Newsletter #66 – Cut to the Chase

💝❤️💧 HAPPY LABOR OF  ❤️ DAY 💧❤️💝

Started this in July, kept adding to it now have to cut it down to bare bones because it is time sensitive.  Chop chop here goes.  Right now we are going to connect some dots and rein in some of this chaos and clear the air.

  • June 29th hearing, Center for Biological Diversity v DOGGR and Freeport McMoran, the Judge was not convinced that DOGGR was obligated to perform a CEQA, California Environmental Quality Act, before issuing an aquifer exemption to Freeport McMoRan, now Sentinel.

The whole argument seemed to come down to the meaning of the word ‘project’.  DOGGR and Freeport were expert in badgering the judge with frivolous tidbits and in the end the judge denied the motion to issue an injunction which means Sentinel can keep on dumping toxic waste water in our backyard without an environmental review or permit or a license.  If the Center does not appeal that decision it will stand and we have to do something else to eradicate this noxious weed from our Garden of Eden.

Breaking news and the ‘Something else’ we were looking for.
This court ruling issued on August 30, 2017 changed the courts view point about all the funny talk used by the industry to avoid compliance with just about everything to do with safety and health. Court said enough is enough and to comply or pack it up and get out of Dodge.   Information is power when we put it to work. This ruling works for us.  Let’s use it.


https://www.ecowatch.com/sabal-trail-pipeline-2479133796.html

In Major Climate Decision, DC Circuit Rejects Federal Jiberish on Sabal Trail Pipeline

Aug. 30, 2017 12:22PM EST

This is what we are talking about. Court calls out gross climate change violators and Federal agency’s gross negligence enforcing Federal regulations. Court said there is NO EXCUSE for avoiding Federal safety and health guild lines. NONE. So until and when standards are meet the project is a NO GO. Basically told FERC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to get their junk together or else.  How this decision could affect the ARROYO Grande oil fields?  Opinion:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/522978307807578/permalink/1212023988903003/

And on that note as we talk about Federal and State agencies flip flopping on regulations

  • There is another lawsuit in the works. Board of Supervisors approved an expired permit for 31 wells last March. That is a clear violation of local, state and Federal rules that specifically state that you can not extend an expired permit.   CBD filed suit to force compliance which means Sentinel must apply for a new permit with all the new updated safety rules and standards to include new earthquake data. I would bet donuts to dollars that not in ten years, not in a hundred years, not in a thousand years would the oil industry ever invest in complying with any safety and health laws. It’s cheaper to buy legislators to write escape clauses. That strategy could back fire since the courts are onto this hocus pocus and aren’t buying it anymore.  Change is in the air.
  • The Board is sitting on the Lawsuit waiting for the much anticipated ‘exemption’ for the oil fields from EPA which they are hoping will make everything easy as pie to approve a fatally flawed permit and hope no one notices but they may be in for a bit of a surprise.  An exemption is not going to save  a host of violations that is the Arroyo Grande Oil Fields.
  • The fields have a history of humming a few bars and faking it going all the way back to 1978 and Phase I and the first issuance of permits for “thermal” oil production wells and toxic waste disposal.  Now it is our turn to say to our elected officials Enough is enough.

    Now get this:
      Teal, Grace, Shell, PXP,  Freeport,
  • 1) Never did get a permit to dump toxic waste in the unincorporated areas of SLO county
  • 2) Nor did the unincorporated area ever get certified as a toxic waste dump site
  • 3) There is no such thing as thermal oil production in the Code of Federation Regulations. Which means it does not fit the description for a Class II exemption.
  • 4) The oil fields are operating without a license or permit from State and Federal agencies.

    So cutting to the chase on this issue and connecting some dots. Lets get our Attorney General involved in prosecuting illegal and unlawful activity.

    The petition to the State Attorney General calling for a shut down of all wells that missed the licensing deadline was sent on Sept. 02.The Arroyo Grande Oil Fields are on that shut down list and an exemption is not going to exonerate them. Here is the email I sent to the signers.

    Dear Friends that signed the petition calling on the State Attorney General Xavier Becerra to shut down those wells that missed the Feb. 15, 2017 shut down deadline.

    Petition with 199 signatures was sent certified mail return receipt requested Sept. 02, 2017. I know that does not sound like a lot of signatures but this was not a popularity contest. It is important to know that it is not how many people ask the reason why this deadline was not invoked that generates a response but rather that the question asked by even one person is deserving of and entitled to an answer. So thank you all for asking.

