Happy Valentines All you Lovers
Been kind of holding off waiting for all the dust to settle before updating on where everything stands. Well, forget that. It looks like this dust storm is here to stay for awhile and the new normal is learning how to brace ourselves for constant incoming gusts and blasts of bits and pieces of everything that isn’t nailed down and some of that too.
I think it is fair to say we have all been experiencing some degree of shell shock from all the incoming events over the last several months. And also fair to say that there is every indication we are alive and well and better than ever, Women’s march, BOS meeting standing room only Chumash Marine sanctuary. We are in a new thriving on surviving mode.
That said here’s what we know
Our Board of Supervisors on Jan 10 decided to side on the side of partisan politics and elected a freshman new comer, Mr. Peschong District 1 to the office of Chair to the Board of Supervisors. If there was any doubt about how this Board intended to conduct the business of the county this vote made it crystal clear. It will be strictly along party lines. The first official act by the Board seemed more akin to a hostile take over than a meeting of the hearts and minds of the community at large. There are a lot of ways to look at this. For me it just looks like Peschong, Compton and Arnold are being held hostage more so than Hill and Gibson and have a little Stockholm Syndrome thing going on.
Our basic fundamental Constitutional right to a safe, clean environment free from the fear and constant threats of accidents, spills, explosions, contamination and unmitigable risks to our air, water and soil might be in conflict with some Board members whose sense of party loyalty out weighs their sense of loyalty to a democratic republic.
A trumped up Board of Supervisors will grease the wheels for Phillips 66, court the oil baron’s new mistress, Sentinel and part the waves for offshore drilling. Their menu will turn this community into a pate de fois gras for their captors with us as the goose being forced fed things that are going to kill us.
We are not going to let that happen.
First what about the Oil trains issue ?
This from Eric Greening:
“A few days ago, I reported that a consent item on next Tuesday’s Supervisors calendar schedules the Phillips 66 appeal hearing for the entire week (if needed) of March 13th to 17th. Now there is correspondence from Jocelyn Thompson of Alston and Bird, representing the applicants, requesting a delay from this plan. Their first choice is that the hearing not be scheduled until the Phillips 66 litigation seeking a remand to the Planning Commission is ruled on. Failing that, they ask that the appeal hearing be no sooner than mid-April. This request raises an interesting test for the newest supervisor. When campaigning, John Peschong freely disclosed his considerable conflict of interest with Phillips 66 and promised to recuse himself from the appeal hearing. It would seem that, in keeping with that promise, he should also recuse from acting on the consent item that deals with the applicant’s request relative to the setting of that hearing. I (Eric Greening) intend to raise that issue during public comment on the Consent Agenda, and we’ll see how he responds. If he does recuse, there is, of course, the possibility of a 2-2 split on the Board on the scheduling of this hearing. If he doesn’t, there is a question of the legitimacy of the vote, especially if it is a split vote with Peschong’s vote decisive. So it is setting up to be a very interesting morning!!! “
I think we have a right to know if Peschong is going to recuse himself and if it is a 2-2 vote who cast the deciding vote? What is the protocol? If there isn’t one we need to come up with a solution before it becomes an issue. If there is one we need to know what it is.
We need to know now. Questions can be asked in any public comment session and ask the Chair to respond in kind. Just ask. Are you going to recuse yourself on the Phillips 66 appeal? Keep asking till you get an answer. One person can ask the same question for 3 minutes. Or ask the question and wait 3 minutes for an answer. 10 or 100 people can ask it. We are entitled to an answer.
Or email Mr. Preschong and your district rep and ask them what the protocol is for breaking a tie if the chair has recused himself. And what if he doesn’t recuse himself . What then? Request your email be entered into the public record and then ask them in public comment how many emails the Board received on the issue.
Call the Board and leave a comment or a question at 805-781-5450 or 1-800-834-4636 weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Listed below are the email addresses for the Supervisors. Mailing address is 1055 Monterey St. Room D430, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. Do something today. Call, email, public comment. Something.
Bird dog them until they answer. Notify
and keep the press abreast of what is in the works so they can follow it and report it. They love numbers. 600 people have emailed, phoned and asked the BOS about Peschong and the Phillips 66 issue. You get the idea. We need an accounting of every contact, phone, email, public comment made for the record to show we are trying to get an answer to very important questions and what the results are. Make posters Peschong Recuse yourself and rally during the BOS meeting.
No response speaks volumes. Everything we say and do must become part of the public record. We are making a case for ourselves. Everything they say and don’t do can and will be held against them in a court of law. Being a citizen is not a spectator sport. We are players and game on.
