewer plant at that location because it is in gross violation of the Coastal Zone Land Use Ordinance, just like I first reported at this link.

So, when the staff report for today's Los Osos item says:

"... each project -- including Tri-W -- will have numerous reviews..."

I have to wonder how much the "numerous reviews" for the dead and illegal Tri-W project will cost taxpayers?

Thousands? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions?

What a complete waste of time and money, and, I will add, continued official embarrassment for the people responsible for that lemon.

Steve said...

"So why the obsessive hand-wringing by these people over Tri-W?"

I'll tell you why... because the only way the SWRCB is going to get their money back is if we build at Tri-W... that is why they are so obsessed with that site...

and because of that they will inflict serious pressure on ALL agencies to build it there...

So, is it possible that no matter what the county process determines is the best site, that the state will then say there are overriding considerations to site the plant at Tri-W... completely ignoring what "the process" says is the best site?

Not only possible, but probable...

How do I know?? Because that is how the first CSD sited the plant.

I believe the county process is working and it will determine, after considering ALL criteria (financial, environmental, social, intellectual, etc.), that an out of town site is best.

What I dont believe is that, the best site will be chosen... and I have history backing me up on my skepticism.

I hope I am proven wrong. But in the mean time there is an answer to your question. Now you can quit acting dumbfounded by why people don't trust "the whole process".

Shark Inlet said...

There is only one reason that Lisa is pushing so hard for TriW to be killed off prematurely (for surely, if it is as dead as she says it is, she would not fear an autopsy).

She is afraid that TriW isn't really as bad a choice as she is now telling us it is. After all, if it comes out as anything less than last place it pretty much proves that her whole reason for being on the board was to push for something which was not in the best financial interest of our community and that she was willing to run up a buttload of debt on our credit cards to achieve her misguided goal.

Seriously ... anyone who has looked at the TAC report knows deck was stacked against TriW on the financial questions. To compare TriW actual bids ... which were some 30-40% over engineering estimates based on actual plans which included incorporating CCC and RWQCB requirements ... to guesstimates of the costs for other sites based on conceptual plans and little else is simply off the wall.

Nope, Lisa, TriW is not dead and that's why you're so afraid. You are afraid that the ultimate findings of the County will be that the project you opposed so fervently is the one that is best for our community.

Now, please don't get me wrong. I actually want the cheapest solution and I would be quite pleased if it weren't at TriW. It would certainly avoid a whole lot of headache in dealing with folks who will fight to the death to avoid the responsibility for dividing our town ... however, any other site will have its own set of detractors who will threaten lawsuits and the like. Don't think that the Clark Valley Road folks will be so quick to roll over and say "heck yeah, we want a treatment plant in our neighborhood."

In any case, Mike Green and Richard LeGros are both right ... forming a CSD in the first place was a huge mistake when some folks are so willing to fight so hard and cause so much damage just to get their way.

Mark said...

Area 51 asked: What more needs to be said?

The process is patented, proven and federally compliant.

Should you want to know more please stop by www.NOwastewater.com or you may contact me @ mark@NOwastewater.com.

If only Columbus had a "Garmin"...

Three more from: Thomas Jefferson

Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.

With a handle like "Area 51" I would think that you'd believe in Government conspiracy to suppress information and extra terrestrial technology and such...or not.

BTW-astronaughts drink their fellow astronaught's wastewater everyday. But that information could be a government conspiracy too. Or not.

I really would love to discuss the RECLAMATOR technology in more detail if and when you are ready.

Sewertoons said...

All we want from you Mark is the PROOF required by the RWQCB that your device removes nitrates at the level they require. For some reason, (which I will guess to be - you have NO PROOF), you steadfastly refuse to show that proof, so there is really nothing that you have to offer us besides lawsuits and we already have enough of those, thanks.

Mike said...

Just how would the reclamator work with the Bay Ridge Estates...???

Mark said...

Sewertoons said...

All we want from you Mark is the PROOF required by the RWQCB that your device removes nitrates at the level they require. For some reason, (which I will guess to be - you have NO PROOF), you steadfastly refuse to show that proof, so there is really nothing that you have to offer us besides lawsuits and we already have enough of those, thanks.

The RECLAMATOR is a device used by AES to provide a service to eliminate the discharge of pollutants of its customers. The data which confirms its performance has already been submitted to the RWQCB starting back in 1993 and further verified by the RWQCB in 1995 when the RWQCB conducted their own testing on the systems biological process which removes the nitrates. Furhter data was provided as the result of a Technology Verification which was done at the National Sanitation Foundation in Michigan (NSF/ANSI or NSF International) in 1994 which demonstrated the average nitrates to be only 1.6 mg/l and the highest through out the entire 6 month test program was only 4 mg/l. see- http://www.nowastewater.com/technical/NitrogenTestResults.pdf

Since then, the test data presented to the RWQCB on the advanced model which we refer to as the RECLAMATOR, was less than 1 mg/l.

AES has already accepted the performance of the system and they are the only ones who has to be concerned as the RECLAMATOR isn’t being sold to the public. It is only used by AES and only AES is responsible for it performing as they state that it does, not the homeowner.

AES DES is the liable party, not the homeowner.

Mike said...
Just how would the reclamator work with the Bay Ridge Estates...???

We will retro fit the current the septic system(s) with the RECLAMATOR Technology as there is no size limit constraint.

A petition is being drawn up that will be circulated throughout Bay Ridge Estates and Vista Del Oro, to facilitate this solution.

To learn more please see Inventor and AES DES Founder Tom Murphy during tonight's EIR Scoping Meeting at the Community Center.

Area51 said...

No offense, but my guess is you'll be laughed at and rejected by those in Bay Ridge and Vista del Oro, just like you were by the overwhelming majority of us homeowners who took the time to vote for the 218.

