SLOCW Newsletter #70 – Truth Matters – Sound of Silence – Time to change our tune.

SLOCW Newsletter #70 – Truth Matters – Sound of Silence – Time to change our tune.

Attorney General’s official response to complaints of wells dumping toxic waste.

The complaint sent to the State EPA about the violations of the California Underground Injection Control (UIC) program and the noticed Feb 15, 2017 shut down of all 1650 non compliant wells was ‘closed.’

US EPA was the agency that brought the charges against DOGGR and was a party to the shut down deadline for safety and health reasons. State and Federal agencies and officials are ignoring and reneging on their own directive putting people and communities at risk.

None of the wells have been shut down or been certified compliant. Eleven plus wells in the Arroyo Grande Oil are still dumping an average of 1.6 million gallons of toxic radioactive waste water anywhere they want.

​We​ sent a complaint to the EPA asking them to investigate the status of the non compliant wells. Here is the response we​ got back.

Nancy Lancaster nancy.lancaster@dtsc.ca.gov via xmycdprv9qqljdip.9986fmoj0v98z9pd.tfwvvfg.j-1qmneeai.na21.bnc.salesforce.com

7:49 AM  (January 3, 2018)

DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE.

Dear JEAN’NE BLACKWELL,

This message relates to the environmental complaint number COMP-36003 you submitted to the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) on 12/19/2017. Your complaint has been closed. Below is a list of agencies that handled your complaint. If you would like more information, please contact the listed agencies directly.

Agency: Department of Toxic Substances Control
Agency: State Water Resources Control Board

Agency: Air Resources Board

Thank you.

Nancy Lancaster, nancy.lancaster@dtsc.ca.gov

Really?  Want more information? How about some information. Contact agencies with no contact info?  What does ‘closed’ mean?  This is outrageous. Here is what​ we ​wrote back. Will see how long it takes them to respond. If ever.

We are just making our case that this complaint process is ​worthless. ​We have done due diligence. We are not stupid and we know when we are being duped. If we want those wells shut down we are going to have to take the people responsible for shutting them down to court.

And that would be ​our BOS who has police powers to do it and hasn’t.  You can’t fault the oil companies for trying to get away with murder.

We CAN and WILL however fault our elected officials for intentionally and with knowledge approve permits to drill and dump toxic waste in the unincorporated areas of SLO County.  See it is every Supervisor’s sworn duty to make sure all contractors are licensed and have been certified according to the Code of Federal Regulations and the site has been designated an authorized toxic waste disposal site. That is their job.

There is absolutely no escaping the fact that our Board was warned, noticed and given ample opportunity to do the right thing and shut down those 11 illegal wells. Not to mention the illegal permitting of 35 other wells that had expired. We will not hesitate to do what we must do to insure our own safety health and well being.

This is what I wrote back.

Dear Ms Lancaster,

Re: comp-36003.  I would like the results of the investigation. You can also supply me with the results of the investigation from the other agencies that were involved in the complaint process. I am sorry but informing​us​the complaint is closed is not an appropriate response

We ​need to know what you investigated and what the results were. ‘Closed’ is not an answer.

​​Thank you.

Jean’ne Blackwell

Also got another letter from the Attorney General that is a carbon copy of 3 previous letters sent to us in response to our complaints and petition.   Every complaint was met with the same response.  No confidence at all in process or the agency. These form letters are insulting. We deserve better. They are attached.

Our issues are verifiable and valid.  Random injection of unauthorized toxic waste in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo is a violation of the State and Federal Codes and local planning and zoning ordinances. And something else State and local officials and agencies are ignoring.

There are penalties attached to those shut down deadlines.  Who has Fiduciary responsibility to collect? The Attorney General, DOGGR, Water Resource Control Board,  EPA, Governor?   Who is in charge of enforcing the DOGGR directives and mandates?  All of the above. So who is shirking their duty and responsibilities to the people of this State?  All of the above.

​Thirteen​ billion dollars could take care of a lot of infrastructure and fire damage from climate change that the oil industry is causing.  Silence is consent. No one has demanded the wells be shut down and penalties applied.

I guess it is up to us now. ​

And if not us then who?

Feb. 15 will be one year 1650 wells in California are in violation of a shut down deadline. 1650 gross polluters flipping us off while elected officials exercise selective hearing loss.  It’s not like the gross polluters didn’t know they were in violation of the shut down.  They were properly warned and noticed years in advance of the deadline.

