The following email was sent to me by Al Barrow/Los Osos Legal Defense Fund. Posted with permission.
Dear Coastal Commissioners:
SLO County promised in the 218 tax vote that funded the Los Osos Sewer project:
"In the current project selection strategy, the STEP and gravity alternatives would compete through the construction bidding phase using a competitive bid, design/build, and/or build/own/operate/transfer process. "
That was signed by the Assessment Engineer and PW Director Paavo Ogren.
But they have removed the lower impact collection system, which was adjudged in their two year fine screening process as a "viable alternative" out off the Design/Build project delivery method. Now only the most impactive project on coastal resources remains. Gravity deep trenching in liquefaction conditions is what the SLO County has chosen as their only project. A loss of 300,000 gpd of drinking water through leakage into the collection system. Gravity is many millions of dollars more cost, a cost that the lower income half of the population cannot afford, $3000.00 a year.or 8 times average cost.
In order to put STEP/STEG or vacuum collection, which are far more protective of coastal resources, we ask that you direct the SLO County to do so immediately. Something that the SLO Country planning commission did not do in their recent findings.
We also believe, in order to protect our community and environment, we must have legal counsel so we have engaged the Law offices of Jesse LB.Hill to see that the Local Coastal Plan, The Coastal Act and the supporting laws in the CZLUO are respected and that the environment is once again is not sacrificed.
We would hope that the SLO County would be sensitive to our concerns as we have submitted them, but that has not been the case in most issues of concern. As we prepare for the coming BOS and Coastal commission we ask all parties to reconsider the impact of removing a more protective and affordable collection technology.
Our position is that SLO County violated the 218 process by promising a Design/Build process that included STEP/STEG, then after the vote removing it, damaging the ratepayers with exorbitantly higher wastewater fees, charges and capital costs, when a more compliant technology is at lower costs and impacts that is also quicker to install.is already pre-designed in the LOCSD Ripley Report 2006.
SLO County admits there will be design changes required for their purportedly "shovel ready" collection system whose slopes are to shallow for solids to move through the collection pipes as the design flows are much lower than the original Montgomery Watson Harza design plans called for.
In order to avert "the train wreck" at the Coastal Commission Hearings we seek relief in the form of direction from your staff who have sent two directional letters to SLO County to date.
We also request by FOIA all communications whether phone memos, emails and letters relating to the LOWWP Coastal Development permit application.
Thank You,.Al Barrow
Los Osos Legal Defense Fund
P.O Box 6931
Los Osos CA 93412 805 534-0800 Thank you for your support.