And hey, I love quotes too, AND
Thomas Jefferson!! Here's another one from the man himself:

"Government acts only to protect us from acts of force or fraud,
apprehending perpetrators who pick our pockets or break our legs..."

And just out of curiosity, have you approached the CSD about helping in the financing of your lawsuit? They might be amenable to the idea. Just ask Gail McPherson how that works if you have any questions.

Best of luck to ya.

Mike said...

Hey Mark.... We have a community sewer collection system already in place and NO SEPTIC TANKS... Just a big series of collector manholes waiting the gravity sewer we were told was coming some 30 years ago.... I sure don't intend to install a septic tank (or any interceptor/holding tank) now just to satisfy the reclamator...

Mark said...

51-

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
Thomas Jefferson

I thought you may have taken Thomas Jefferson out of context, so I checked and here is his more complete and full thought, which demonstrates why I quoted him here;

http://georgereisman.com/blog/2007/04/happy-birthday-thomas-jefferson-by-gen.html
Because we possess rights, governments are instituted. Wise government, explains Jefferson, "shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." Government acts only to protect us from acts of force or fraud, apprehending perpetrators who pick our pockets or break our legs; otherwise, it does not regulate or control our lives in any way. Jefferson was "for a government rigorously frugal and simple … and not for a multiplication of officers and salaries merely to make partisans … " What would he think of the 150,000-page Code of Federal Regulations and the swarms of agencies, commissions, and departments that today swallow 40 percent of our national income?

See what I mean?

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.
Thomas Jefferson (in context)

Mike- all those pipes and manholes lead to a community septic tank which discharges pollutants. That is the "one" which would be removed and replaced.

Think of a RECLAMATOR as a compact florescent lamp and a septic tank as an incandescent bulb.

Remove one and replace it with the other...-rigorously frugal and simple.

danbleskey said...

LIsa is a leader with the expertise that can be trusted. She is not a politician nor were those that stopped the tri-w project.

There is not technical justification for Tri-W, never has been never will be. Only those that have the technical capability or the common sense to smell the political stench that the state has forced upon this community understand what is driving this.

There is no doubt that the state has failed to properly and objectively evaluate how it was spending its money. There is not only an "appearance of conflict of interest" at the state level, but there is also the appearance of a political web of intimidation by the RWQCB on just about anyone who is opposed to their rule. The local board has so mismanaged this whole three decade affair and failed at just about every twist of the road. The board has never engaged Los Osos, at least not for the past three years. That board saw the threat to public funds coming during the recall and had the power and political influence to not just stop it but to shape the outcome, and not just on one occasion. The Regional Board has so botched its duties not only to protect the environment but to protect vast sums of public funds.

There will never be viable and reasonable environmental protection that respects the constitutional protections granted to the people until there is a dramatic shake up at the Central Coast Board.

Look at what happened in Iraq, once there was a change in the leadership at the pentagon the war has progressed to a conclusion. This is so easily recognized by the public, why is the Los Osos debacle so contested. There needs to be a change on the Regional Board and their staff so that a constructive engagement can occur.

Shark Inlet said...

So, DanBlesky ...

Are you telling us that the attempt to move the sewer has been worth it? That the cost/location/timeframe is better now than it was back in 2005?

The way I figure it ... because of the additional pollution, saltwater intrusion and debt, the new, out of town location has got to be a whole heck of a lot better and cheaper for the recall to have been worth it.

Lisa may have expertise and may be an elected leader, but her expertise is not in anything remotely financial or legal and her board showed a remarkable lack of leadership.

TCG said...

So, DanBlesky...

You agree with Ms. Schicker that the Tri-W project concept should be ommitted from the EIR comparative analysis, thereby leaving the door wide open for further legal challanges and more costly project delays which ultimately will be borne by us homeowners?

Mike said...

Oh Jooooeeeeeyyyy...

Isn't it enough that you play your silly multiple name game on the Trib blogs... You never are going to have any credibility on the entire central coast...

Ron said...

TCG wrote:

"You agree with Ms. Schicker that the Tri-W project concept should be ommitted from the EIR comparative analysis, thereby leaving the door wide open for further legal challanges and more costly project delays which ultimately will be borne by us homeowners?"

Well, I guess the ones of people, like Hensley and Nash-Karner, that developed the embarrassing Tri-W project, can legally challenge the elimination of the site, but they'll never win, and the reasons they'll never win are extremely embarrassing for them, so, if they want to drag all of that junk out to endure even more public humiliation (this time, on their dime), hey it's America, they can do what they want.

But after yesterday's meeting, I finally have an answer to my excellent question: Where in CEQA does it say that ALL potential sites MUST be evaluated throughout the ENTIRE environmental review process, even if it is illegal to build on one of those sites (i.e. Tri-W)?

Mark Hutchinson, environmental specialist with the county, answered that yesterday by saying that CEQA requires that a "reasonable range" of alternatives be evaluated.

As recent county documents show (just like SewerWatch over the past three years): The Tri-W site is embarrassingly unreasonable. (You know what gets me, is the reason Tri-W is illegal is BECAUSE of environmental reasons.)

The county could eliminate it today, and no one, not one single person outside of the ones of people that are responsible for developing it, would cry, "Tri-W IS reasonable." Um... no it's not... not even close.

DB wrote:

"LIsa is a leader with the expertise that can be trusted."

When Supervisor Gibson is inevitably recalled for his continued support for Nash-Karner over the 45 families with CDOs, I endorse Lisa Schicker as his replacement. She would make a GREAT 2nd District Supervisor.

Sewertoons said...

What - so she can bankrupt the County too?

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

You've just lost any credibility you may have had with the environmentalist community. Lisa is better than Bruce ... sheesh ... what will you think up next to astound us?