It appears very much like the polluters and state officials have a gentleman’s agreement when it comes to not enforcing deadlines. It happens a lot. But never mind.  No one ever does anything about it so it gets forgotten. Yea, ​not this time.   We have filed complaints and petitions about the neglect of public officials and agencies to act in our best interest and in a timely manner. We have gotten the bums rush from Air Resources, EPA, DOGGR and Attorney General.  We ​have no reason to believe they have any interest in ​responding to our complaints.

We have given every official and State agency involved in this ​charade a chance to do the right thing and get the oil fields certified safe and registered.  We have petitioned the Board of Supervisors with over 89,000 signatures from local municipalities local environmental organizations, local residents and visitors from across the state, United States and Beyond to no avail.

We have contacted DOGGR, Water Resources, EPA and the State Attorney General who has time to sue Trump 21 times for violating implementation of rules and regulation but can’t enforce one simple shut down order in his own state.  We have done due diligence.

​We have a paper trail of neglect.​

Here is what happens when people, safety rules and regulations, policy and guide lines State and Federal laws are not observed, enforced and knowingly and willfully ignored and dismissed by elected officials.

A Landfill Is Consuming This Historic Alabama Community. The EPA Ignored Complaints. Now the Case Is Closed.

And this happens.

This Town Is So Toxic, They Want It Wiped off the Map

“Every single neighbor I’ve had has died of cancer.

Years of abuse goes on under the watchful eyes of lead agencies and elected officials.  Sound familiar?  No one paid any attention to the gymnasts who complained about abuse by the team doctor.  All official had to do was follow up on the complaints​ to make things right.

Years ​of abuse in Hollywood by people in power because no one followed up on complaints until now. Everything changed when the people in charge do the right thing.  What are we waiting for?  If our BOS ​won’t do it on their own then we must force them to enforce the rules and regulations.  That’s what the courts are for.

The Arroyo Grande Oil field does not have, has never had, an EPA ID number. That is grounds for immediate closure.

An exemption is not a substitute for an EPA ID #.  An EPA ID # is mandatory before you can dump one drop of toxic waste by product into the subterranean surface with fault lines and for good reason.  The site is rigorously inspected and meets very strict safety and health standards under RCRA Title 40  CFR. The site must be certified safe and impermeable for 10,000 years or until the waste is rendered inert whichever comes first.

 

You can’t exempt a site that has never been inspected and certified safe and sits on 3 active fault lines. That is just crazy talk.   So this whole exemption process is just another wham, bam, scam and we are NOT buying it​.

We are not buying it which means we are demanding our Board  produce ​the EPA ID # for AGOF.
They will be hard pressed because there isn’t one and that is a major freaking violation of standards and practices, codes and regulations and more than anything a breach of trust by elected officials and their appointees

​AGOF has never been legally certified or authorized to dispose of toxic waste by products anywhere in SLO County. And dumping has been illegally going on for over 20 years.  Enough is enough and what are we waiting for?

That is what the Feb. 15, 2017 shut down of all unlicensed, unpermitted wells was all about. The reason for the deadline and shut down was to bring all offending non compliant illegal wells into compliance for safety and health reasons.

Never happened. Sentinel is still dumping, still illegal and everyone knows it.  AGOF also cited for neglecting to report dumping of radioactive waste and the violation was ignored.  Abuse celebrated by elected officials and agency ​who continue to block, avoid and dismiss investigation of complaints.

​Board of Supervisors is liable for approving permits to unlicensed contractors. We can prove the Arroyo Grande Oil Field does not have, has never had an EPA ID #.  Supervisor’s liable for partnering up with unlicensed contractors.  Liable means they either make it right and revoke the permit and shut down the illegal operations now or the courts will step in and tell them to do their job and if they still refuse they will be in contempt and go to jail until they come to their senses.

Good to know we have a go to plan and not afraid to use it.  We are done waiting, pleading, begging to be heard and wrongdoers punished.  Dumping toxic waste in our backyard is Wrong ​and we want it stopped now. Making our demands official is what happens next. ​

Is California going to be the next Alabama? West Virginia?  OR is doing the New York thing what real leaders do?     Here is what we have to do. Ready?

Empire State Building Shines Green After NYC’s Decision to Take on Fossil Fuel Industry

 

New York is NOT going to be caught holding a huge portfolio of worthless dinosaur guts like California is determined to do.  Divesting from oil and suing 5 major oil companies for damages caused by climate changing Sandy is going to put New York, New York in the pink and top of the heap.

 

Who is leading this charge? The Mayor of New York. Local Action is inspiring other communities, states and nations ​to do the same.

We are silent no more.

New York residents are going to win because their elected officials care.

​Their elected officials are on their side.​

They are going to win because rules and regulations are only as good as the people that enforce them. And there are good people who care about the rule of law and doing the right thing in New York, Washington and Oregon.

