Newsletter #49- Planning meeting results – Next steps

Nov. 12 planning hearing on the issue of granting a permit to drill 31 new wells at the Arroyo Grande Oil Field on expired regulations and codes was approved unanimously by the planning commission under rather unusual and irregular circumstances.

Unusual because the public comment on that agenda item was opened and closed an hour and half into a 5 hour presentation rather than at the end. Very strange call by the Chair, Mr. Topping.   Here is video of the meeting. http://slocounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=2186

And then the 5 factors needed to prove the “impermeability of an aquifer” housing billions of gallons of toxic waste was devoid of the one factor that could prove its permeability. The earthquake factor. Strange.

But, never mind. These are 5 people who are volunteering their time and have limited resources expertise and authority and who did the best they could with what they had to work with.  We thank them for their time and we are going to take it from here.  Here is the video of the meeting.

http://slocounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=2186

An appeal to their decision was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity on Monday.  This is normal administrative procedure however not our only option.

The planning commission, water board, Board of Supervisors, DOGGR, EPA, Gov. Brown have all had ample time and opportunity to do the right thing to insure our safety, health and well being and have refused to do so.

So in the coming weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday it’s a whole new ball game.

​We are going to do it right.​

Did you see what Portland did about the oil trains? http://www.resilience.org/stories/2015-11-18/portland-passes-groundbreaking-fossil-fuel-resolution-t   

All it takes is a community that knows what they want and makes it happen. It’s simple.

​And after years of dealing with Freeport’s shenanigans in LA local residents have had enough. Environmental advocates sue L.A., accusing it of ‘rubber stamping’ oil drilling plans http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-oil-drilling-20151106-story.html 

Freeport has a history and a reputation for getting what they want.

We are prepared willing and more than able to make some history of our own.

Moratoriums, resolutions, ordinances and lawsuits are all on the table. The writing is on the wall.  Enough is enough. Game on.

Will be talking with you all after the Thanksgiving break about the next giant leap forward for the good people of San Luis Obispo.

This is our home.

From one very grateful heart to another…….

A_GRATEFUL_HEART

 

 

 

 

 

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Newsletter #48 – Round 3- County Planning meeting on Price Canyon Oil Field – This is a biggie

O.k. folks things are heating up. Local residents and home owners have contacted 3 individual planning commissioners on three separate occasions to discuss concerns with the increased oil drilling activity in Price Canyon.  The concerns are countywide. Activity in question impacts water sources and conditions within the entire county.

The hearing results on Thurs. Nov. 12 @ 1:30 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors chambers, 1055 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408 will determine the safety, health and well being of our water resources in this county for generations to come.

Everyone that can please plan on being at this meeting to voice your opinions on what we expect our county officials to do to protect our ever diminishing safe water resources. The issue is a building permit to continue to extract billions of gallons of water and dispose of billions of gallons of toxic waste in undisclosed areas in Price Canyon.

Environmental coordinator for the project is saying there have been no environmental changes in 10 years time and the old permit is fine.

Regional Water Quality Control Board will testify and possibly also someone from the State Water Resources Control Board.  Not necessarily going to provide conclusive evidence about the condition of our aquifer or the performance of the wells. We need to be on guard.

There are huge data gaps in the reporting and monitoring of the current wells in Price Canyon. The aquifer boundaries have changed. It is unclear what those boundaries are. There are 7 new wells proposed inside the area in question.

Your comments are important. Whatever you have to say will make a difference. Just being there is important and will make a difference. Freeport employees will be there to speak. On company time?

Are they coming to speak on behalf of Freeport in which case this is paid testimony as to the conditions in question and they have documentation to back it up?

I would pay very close attention to how each person speaking introduces themselves. Resident or employee? As residents we have a right to question our public officials about how businesses are conducting themselves in our neighborhood. Are they up to code, standards, rules and regulations? We have a right to know and expect an answer from qualified sources.

This is a public hearing with public comment for the public record.  The issue is a request for a building permit? Are the Freeport employees qualified to speak on behalf of the business regarding the issue of a building permit for their business?

We need answers.

Q1:  Why didn’t Freeport McMoRan get the drilling done in the ten year time frame given to them in the old permit?

Q2: What about extracting great quantities of water in an historic drought and the subsidence effect?

Q3:  How can Freeport claim that the ‘bowl’ storing the toxic waste is impermeable? San Luis had 132 earthquakes between 1.3 and 3.3 last year.

If you can’t make it to the public comment session THIS COMING THURS NOV. 12 @ 1:30 then please do chime in with your concerns and comments with an email to the commission.

http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/planning/staff/PCForm.htm

SUBJECT LINE: County Planning hearing Nov. 12 item # 9 Freeport McMoRan

 
This is our home. Freeport is asking our officials permission to turn our home into a toxic waste dump. Let’s make round 3 a knock out round.

 

Always,

Jean’ne

jeannewater@gmail.com

SLO Clean Water.org
Ten people that speak make more noise than 10,000 that are silent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 2 – Are earthquakes an environmental issue?