    I called the Public Inquiry office of the Attorney General and told them I had a petition to deliver to Mr. Becerra that needed a response and what would be the best way to do that.  I told them I would deliver it personally if that would assure a response from the Attorney General.  Staff person Andrew was very helpful and told me that I could send it certified mail with return receipt and a response would come back on Official letterhead from the Attorney General. I liked the sound of that saving me gas and a whole day travel time to Sacramento and back.

    The cover letter to Mr. Becerra asked him why the Feb. 15, 2017 shut down deadline was not invoked and when was he going to do that?  I also told him we did not want any excuses and if he was not going to do it then who was? And if not now then when?

    These are reasonable questions given the advanced notice of the deadline and shut down order issued by DOGGR and State Water Resource Control Board. It was not sudden or a surprise that this deadline was imminent.  It can be assumed that DOGGR and Water Resource found it proper and necessary and in the interest of public safety and health to issue this Feb. 15, deadline and shut down.  
    I contacted the California Against Fracking coalition with over 100 environmental organizations of the delivery of the petition to the Attorney General. Also contacted the San Luis Obispo environmental caucus and will post the response from Mr. Becerra to all of the above. The petition was also addressed to our County Board of Supervisors and will schedule delivery time so that we can all be present for that.

    I am anxious to see where we stand with Mr. Becerra and how he is going to respond.

    Thank you all for being here and for caring enough to get involved and speaking up for our home sweet home.  We are standing our ground.  I think it is safe to say our resolve on this issue of shutting down illegal, unlawful dumping and drilling activity is unflappable.

    Sincerely yours.

    Jean’ne

    AND HERE IS WHY WE CAN NOT TRUST GOV BROWN or anyone affiliated with WSPA WHEN IT COMES TO THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY.


  • We want our Attorney General to do the right thing and restore the confidence and trust in our government by enforcing the shut down of the over 1650 wells in violations of the deadline. The delay is unacceptable. We know the tremendous hold and influence the oil industry has on our legislature and even our Governor. It is very unsettling.  This delay in implementing the shut down might be indicative of that undue influence invading the office of Attorney General. We need to know and see that is not the case.

Governor Brown has jumped into bed and is hiding under the covers with Western States Petroleum Association and passed AB398. A windfall for WSPA.  A blow to Clean Air breathers.

The Western States Petroleum Association is a “non-profit trade association” that represents companies that account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in the five western states of California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada. WSPA is parked in our back yard and overseeing the Sentinel Arroyo Grande oil field project. Our county Board of Supervisors is very familiar with this association.

WSPA’s membership includes a who’s who oil, energy and pipeline corporations including Aera Energy LLC, Chevron, Californian Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum), ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Noble Energy, Inc., Phillips 66, Plains All American, Inc. Shell Oil Products US, Tesoro Refining and Marketing and Valero.  The Nipomo Mesa Refinery will be exempt from Clean Air standards as will the Arroyo Grande Oil Fields. Phillips 66 is on the list and has a pipeline going from the Arroyo Grande oil fields to the Nipomo Mesa Refinery. Thank you Governor Brown.

AB398 was written by WSPA. WSPA submits a bill with language that favors their special interest to legislators whose pockets they have lined with reelection money and legislators return the favor by voting on bills that save the oil industry millions of dollars in compliance costs. Clearly a partnership with considerations that seal the deal.  And just to add a little fuel to this fire the industry is self regulated. So they have put themselves in charge of reporting data that determines their tax rate and violation status and relies on honest and fair dealings.  Rotten to the core politics alive and well in our backyard.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in the West and California. It has spent more than other lobbying organization in Sacramento in recent years to exert control over the Governor’s Office, regulatory agencies, the State Legislature and local municipalities.  SLO county is easy pickings and a real catch for WSPA.  Legislating permits to drill and dump, expansion, pretty much a slam dunk.

The Western States Petroleum Association led the oil industry lobbying expenses with $49,491,104  followed by Chevron with $24,035,901 and Phillips 66 with $4,821,144.

Yea, all that is about to change. Brown is showing his true colors and it’s not green.  The courts are losing patience with corrupt politicians and the residents of this community are done wasting their  time  pussy footing around with politicians that don’t listen and routinely flip us off with reckless disregard and disdain.