Those States have elected officials who have refused to allow fossil fuels to bully them into dumping toxic industrial waste into their backyard.   NASA has just issued conclusive evidence that methane from oil and gas is the leading cause of climate change. Suing the fossil fuel industry is what real leaders do. Suing the BOS is what real residents do when their elected officials refuse to do their job and keep the community safe as vowed and promised.

Gov. Brown is trying his level best to win the race to the bottom of the barrel by ignoring good science and the good people of this State. Governor Brown Betrays Californians With Massive Giveaway To Big Oil In Cap-And-Trade Program, Reports Consumer Watchdog   So Brown is a waste of space right now.  It is time we take responsibility for getting our elected officials to do their job or else.

​We are the change that needs to happen. We need to change our tune.

What to do here in SLO?   For one thing we can Lawyer up and demand the BOS do their job  to insure contractors are licensed and in compliance with all State and Federal laws. Remind them they can and will be held liable for failing to insure proper licensing.  We have them dead to rights and it is time to start taking care of business of insuring our own safety, health and well being.  Or not.  And we know what ‘or not’ looks like. It looks like Alabama and West Virginia.

There is absolutely no reason why we should live in constant fear of our lives and livelihood because of illegal and unlawful operations going on in our backyard. If we can’t trust our lawmakers to do the right thing then it is time to take the law into our own hands.

​​ And that means we use the courts to restore our legal, lawful rights to a safe, clean environment.

And second thing we can do is to recycle all those parasitic oil loving, brain dead climate deniers, out of office.  We frankly don’t have any use for or time to convince these ne’er do wells that oil is a dying industry and it is killing us.

We do have time, energy and resources to evict their sorry behinds from their positions of power and send them packing to where the sun don’t shine. We can do that.

​Our vote is our voice and cannot be denied.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. We are players and we are in for the win. Stay tuned. Lawyering up in the works.

Happy New Year 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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 #56 PG&E finally sees the light. One down two to go. Oil trains and Price Canyon Next

From ONE RALLY

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Diablo Canyon nuclear plant to be shut down, power replaced by renewables, efficiency, storage

We know that the devil is in the details and decommissioning is going to be hellish but for the MOMENT lets just bask in this victory and recharge our batteries, solarly of course.  To all those that made this day possible thank you.  This was always only about one thing,  keeping us safe. Thank you.

Tuesday’s meeting still on. Talking Desal. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article85122997.html  Any questions check out FB page. https://www.facebook.com/events/235130220206969/

 

TO ANOTHER

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STOP THE OIL TRAIN TERMINAL PROJECT RALLY

SAT. JULY 9

JULY 9

SAT.

⬇︎

⬇︎

⬇︎

Rally @ Mitchell Park in SLO at 12:30PM
March to Amtrak station @ 1PM

To protect our people, economy and environment from the extraction, treatment, and transportation of crude via oil trains, we must continue to stand up and show up to demand this project be denied.

This event coincides with the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster which occurred in Quebec, on July 6, 2013, when an unattended 74-car freight train carrying Bakken Formation crude oil derailed downtown, resulting in the fire and explosion of multiple tank cars in which 47 people were confirmed dead. We remember these individuals and will rally in their name.

Keeping us Safe.

More Good news

Dark Act defeated in Senate.

And WHAT’S UP WITH Price Canyon and the EPA exemption?

Well, EPA is being sued for failing to do its job and allowing health and safety issues surrounding oil extraction projects to go virtually unregulated and unmonitored.

Price Canyon has been operating without an Underground Injection Control license which is issued by the EPA upon completion of a very strict monitoring, tracking and disposal criteria for 12 years.

Freeport operating on an expired permit.  It’s pretty simple really. No license and no permits makes the dumping of toxic waste in the unincorporated areas of SLO county illegal and unlawful. Its a crime.

Stop work order is in order. Board of Supervisors is the lead agency on that action. They seem to be ignoring the issue. Really not o.k. This is not a political issue or an option.  This is criminal and the law dictates. No license. No work.  Mandatory revoking of all activity without a permit.  It is the Board of Supervisors job to issue the cease and desist. It is there job and their job alone. They have policing powers.  Perhaps the Attorney General could get the Board to do their job.   What is a class action all about? Hummmmm

So, I guess it comes down to how long we will allow the Board to ignore this before we insist they do their job and issue a stop work order.  Freeport is using our county as a toxic waste disposal site without a license or permit to do so.  Contamination of our water can not be mitigated. It can only be prevented. Don’t think we have a lot of time left. Thousands of gallons of fresh water a day is being toxified and illegally dumped.

