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Posted: November 9, 2009 3:32 p.m.
Updated: November 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
One can only be amused by Cam Noltemeyer's recent commentary, "Polluted water: Only time will tell," (Oct. 22). Noltemeyer can't seem to discuss this topic without distorting the facts about the cleanup of the perchlorate contamination in our groundwater or dredging up issues that have long since been addressed.

In a claim that is laughable in its inaccuracy, she writes: "All environmental groups ... worked tirelessly on the water pollution issue."
Over the past 10 years, the Castaic Lake Water Agency and three local water retailers filed suit to force the past and present owners to remediate the contamination, proactively worked with state regulatory agencies and the property owners to identify the optimum treatment technology, diligently negotiated a favorable settlement of the litigation that ensured local residents did not bear the cleanup costs, and took the lead in constructing the treatment facilities.

During that decade, not one of the local environmental groups expressed support or offered to assist the water suppliers and the city in their ceaseless efforts to address the single-most significant environmental issue that has ever faced the Santa Clarita Valley. All they did was file lawsuits against the water suppliers challenging our water supply reporting, while they did absolutely nothing in regards to dealing with the problem itself. So who really "worked tirelessly on the water pollution issue" - the local water suppliers or the so-called environmentalists?

The court ruling Noltemeyer touts in her commentary dealt with a water supply planning document prepared in the year 2000, about three years after the perchlorate was discovered. When the 2000 Urban Water Management Plan was released as required by the Dec. 31, 2000, deadline, information about the contamination was still being collected and a comprehensive remediation plan had not been completed. As the necessary science was performed, funding secured and a plan developed, the perchlorate remediation plan was fully addressed in the 2005 Urban Water Management Plan.

Any issues raised in 2000 were well on their way to being addressed by the 2004 court decision and have been irrelevant for nearly five years.

Meanwhile, the water suppliers, with the help of the city and numerous other stakeholders, constructed a state-of-the-art treatment plant to remove perchlorate contamination from the groundwater. That new plant, built as a result of the water suppliers' diligent efforts, is operational and going through initial testing, debugging and state certification before the treated water will be reintroduced to the municipal supply. All of this is being done without the so-called environmentalists doing so much as lifting a finger to help.

Regarding Noltemeyer's consideration of future praise to the water agencies, we are not holding our breath.

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