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Marsha McLean: Water cleanup mandate too expensive, maybe unnecessary

SCV Voices

Posted: May 23, 2009 10:17 p.m.
Updated: May 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
There is much confusion out there regarding a state-mandated fee that our residents are being asked to pay.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board is a state agency that is handing down mandates that are prohibitively expensive to implement and possibly completely unnecessary.

Residents are being asked to foot the bill to clean up water received from the state that exceeds the amount of salt or chloride that the state agency says can be discharged from waste water facilities.

This means the L.A. County Sanitation Districts must build new facilities, and Santa Clarita Valley residents must pay for them.

As a board member of the Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities and the state League of California Cities, I requested that a survey be circulated to see how many cities are facing this or a similar dilemma.

There are 86 Los Angeles County member cities, and 26 of them responded citing mandates and fines handed down by the state Regional Water Quality Control Board, costing their cities, and therefore their residents, thousands upon thousands of dollars.

At my request, the L.A. County Division is requesting that the state League of California Cities, with 487 member cities, investigate this situation to see what can be done to look into how the Regional Water Quality Control Board is handling our water situation in Los Angeles County.

We all want clean water and must adhere to rules that don't allow contaminates to pollute our rivers. There has to be common sense used as to how to put good practices into use.

Scientific data has to be gathered, and when it is, it cannot be summarily dismissed or ignored.

Local jurisdictions must be allowed to do what is necessary to protect the environment in a manner based on local needs. As a resident who will be faced with having to pay to clean up the state's problem, I plan to attend the public hearing Tuesday at 3:30pm, in Santa Clarita City Council Chambers to express my views.

I hope you will do the same. The blame should be placed squarely where it belongs - with the state Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Marsha McLean is a Santa Clarita City Council member. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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