An EPA exemption is not going to fix this. Can’t legalize wrongdoing by exempting it.  The only thing that will make it right is Freeport must produce the UIC certification and issued a license. Until then stop work order is absolutely mandatory now. Freeport is going to keep on keeping on until someone tells them to stop. Board approved the permits. Board revokes the permit. The Buck stops there.  They are it.

Board is on summer vacation for 2 weeks.  We aren’t.

The beat goes on-More Rallying-  RISING TIDE IN TOWN

Learn how to sing in perfect harmony and rock the world.

Subject: Two Events for Direct Action vs. Climate Change: Saturday July 16th 6-9pm, Sunday July 17th 10am

http://diablorisingtide.org/direct-action-vs-climate-change-tour-dreaming-scheming-through-california-with-rising-tide/

Event 1

WHAT: Direct Action vs. Climate Change: A night of scheming & dreaming with Rising Tide
WHEN: Saturday, July 16th at 6pm
WHERE: Library Community Room; City/County Library; 995 Palm Street; San Luis Obispo, CA

Event 2

 

WHAT: Direct Action vs. Climate Change: Non-Violent Direct Action Workshop
WHEN: Sunday, July 17th at 10am to 2pm
WHERE: Grange #639, 2880 Broad St, San Luis Obispo

And just an observation. It would seem that we are the only county in the United States or the world  for that matter that is being inundated with 4 major issues of the century all at the exact same time.   Oil trains, Fracking aka lethal injection of toxic waste, Diablo, extreme drought conditions. Any one of which could bring an ordinary community to its knees trying to fight it.   Just saying we are not ordinary. And what will take us to the next level that will certainly brand us extraordinary is solidarity in thought, words and action. Every issue on our plate right now is about our safety, health and well being, on that we all agree. So if everybody does something no body has to do everything. We are all in this together and together we shall prevail.

Peace, love and solidarity.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

— R. Buckminster Fuller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newsletter #54 -Vote of Confidence – Board of Supervisors – April 19, 2016

On March 22 the Proclamation Declaration to a Safe, Clean, Healthy Environment was delivered to SLO County Board of Supervisors on behalf of over 89,000 signatories painfully concerned about their safety and health.  Board Response time due on or before April 19.

Follow-up request was made to the Board on April 4 and 12. Acknowledgement of our request was met with deafening silence. No Board members motioned to respond.  Common courtesy absent.

Natalie Beller and Natalie Risner met with Adam Hill to reiterate the dire water concerns and the Proposed Arroyo Grande Oil Field Aquifer Exemption.  And although Adam declined to make a motion to vote on the Proclamation he did send a letter to David Albright U.S. EPA Region 9 Manager of the Drinking Water Protection Section, WTR-9  on behalf of those in his district concerned with the ongoing drought and regulations that can ensure greater safety of drinking water. He concluded with a request for a public meeting in SLO so that his constituents could interact with the USEPA decision makers on the issue.

Mr. Hill’s efforts are noted and appreciated.

I met with Mr. Mecham to request he sponsor the Proclamation by simply calling for a motion to vote on it. He declined.

And just to be fair the EPA and DOGGR right now are having more problems than a blind juggler in a hail storm.  Feds: EPA Fails to Protect Water From Oilfield Contamination

And to be honest it is a mystery if our Board of Supervisors is just unaware that until THEY say our aquifer can be used as a toxic waste dumping ground by approving the conditional use permit whatever DOGGR or the EPA says is of NO consequence OR if our Board is just using the EPA’s exemption ruling as a way of promoting some private agenda we are not privy to. We really don’t know. We want to know. And feel very confident we have a right to know.

What is very obvious is that there is a fair amount of conflicting and confusing information surrounding intent and purposes on this issue. And in the interest of clarity and to give the Board an opportunity to clear the air and set the record straight we have put forth the Proclamation Declaration.

It is a very simple straight forward document that puts everything out on the table without any bells or whistles. It is everything each Board member promised to do when they took their oath of office.

The Board has a lot on its plate and so do each and every one of us. Life can get jammed and jumbled. So, it is not an unreasonable request to insist we just take a time-out to reconnect with our basic fundamental principles. It is not unreasonable to insist for our own peace of mind and well being that we all take a deep breathe, ground ourselves, and move on from there.

I have no doubt other communities across this State at some point in time have also experienced this very same dilemma. It is not unusual. And how we are choosing to resolve this common dilemma is with a Proclamation and Declaration of our basic principles.