This is what sleeping with the enemy looks like.  Brown exempts WSPA membership which is the Oil drilling industry from the Clean Air Act. which renders it useless for health and safety issues. So Brown is out. It’s a Brown out. Becerra is up. Petition is a test to see if he is up to enforcing environmental justice or just another pretty face.

So where do we stand on the home front?

Supervisor Peschong’s appointed Joe Brown to the planning commission.  Not a surprise.  Peschong has never been bashful about showing his true colors. Brown through and through. We know where his loyalties lie. So, it stands to reason that given his past history and in the spirit of full disclosure and fair dealings he will recuse himself on the AGOF permitting process as well.

So, Lets cut to the quick. Lynn Compton District 4 is not shy either about her loyalty to Chairperson Peschong. Lynn is up for reelection. If we want to change the topography of this Board we need some fresh, new energy that can embrace clean, healthy, productive, prosperous and safe living and lifestyles choices.

Tall order. And rising to the occasion is Jimmy Paulding out of Arroyo Grande.

Meet Jimmy Paulding

Official campaign announcement at the Labor Day Picnic hosted by the Democratic Party on September 4th from 11:00am – 2:00pm at Strother Park in Arroyo Grande.  Ask Jimmy if he will sign a pledge not to take any oil money. I think we should ask all our supervisors to take this pledge and see what they say.   District 4 Supervisor will be voting on County issues so it would behoove all of us in the county to campaign for someone we can trust our great outdoors and life style choices with.     So do come and meet Jimmy at the picnic and see what you think.

 

South County ‘could be better served,’ says challenger to SLO Supervisor Lynn Compton

Real real quick.

What’s up with our water?  Bookmark option.

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) new national Tap Water Database is the most complete source available on the quality of U.S. drinking water, aggregating and analyzing data from almost 50,000 public water systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Check it out. Arroyo Grande is on the list in violation of Federal Safe Drinking Water Standards.  You can put in your zip code and it will pull up any city public water system. San Luis Obispo came up too.  Violations clearly indicate unsafe levels. When exemptions are in place unsafe levels are o.k. and there is no urgency to fit the problem.  That has all got to change. Kind of the theme for this newsletter.

And last thing.

This just breaks my heart.

 

And it really seems very short sighted and unimaginative, just down right lazy and unresponsive on the part of the developers to just resort to cutting down, destroying these living beings  that provide so much esthetic value and worth that overflow into a sense of comfort and well being for everyone graced by their presence.

Missed this hearing date. Just darn.

Maybe we could still email our comments to the San Luis Obispo tree committee. It is worth a shot. Save these beautiful trees. They don’t have to die. Little extra effort by the developers could save them if we raise enough of a concern. These trees are part of our identity. We nurtured them. Cared for them in sickness and in health, freezing and sweltering temperatures.  We need to be saving them and appreciating them.  Here’s contact info. Get on the slocity tree committee newsletter. So the next time they announce comments on tree removal we can show up in force.  Still write a comment about this tree removal. It is worth a shot and the lest we can do in return for all the good these trees have done for us. https://www.slocity.org/government/advisory-bodies/agendas-and-minutes/tree-committee

That’s It.

Can you imagine the full version? Don’t even.

There is so so much going on in our county and so many wonderful, dedicated, people, putting it all out there, every day and in every way for everyone.  We are a force. And there are some really exciting, earth changing, earth shattering, in a good way projects and issues coming down the pike that are going to take our breath away. So Stand by people,  take a deep breath and prepare to trip the light fantastic. We got everything we need, to do exactly what we need to do, to get to exactly where we need to be.  We are all synced up. Don’t forget to breathe.

Much much love always,

Jean’ne

NEWSLETTER ADDENDUM – SHOW TIME

Devil is in the Details – Monday March 13 Oil Train HEARING
information from

Charles (Surfrider), Ethan (Stand), Mary  (ECOSLO), Valerie (Ctr Bio Diversity), Andrew (Sierra Club)

Ph 805.459.6698

A week from yesterday, March 13,  Monday The SLO County Supervisors will begin hearings on the Phillips 66 crude oil train terminal project.  Also, at high noon in the County Plaza across from the hearings (1000 block of Monterrey St) we will have a huge “SLO Clean Energy Crossroads Rally” to not only encourage denial of the Phillips 66 project but to also assert our support for clean energy alternatives to dirty fossil and nuclear fuels.  We have cancelled our plans to have a permitted march due to logistical and cost requirements imposed by SLO City (freedom of assembly is not free in SLO).  The Rally will be permitted.