SAVE THE DATE
P66 HEARINGS to begin on MARCH 13th
SLO County has announced that the Board of Supervisors will begin their public hearings of the Phillips 66 appeal of the Planning Commission’s recommended denial of the crude oil train terminal project March 13 at 9:00 AM –and continue for the next four days if needed. We will be there.
What’s up with the Arroyo Grande Aquifer exemption?
DOGGR has defaulted on another deadline. Feb. 15, 2017 was the deadline for bringing all the 105,000 (total wells currently in operation) wells in California into compliance with the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act .
The state of California was relegated primary responsibility for implementing the Class II oil and gas underground injection control CFR sec 144 (UIC) program of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1983. That program has never been implemented. As a part of its oversight role, EPA audited the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources’ (DOGGR) Class II UIC primacy program 28 years later in 2011 and identified substantial implementation deficiencies.
Translation. No UIC program in place and supervision, monitoring, reporting, data on injection wells and site operations was self regulated by operators. Translation: Illegal, unlawful injection of toxic waste into the subterranean soil, toxic releases into the air has been going on for 33 years.
The condition precedent to getting a 2 year extension which in realty is really a 33 year extension on the reviewing and exemption and implementation process the state agreed to complete that review and file for the necessary exemptions with the EPA by the drop dead date of February 15, 2017 or the wells would be shut down. Well, the State has already said they are defaulting. Time to take a stand. The wells must be shut down now. What is the purpose of a deadline if it is never enforced?
And just to make an already intolerable situation unbearable Trumpland Uber Alles is in the process of dismantling the EPA.
This is crazy talk. We need the EPA and anyone that doesn’t understand that or maybe he does and that is why he is dismantling it. Yup crazy. We do not have to live with crazy.
So what to do when everything is up in the air? 33 years is a ridiculously long time to wait for implementation of health and safety standards imperative to our health and well being.
And now that there is no EPA to implement exemptions I think it is safe to say there are no exemptions to implement. But all that is going to be in the next newsletter. Along with a petition to the State Attorney General, Chief Law Enforcment Officer, calling for a shut down of the wells that have escaped certification and licensing by DOGGR and the EPA for 33 years because we can’t live with all the uncertainty and risks to our safety and health.
The Attorney General has independent authority, acting directly in the name of the People, “to take action to protect the natural resources of the State of California from pollution, impairment, or destruction.”
We are asking the Attorney General to enforce the Feb. 15 deadline and shut down all the wells and well sites as promised.
We will circulate a petition for 2 weeks, get a million signatures and then hand deliver them to our new Attorney General. Road trip.
We need some fire power and think the AG is just the person to deliver it.
And we can get a tailgate party going at the same time. Call the Attorney General. (213) 897-2000
Call and say we want the wells shut down as promised. Tell him we live in an area where an unlicensed operator is injecting
1.5million gallons a day of toxic wastewater into the unincorporated areas that share their water with vineyards and family residences. How can we feel safe or be safe when there are no safety standards in place?
Really need the operators to stop doing what they are doing until they get certified and licensed. Tell him how you feel. If you are really scared that our water could be compromised with this illegal, unlawful activity going on in our backyard, tell him.
This illegal operations @ the Prince Canyon Arroyo Grande Oil Fields has been going on for over 10 years and they are asking to increase their activity by 300% and continue to operate without any certification or licensing. Never designated a toxic waste disposal site. Tell him we were counting on the EPA and DOGGR to keep their word and shut down wells and sties they cannot certify as safe.
We know DOGGR and the EPA have been sabotaged by political forces making their job all but impossible. But we really cannot bear the burden of the uncertainty of the safety of the water we drink the air we breathe or the food we eat . So please on our behalf shut the wells down. Thank you.
Do just ONE thing every day. Something. Anything. A call. An email. A rally. A march. Share the plan to call, email, rally, march with just one person every day.
And now the best for last
SNEAK PREVIEW OF “WHERE THERE ONCE WAS WATER” link to purchase tickets.
WHERE THERE ONCE WAS WATER: A California Story
California Water: where are we, where are we headed, and how can we craft an equitable water future for all life? Join the conversation with local photographer and filmmaker Brittany App, when she shares a 15-minute sneak-preview of this feature-length film, currently in production. SLO Film Festival entry.
Wednesday, March 15 – 7:00pm
Octagon Barn, 4400 Octagon Way (off S. Higuera) SLO
$25 general / $15 Students & Film Society
LOVE YOU ALL THIS MUCH XOXO
It only seems impossible until its done. Nelson Mandela.
“Respect is love in action.”
— Bangambiki Habyarimana