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UPDATE: SCV Sanitation District to challenge state decision on chloride removal

Posted: February 12, 2014 3:23 p.m.
Updated: February 12, 2014 7:00 p.m.

Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District officials announced Wednesday they will take legal action against the commission that ruled California won’t pay to remove chloride from the Santa Clara River — leaving ratepayers to pick up the tab.

The district’s Board of Directors unanimously voted Wednesday to petition the Superior Court for a reversal of the Commission on State Mandates’ Jan. 24 decision.

The district had requested the commission classify chloride cleanup expenses as unfunded mandates, since a state agency had ordered the district to reduce chloride emissions in wastewater released into the river.

Under state law, unfunded state mandates can be classified a state financial obligation, rather than that of a municipality.

But the commission ruled the responsibility for cleanup costs belonged to the district, in part because the district has the means to underwrite them. That means is raising sewer-users’ rates, which appear on property taxes.

Laurene Weste, a Santa Clarita City Council member who also serves on the three-member SCV Sanitation District board, she she was encouraged by Wednesday’s unanimous decision. Also serving on the board are Councilman Bob Kellar and county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

“We support the sanitation district’s being reimbursed for the (chloride limit) mandate,” Weste said.

The cost of ridding the river of chloride by injecting the naturally occurring salty compound into wells deep under the Santa Clarita Valley is expected to cost at least $130 in capital expenses and $4.1 million in annual operating expenses.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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