 
We want more speakers at the hearing  You will also have the option of choosing a one minute, two minute, or three minute speaking length–with one minute speakers going first, two minute speakers going second, and three minute speakers going last.  You can track the progress of speaker numbers on line at the Board of Supervisors webpage if you so desire.  It only takes a minute to state your name, where you live and tell your Supervisor you want them to deny the project because (fill in here your top concern).  We especially need people living in Lynn Compton’s or Debbie Arnold’s Districts to give them this message.  
 
The 12 noon rally will feature keynote speakers SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon and our Congressman Salud Carbajal, along with local activists working with issues of offshore oil and gas development, community based clean energy, expanded oil drilling and contaminated groundwater, and the Phillips 66 project.  And most important, this is a time to stand in solidarity for our support of the transition to a new clean energy economy and a healing of the atmosphere, starting right here, right now. 
 
We need volunteers to help with set-up/takedown of the rally, staffing information tables, providing traffic control if needed, and to participate in the San Jose oil train street theater (no experience necessary), clean up during and after rally, etc.
 
 
 
Below are outreach and posting resources you can use to disseminate word of March 13 to your contacts.  PLEASE HELP US
Charles (Surfrider), Ethan (Stand), Mary  (ECOSLO), Valerie (Ctr Bio Diversity), Andrew (Sierra Club)
Lot on our plates. Thank you to all who took the time to To help Hua, please visit our fundraiser here.and to sign and share the Petition. We are making a difference.

Signers are from one end of the State to the other.  Keep it up. Our voice gets louder and louder with every signature.
Tomorrow
 
WEDNESDAY Global DAY WITHOUT A WOMAN MARCH
10-2 Start @ Meadow Park
March downtown to Mission

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year.[2] It commemorates the struggle for women’s rights.

The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York and organized by the Socialist Party of America.[3] A Women’s Day demonstration on March 8, 1917 in Petrograd sparked the Russian Revolution.[4]


Whoaa.
So, if you can’t make the march make your absence felt by not spending any money (except perhaps @ local woman owned business)   And if you must work wear RED in solidarity with women everywhere.

jeannewater@gmail.com

It only seems impossible until its done. Nelson Mandela.
“Respect is love in action.”
— Bangambiki Habyarimana
 
 

Newsletter #63- Good Job

5 things
#1
Peschong recused himself on the consent item on setting the hearing; he has promised to recuse on the Phillips 66 decision also. So, now there will be 4 Supervisors, chaired by Adam Hill, and it would take three votes to reverse the Planning Commission denial.

Government Code Title 3. Division 2. part 2. Chapter 1. Article 1  (OMG this took some work.  thank you C.H.!)
§ 25005. Transaction of business
A majority of the members of the board constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. No act of the board shall be valid or binding unless a majority of all the members concur therein.


That means if there is a 2-2 split there is no majority and reversing the planning commission’s denial of the project is denied.

Phillips has appealed the Planning commissions decision to the Board of Supervisors. They didn’t like being told NO.  No surprise they are looking to show just cause why the decision was in error and should be reversed.  They are on the defense.  This is a good thing.

The planning commission did everything right. They took all the hundreds of public comments, emails, data, reports, peer reviews,  government studies, letters signed by the National Teachers Association, Health and Safety professionals, Environmental organizations, official letters from peer community leaders from across the State and United States and voted to deny the permit.  We did a damn good job of presenting our case to the planning commission and the planning commission did a damn good job of acting on those facts and information presented to them.  We won.  Phillips lost.

I am just mentioning this because a new round of hearings are due to begin because of the appeal.  I don’t know that there is much more that we could say. Nothing has really changed. The oil trains and their impact on communities is still as unforgiving and counter productive as it was 6 months ago.

The  planning commission was relegated the task by the Board, using county resources, staff, counsel and tax dollars, to come to an informed decision and the decision was to deny.  I do not know how the Board could in good conscience doubt the integrity of the staff and the commissioners but then again decisions are not always made in good conscience and common sense as the criteria. Facts don’t lie.  So a call to action to attend the appeal hearings is in order.

Let us not forget. We have the upper hand here. We are in the position of power.  We do not have to defend or make our case all over again.  It is Phillips that is in the hot seat. They have the burden of proof on their shoulders. So let’s make sure the Board is well aware of all the indisputable facts and evidence and actions and bring this to the table and lay it all out so we know exactly what Phillips has to prove to overturn the Planning commissions decision.

