Jun 14 2014
The US EPA waiver that allows the Pt. Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant to
continue operating below the standards set by the 1972 Clean Water Act
expires in July 2015. To paraphrase a famous line out of The Treasure of
Sierra Madre, one of my favorite Humphrey Bogart movies still on late night
cable TV, “We don’t need no stinking waiver [badges]”.
What we need is action by those responsible for water policy in San
Diego County. First has to come a conversation about how to get direct
and/or indirect potable water systems in place. Although readership on the
Water Shock blog is limited, hope springs eternal in the human heart that
more interest may evolve.
Beginning with the last blog, “Water-The Third Rail“, the Water Shock
blog will, in the immediate future, be a series of blogs covering the
history of the 1972 Clean Water Act, bringing to readers the latest
developments leading up to the expiration of the current waiver in July
2015. Why? Short of San Diego taps going dry, those responsible for San
Diego area water policy and implementation have little incentive to change
the status quo to bring us nearer water independence. Water and its pricing
really is the third rail in San Diego politics. But the pols cannot avoid
the looming expiration of the waiver.
Guaranteed they will apply for another waiver. Unless there is more
transparency this time than there was last time the EPA granted the waiver,
the average citizen will see and hear very little about the process in the
coming year. A good example is the lack of coverage of the County Grand
Jury’s Report filed on May 10, 2014 that took those who should “have our
back” on water issues to the woodshed for a sound drubbing.
If there is news coverage, the first headlines will be San Diego
cannot afford to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Really? In past
years San Diego has spent a billion (with a B) dollars finagling their way
around the Act. While every other major city in California has somehow
found the funds, San Diego is the lone standout who still takes the chunks
out of nearly two hundred million gallons of sewage a day, and dumps the
rest in the ocean. America’s Finest City?
This upcoming series of blogs will be written to attempt clear
understanding about a subject that has serious eye-glazing potential. Some
detail cannot be avoided. What is known is, “We don’t need no stinking