Korenthal For Water Board

My Comments at the Sanitation District Meeting

June 4, 2010


Good evening Sanitation District Board & Staff. My name is Kevin Korenthal and I am a 28 year resident of Santa Clarita.
In my work as the executive director of a statewide association of public works contractors, I often come across laws and regulations that provide nothing other than an unfair advantage to special interest groups. 
This experience allows me to identify and advocate against those kinds of regulations. Whether the issue is about the discrimination against one group to the advantage of another or the building of projects that waste ratepayer money and offer no real benefit to the taxpayer, I’ll stand up when I see injustice being done.
As the Chloride debate has unfolded here in Santa Clarita, it has become completely obvious that just such a situation is at the heart of this matter. Even though Santa Clarita residents have given up their water softeners and are but one entity producing the chloride, the Water Quality Control Board has foisted 100% of the cost of solving this problem on the backs of Santa Clarita ratepayers.
We know that we can prevent this rate increase from coming to pass. All we need to do is get half plus one of Santa Clarita property owners to reject the rate increase in writing. With the city’s buy-in, this becomes a relatively straight-forward matter. If the City Council votes to adopt a position against the rate increase and allocates funds to inform homeowners about their rights and the need to weigh in, this unjustified rate increase will be rightly and soundly defeated.
I believe that once the Water Quality Control Board loses the easy funding for this boondoggle will they actually consider other solutions. To begin that debate, double-blind studies and other scientific methods will be needed to determine if in fact avocado and strawberry crops are adversely affected by chloride in levels in excess of 117 milligrams per liter. Studies, I might add, that have not yet been completed
In my opinion, the Water Quality Control Board should have studied all potential solutions to the allegedly adverse chloride levels. One of the most obvious of those alternatives is to get behind a new water conveyance and storage infrastructure project. Not only would a new form of water conveyance remove our drinking water’s contact with salt water in the delta, it would forever guarantee that all Californians would have access to safe water and prevent the ongoing decimation of various sensitive ecosystems along the current route of our water.
The bureaucracy has apparently not considered addressing the chloride levels at any point before water arrives in Santa Clarita. This tells me that Santa Clarita has become an easy patsy on which to lay the cost to rectify what is essentially an unsound environmental policy.
This facility, if built will become a stranded asset when California eventually builds the new water conveyance and storage infrastructure that it owes its citizens. Therefore, I cannot support this project or the rate increase being proposed to pay for it. Thank you.



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