And the way we do that is  insist the Board indicates for the record  all the correspondence, public comments, attendance records, official data, reports, peer reviews, emails, etc. already submitted and part of the record is duly noted and entered into the record on day one. This should be something that staff can access without too much trouble. They have a record. They tallied everything. It was part of their job. So asking for that record to be brought forward and enter it as part of this proceeding is a must. This is a fair official request and deserving of an official response from the Chair from the get go.

Call the Board of Supervisors

San Luis Obispo Board-Sprvsrs
Contact the Chair – Adam Hill- Adam Hill ahill@co.slo.ca.us  Hannah Miller  hmiller@co.slo.ca.us 805-781-4336 prior to the hearing date and request a tally of all the communications, data, reports, organizations, letters, meetings, studies, peer reviews, public comments be available to the public and entered into the appeal hearing record. Lets get all the cards on the table.
Cool thing is this request becomes part of the record too. So get those numbers soaring.

We have a right to be acknowledged and recognized and everything that is part of the record needs to be upfront and on the table before Phillips puts their case on the table.  Wait for an answer. Wait for the acknowledgement. Get the record on the table.
It needs to be perfectly clear exactly what Phillips needs to disprove and overcome in order to overturn the planning commissions decision.  Remember folks we won. Lets act like it.

#2

Segue…..wait for it…   Phillips is just a precursor to what is in the works with Sentinel and the illegal and unlawful permitting of uncertified operators and operations at the Arroyo Grande Oil Field. The Arroyo Grande Oil field has never been UIC certified by DOGGR.  That means every permit granted to the oil fields since 2002 giving them permission to use the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo county as a toxic waste disposal site was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.  There are plenty more violations where that came from but all we need is one to prosecute and that is a good one.
Board is waiting and so is Sentinel for the EPA to exempt the aquifer so they can then ‘legally’ give them a permit to build 450 new illegal wells.  Well that’s not the way it is going down this time.

According to DOGGR the Arroyo Grande Oil Field was to be shut down on Feb 15, 2017.  The Board should have revoked the current permit and dismissed the pending one on that order alone. But they didn’t and that is not looking good for them.

There is nothing legal about the Arroyo Grande Oil Field operation.  Even if the EPA exempts the aquifer the Board is still liable for knowingly permitting illegal and criminal activity for 15 years.  It’s simple. Not certified. No permit.

Maybe the Board didn’t think anyone would notice or maybe they didn’t care, either way this oil field is in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act and this Board has a lot of explaining to do.

The pending lawsuit filed against the Board by the Center for Biological Diversity for permitting an uncertified, unlicensed oil drilling operation is scheduled for May 11.  The Board could avoid all this if they just did their job and revoked the permits and shut the uncertified wells down NOW.  We will see if they have the courage and wherewithall to do the right thing.  We got everything we need though to make sure the right thing happens sooner or later.
#3

MARCH 8  International Women’s Day.

DAY WITHOUT A WOMAN STRIKE.   I’m wearing RED to work.   And here is the Central Coast contact info.

#4

More irons in the fire.
And as promised here is the petition to the State Attorney General calling on the Chief law enforcement officer of the State to SHUT DOWN THE WELLS.  I am calling it a Prescription for Wellness. Clinging to the notion that “there is NO HARM in asking.” It can’t hurt to ask the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for help and it could do a world of good.

Will hand deliver it to the Attorney General’s office and our County Board of Supervisors.  This effects every drop of water in California because every aquifer, stream, river above and below ground is connected.  What happens in our backyard effects water everywhere. There are 105,000 unregulated wells in California up and down the  State. I say unregulated because they are self regulated and over 6,000 of them have not been certified  safe.  That has the potential of affecting water sources for millions of people.

All the wells were suppose to be shut down on Feb. 15.  So, it would behoove us all to get this petition to go viral. The more signatures there are the louder our voices get.  We will hand deliver the final result to the AG and BOS.  Road trip anyone?  Counting on all you wonderful people that are working your little hoofies to the quick to keep our home sweet home safe and sound to get this petition signed with a record amount of signatures in short order. I know we can do it.

#5
Thanking you all in advance for your kindness and generous spirit.  Thank you.