PLANNING COMMISSION HEARING ON FREEPORT MCMORAN’S EXPIRED PERMIT. Thurs. NOV. 12 Last ITEM # 9. After 1:30 p.m. Email comments to the planning commission http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/planning/PlanningContactUs.htm? Make sure and include date and item # in the subject line. Be there if you can!!!

Environmental coordinator is maintaining nothing has changed in 10 years and is recommending approval of the permit. Hummmm…. I beg to differ.

What about the earthquake factor? Could an earthquake compromise the integrity of that ‘impermeable bowl’ that is housing billions of gallons of hazardous waste? That is the question before the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission Nov. 12. We can only hope they will make the right decision knowing that…

There were 132 earthquakes of 1.3- 3.3 magnitude in San Luis Obispo last year. A 3.3 earthquake in Atascardero on Oct. 29th. Was a stress test conducted at the Arroyo Grande Oil field on Price Canyon after that earthquake? Is there any monitoring system set up to measure what is happening sub surface? Can it be verified that there were no changes to the sub surface and the contents therein?

We are talking about billions of gallons of toxic wastewater sloshing around underground that is going to escape to the point of least resistance in an instance. That is just physics 101.

Earthquakes—Rattling the Earth’s Plumbing System http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-096-03/

Where is that point of departure? Where is that toxic water going and when? There are only 2 possible answers to that question. One answer is “I don’t know” and grounds for denial. Grounds for approval granted upon receipt of documented evidence of ‘imperameability.”

We know the Arroyo Grande Oil Field is made up of a fractured, layered, unmapped, uncharted formation. We also know we are subject to copycat earthquakes that can affect a 600 mile radius.
Earthquakes often happen when two tectonic plates that have been pressed together suddenly slip. But we’ve seen that major earthquakes like 1992’s Landers earthquake in California can also send out waves that spark copycat quakes 600 away, even though the waves get weaker as they travel.

This map shows we are right in the middle of where 2 tectonic plates meet. Hello. This is ground zero. And earthquakes in Baja, Mexico, Oregon, Arizona and at least 300 miles out in ring of fire territory can resonate right here in our own back yard.

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 9.28.09 AM

According to computer models, even weak waves at the right frequency could be enough to start a new quake by vibrating that grist into a more slippery, liquid-like layer. This is about frequency. You know that Tesla thing that can bring buildings down with the single ching of a tuning fork. Frequencies that can melt rock.

Liquid-like layer is liquefaction. Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of a soil is reduced by earthquake shaking or other rapid loading.

Liquefaction and related phenomena have been responsible for tremendous amounts of damage in historical earthquakes around the world. We are sitting on top of prime liquefaction real estate.

And other related phenomenon is when the rock melts beneath an aquifer and then you get sinkholes. We have all the ingredients for both. Blows ‘impermeable’ right out of the water.

http://www.nbcnews.com/…/gateway-hell-sinkholes-open-across…

The conclusion that this cone-like bowl is ‘impermeable’ does not hold water. As much as we would like to think we can out jargon Mother Nature’s capabilities I do believe the proof is in the pudding and permeability is in fact inevitable for the very simple fact that earthquakes are inevitable.

Earthquakes can pretty much render anything permeable and they do.

They are a force of nature beyond our control. And they can be devastating in their own right. But little ones like the 1.3 to 3.3 that seem to occur on a regular basis are not much to be concerned about and certainly are not life threatening unless you have billions of gallons of underground toxic waste looking for an escape route. Then all of sudden we have a little earthquake that becomes life threatening because of a condition we created of our own doing and that was totally preventable.

Always when this happens we are shocked and shunned that we miscalculated and allowing billions of gallons of toxic water to be disposed of in close proximity to certifiable, indisputable safe drinking water sources becomes an oh oops moment. Oh well, there’s plenty more where that came from. Oh wait, no there isn’t. This is it.

Water is non-renewable and limited. Kind of like the oil thing. Except for a couple of minor little details. Life depends on water. Without it life ceases to exist and the by-product is death and then you get oil. Dead fossils.

We can bring dead fossils back to life and create a quasi state of being with fossil fuels but we can’t make water.

We can use it, abuse it, waste it, contaminate it, kill it, manage it, regulate it, but we can’t make it. There is no quasi substitute for water. This is it. WHYSIWYG. And no matter how alarming or scary that thought is, it is the truth. There is just so much water to go around and wasting it is now regarded as a crime.

So on that note, In order to grant the extension to continue to dump toxic waste subsurface this commission I hope is prepared to show us that the fossil fuel god or its proxy, Freeport McMoRan, can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their impermeable bowl is earthquake proof with 8×10 glossy photos or data approved by the California Council on Science and Technology.

And, I certainly hope that this planning commission realizes that they will indeed be held responsible for their decision and they take into account what constitutes reckless disregard of facts and calculated risk.

Taking time off from work to be there.

This is important.

If  you can’t be at the meeting write your comments to

http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/planning/PlanningContactUs.htm?

Put:  SLO PLANNING HEARING NOV. 12 ITEM #9 in the subject line.