The Story

For those who have had the pleasure of meeting and being in Ceremony with Hua Anwa, you know her to be an authentic, capable, independent and knowledgeable woman, and a dedicated wisdomkeeper and ceremonialist.

In a most humble way, Hua is needing to raise funds to help with some immediate healthcare and automotive needs.  While reaching out in this way is a huge step outside Hua’s comfort zone, our generous and timely support will mean the world to her and will allow her to look after these personal needs and continue preparations for a very busy and exciting year of Ceremony in 2017!

Clan Mother Hua is a Elder, a teacher of mixed Mayan and Cherokee descent and an adopted Chumash.  She conducts a variety of Sacred Ceremonies, workshops and other Teachings and is spiritual leader of the Circles of Empowerment Church in Central California.

In traditional cultures, taking good care of our Wisdomkeepers is a very sacred responsibility. By supporting Clan Mother Hua with her Sacred Request, indirectly, we will also be helping to support our thriving spiritual Community in a very Good Way.

Blessings
–A Loving Community Member

To help Hua, please visit our fundraiser here.

And lastly,

Inline image 2

Jim Cole planted a forest of everlasting love.  Seeds of wisdom and knowledge and acts of kindness he graciously and generously shared will grow in loving memory and gratitude.  Thank you Jim Cole.

His spirit of unselfishly giving his time and attention to build a better, more sustainable world will live on in those that knew and loved him. A memorial service will be held at 1:30 pm, Sunday, March 19, 2017, at Pavilion on the Lake in Atascadero. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Jim at One Cool Earth (onecoolearth.org/join-us). Sign his guestbook   – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sanluisobispo/obituary.aspx?n=willard-james-cole-jim&pid=184256091#sthash.Qm961YX3.dpuf

Much love,
It only seems impossible until its done. Nelson Mandela.
“Respect is love in action.”
— Bangambiki Habyarimana
 
 
 
 

SLOCW newsletter #62 -What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love

7

 

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 17thNow 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!!! “

Eric

Phillips 66 lawsuit

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.

http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/bos/BOSContactUs.htm

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.

Go to Mesa Refinery Watch Group  for more info

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.

Here is a good wrap up

California Regulators Allow Oil Companies to Continue Injecting Wastewater Into More Than 1,600 Wells in Protected Aquifers.

Whose a Trump-et on the BOS?

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

Yea Brittany.

LOVE YOU ALL THIS MUCH XOXO

me-morro-rock

Jean’ne

jeannewater@gmail.com

SLO Clean Water.org
SLO Clean Water on FaceBook

It only seems impossible until its done. Nelson Mandela.

“Respect is love in action.”

— Bangambiki Habyarimana

Newsletter #61- 2016- Going, Going Gone-Welcome 2017

Newsletter #61- 2016- Going, Going Gone-Welcome 2017

christmas_png17221images-3

It happens every year at this time – out with the old -in with the new. Going, Going, Gone is a Bob Dylan song and in it he sings,

Grandma said, “Boy, go and follow your heart
And you’ll be fine at the end of the line
All that’s gold isn’t meant to shine
Don’t you and your one true love ever part”

Grandmas always seem to know just the right things to say.

So let me just say this. We are family. And we have been through a lot these past 5 years fighting the good fight keeping our home and hearth safe and sound. Every person made a difference.

And now is the time to take a moment and say thank you all for being here.

In the spirit of celebration of our time together caring and loving our precious and sacred air and water here in SLO County a grove of 25 pine, fir or cedar trees will be planted in the Tahoe National forest. And long after we are pushing up daisies these spirit trees will still be reaching for the stars.

I have attached the certificate and changed one thing. I crossed out “group” and wrote in family. We are more than a group.

I have a feeling this coming year we are going to be celebrating our biggest family reunion ever.

Grandmas know these things. This coming year is all about us. It is all about what we do, when we do it and how we do it and that is going to get the job done. It is all about us.

Bring it on 2017 we are ready to be showered with your abundance of peace love and joy Clean air and water and fossil fuel free.

This is a nice little recap of all the good things that happened in the world in 2016 when people did the doing.  We are history in the making starting today
99 reasons why 2016 was a great year.

And making it an even 100 Standing Rock!!!!!

💝💝💝💝

images-5

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Happy New Year 2017

screen_shot_certificate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newsletter # 59 – Recap P66 Planning Commission hearing – 09-22-16

 

Great turnout.  Standing room only in chambers. Overflow room another 30 plus people. Public comments – 1 or 2 minute  –  over 75 signed up.

Needless to say the applicant, P66, for reasons I do not understand, was given as much time as they wanted to respond to the Federal Surface Transportation Board ruling that was released 2 days prior that stated once and for all local communities have a right to say no to oil trains.  P66’s response which should have been made in public comment and held to 2 minutes max, dismissed the ruling as irrelevant to their permit in SLO.  Not at all true but they said it anyway.
County council seemed to agree with P66 calling the ruling not particularly relevant to our area and situation. Again, not at all true but they said it anyway.  Even some of the commissioners seemed to be bobbling their heads in agreement with P66’s comment.    And frankly given the STB precedent setting ruling and the immediate impact it had on Benicia and for communities nationwide who have been wrestling with this preemption issue, I find county council’s all but dismissive response shocking.

The Surface Transportation Board ruling is a game changer.  County council dismissing it does not change that fact.

 

This is a victory for the right of communities to say no to refineries’ dangerous oil train projects. The federal government has said once and for all that there is nothing in federal law that prevents cities from denying these oil companies’ dangerous rail projects,” Buckner said. “The oil industry keeps telling communities they have no right to say no to oil trains, but this ruling once and for all refutes this.” Ethan Buckner was one of the organizers for environmental advocacy group Stand, which was working to stop the Benicia facility.

The ruling came out just hours before the Benicia City Council was to vote on the refinery permit. Valero is the largest employer in the city, according to a recent comprehensive financial report compiled by the city’s finance team.

However, The five-person Benicia City Council voted unanimously to reject the Valero Crude Oil by Rail Project finding the project is too dangerous for the community.

In Every community where Health and Safety of the community is the top priority these permits are ALWAYS denied because of unavoidable human and environmental adverse health and safety impacts.  And by the same token in Every community where Health and Safety is of no consequence these permits are ALWAYS approved.

This STB decision appears to be a game-changer in the oil-by-rail story. With it, perhaps now more politicians will agree that “the safety of our communities matter” — much more so than oil company profits.

Here is the whole disturbing display of an abuse of discretionary power in the works.  Check out at 44 minutes, Chairman Campbell’s submitting into the public record P66’s off the record hired guns condemnation of speaker’s comments.  Mr. Campbell seemed obliged to repeat the allegations made by P66 consultants into the public record saying that the authorized and recognized speakers “lend to an agenda driven requiem on the transportation of oil” and questioned why we (SLO County) should be charging “someone [P66] supplied for one little spot to put an unloading dock, pay for all that time (staff time) and all that expense?”  What the Heck Mr. Chairman?

I guess this is why P66 did not have to comply with the August 15th deadline to pay for services rendered and submit requested documentation essential to an ongoing investigation.  The PC decided to ignore the demand for payment like they are ignoring staff’s recommendation to deny the permit and all our public comments on health and safety issues.  Abuse of discretionary power?

The Chairman, Mr. Campbell, also said they don’t want to kick this can down the road to the Board. They want to do everything they can to make it easy on the Board (to approve their recommendation to approve the permit?)

Well, if the intent was to make it easy for the Board to do the right thing why didn’t they revoke that permit the minute P66 defaulted and failed to pay for services rendered and get the documentation in on time? If this commission wanted to insure all the i’s were dotted and the t’s crossed August 15th was the day to do it. Instead what happened was P66 stiffed us and the commission said o.k. But you know what? No, it isn’t o.k. Hearing continued until Oct. 5th and no end in sight.

Mr. Irvine needs to start from square one and go over all the conditions again and if anything new pops up we continue until we have either been exhausted into comma or expired from exhaustion.

This type of behavior is reminiscent of Freeport’s petition to the Board a year ago for a 3-year extension on an expired permit to complete 31 wells at the Price canyon facility.  Extension was a blatant violation of federal code and the CUP that states you cannot extend an expired permit. Application for a new permit is necessary to insure compliance with all new rules and regulations. Earthquakes, faults zones and emergency drought situation were not an issue 10 years ago.  But never mind.

Phasing Schedule of Phase IV

PXP CUP 2004

  1. A total of ten years is allowed for the development of the 95 producer and 30 steam injector wells, and the 3 steam generators.
  2. At the end of the ten years, any wells or steam generators not yet completed shall require review and approval of a new Conditional Use Permit.

It couldn’t be more clear that a new CUP was necessary.  Yet Council advised never mind,approve it. It wasn’t o.k. and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the Board to point out that fact which is still pending a response from the Board. Delay, delay, delay.

 

So you see there is a pattern here of abuse of power that needs to be addressed. Like Freeport and P66 unless we actually tell the Board to stop ignoring us there is no reason for them to give us the time of day. Well, actually there is. The oil interests are self-regulated and if they were actually operating in good faith this would be a whole different story. But as we can see none of the parties are doing their job or operating in good faith, not Freeport, not P66 and not the Board of Supervisors.

We cannot depend on the outcome of the election to insure our own safety, health and well-being. We have rights that must be upheld no matter what political persuasion gets elected.  The fact is we have been violated and no matter who gets elected is not going to change that fact. The violators still need to be held accountable and our rights still need to be upheld. So, unless we make the demand they uphold our rights they will continue to disregard them because they can.   Right now all the offending parties feel quite comfortable dismissing us an inconvenience or annoyance with no consequences.  That needs to change.

 

P66 is just a precursor to what is coming down the road with Freeport and their permit to extract and waste billions of gallons of fresh water for non-beneficial use in stage D4 extreme drought conditions.
We know this is all going to end up in court one way or another, sooner or later.  So, why not make one way, our way and now?  And one way right now is demand the Board revoke P66’s permit for failure to meet the deadline.

We got the grounds, Board has policing powers and can and must do that.  They aren’t going to volunteer to do it or they would have done it already.

 

Lets stop kidding ourselves and do something about this insult to our self-respect and infringement on our rights to the peaceful, safe and quiet enjoyment of our environment. The only way the Board is going to hear us over the deafening and oppressive roar and filth of diesel engines and toxic waste disposal in our backyard is if we force them to listen.  How do we force them?  Order from the court usual does the trick.

And that is just the segue we need to announce the next all-hands-on-deck installment. Switch from oil trains to oil drillers.  Be at the San Luis Obispo County court house on Thursday, Oct 6th 8:30 am- 9:00 am – Short and Sweet.  Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against DOGGR this time, for, in essence, preapproving the Arroyo Grande Aquifer, site unseen, as a toxic waste water disposal site produced for PXP then new owners Freeport.  Freeport filed a demurrer which in effect is asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit. Lawyers informally define a demurrer as a defendant saying, “So what?” to the pleading.

Justice should not depend on how many people show up to bear witness to the process but the reality is it does make a difference. SO, this is a just a bit of a hop towards our giant leap forward to protecting forever more our home sweet home.

Details below from Natalie Risner Protect Price Canyon. There is no public comment but if you want to observe the proceedings you certainly can. Room where the hearing is held is posted right inside the doors of the court house on the left. They do an airport like scan so leave your multipurpose, with a phillips head screw driver with a fish scaler knife in the car.

And now from Natalie Protect Price Canyon.

 

tr4zvmroob7zxrlxvkud1lwlkynewwq0gsq9rey7rfscyspq0_klziqogqrhp4qnjvljwuko47b4vauxmlqkpsramj1xzcqhd1ijdbc304vh2ikbremeg7x76yaaxo4clc9sl9c25tfgemilma16p681_6ou24bx1o-beejds0-d-e1-ft

 

At 8:30 AM sharp! Have folks near the entryway in a line, so that anyone entering will have to pass residents.

 

(Please RSVP here!)

Signs will have more serious messaging, ala “My water is at stake” rather than the traditional “stop dangerous drilling” signs. Other themes could include that big oil is a bully, and that the EPA must look past this and protect resident’s water. Note that that the judge isn’t the target, and that Freeport bringing the case, not the state.

 

This will be a pretty short gathering – 8:30am for a 9am hearing, so we won’t need to worry about tons of filler or long line of speakers. Additionally, our attorneys feel that chanting isn’t appropriate, so we won’t be engaging in that.

 

We’re asked to dress respectfully and I was thinking that we all wear blue (the color of water) and sit in a tight group to show our team support.  Natalie Risner.

The court delayed this hearing for one week. So, not OCT 6 but rather OCT 13. 

See you there all you Loving, Tenacious, never-say-die, we-shall-overcome beautiful people.

Hope this helps to better understand what is at stake and what we need to do next.

And thank you for your patience this was a mouth full.

Much love,

 

 

 

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging
to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong,
we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

— Aldo Leopold