Come to the April 19 Board of Supervisors meeting at 9 am and avail the Board the opportunity to clear the air and set the record straight by bearing witness to their response to the Proclamation Declaration for a Safe, Clean, Healthy Environment.

If, in the event, the Board declines to acknowledge the request, then we will take that to mean they regard the request to be of no importance or consequence and an unnecessary waste of their time.

For most that response would raise serious doubts about the ability of a Board to be able to effectively and efficiently do their job and serve as leaders of a community they have formally dismissed as an inconvenience and waste of their time. The vote would take 30 seconds. They have had a month to talk about it.  No further delays would be appropriate.

But we cannot be sure what the Board will do until we put the offer before them for the last time on April 19.

A packed chamber will be hard to ignore. So, please let that reassure you that your presence is always vitally important, always makes a difference and always counts.

Just show up, support the speakers, be a speaker, fill out a request to speak #24, tell the Board you are there to hear their vote on the Proclamation or whatever is on your mind.

Tuesday April 19, 2016

Time: 9 am

Place: Board of Supervisors

Chambers 1055 Monterey SLO

Agenda Item: #24 Public comment.  http://agenda.slocounty.ca.gov/agenda/sanluisobispo/Meeting.html?single=1&mid=58

Please share because you care.

San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Proclamation and Declaration to a Safe, Clean, Healthy Environment.

This proclamation was presented to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on March 22, 2016 with a request to respond by April 19, 2016.

Because the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is being inundated with highly sensitive, life altering, excruciatingly complex permit applications from some of the most powerful industries in the world, oil and gas, while at the same time trying to deal with the mounting  drought emergency, co-mingled with managing day to day routine business the residents of San Luis are understandably experiencing some of the same information overload and exhaustion as our Board is.

With so much on their plates it is understandable that the Board may have moments where they are hopelessly conflicted therefore we feel that this basic proclamation will help clear the air and give us all a moment to reconnect with our roots and basic tenets as a community.

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS PROCLAMATION AND DECLARATION TO A SAFE, CLEAN, HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT


The people
of San Luis Obispo County have a right to know if elected officials intend to uphold State and Federal unencumbered Constitutional Rights provided in the Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water and Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts and are entitled to the affirmation and declaration to regard any exemption, exception or immunities imposed by a third-party, to be an infringement upon your rights and in conflict with our sworn duty and responsibility to provide a safe, clean, healthy uncompromised living environment for all those living within our borders and boundaries.

Therefore, We, the undersigned, do hereby promise to refuse upon application any entity access and occupation of our resources that refuse, by way of exemptions, to provide all the proper and necessary documentation, authorization and certification by a certified independent third-party provider to be in strict unadulterated accordance with the Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water and Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts.

Further, We, the undersigned promise to protect and defend your rights without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that we will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which we have entered.

Be it resolved and ordered by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors the Proclamation and Declaration to a Safe, Clean, Healthy Environment on this ____ day of April 2016.

 

AYES:

NOES:

ABSENT:

ABSTAINING:

The foregoing Proclamation Declaration is hereby ADOPTED:

Chairperson, Board of Supervisors

You can contact the Board and let them know you are keeping an eye on them and would like them to sign the Proclamation.  bbc yourself a copy.

bos finale proclamation

 

Frank Mecham<fmecham@co.slo.ca.us>

Bruce Gibson<bgibson@co.slo.ca.us>

Adam Hill<ahill@co.slo.ca.us>

Lynn Compton<lcompton@co.slo.ca.us>

Debbie Arnold<darnold@co.slo.ca.us>

 

 

Newsletter #53 Springing into Action

Learned something important at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, consent agendas are a rubber stamp item with no comments. They take about 1 minute each. Yikes.

I got there at 9:15, public comment was #15 and already in progress. Natalie B was the last speaker making a beautiful plea for the Love of Water on World Water Day.

 

I quickly filled out a form and handed it to the clerk, it was accepted and the Proclamation Declaration for a Clean, Safe, Healthy environment delivered on behalf of the over 89,000 petitioners, residents, Cal Poly and Cuesta students, farmers, businesses and 4 local municipalities calling for our Board to do their job and keep SLO Clean, Safe and Healthy is officially on the public record.

 

It is officially calling for a response on or before April 19, 2016. Now it begins.
Keeping SLO Clean-Safe and Healthy means refusing to approve any permits with EPA exemptions-from-all-Clean-Safe-and-Healthy-LAWS.

 

It just stands to reason.  If they are exempted they are not safe. If they are safe they would not need an exemption. Exempted means our rights to a Clean, Safe, Healthy environment has been excluded from EPA’s permitting process. And that may be good enough for the EPA but it is not good enough for us. And we must say so.
Doing their job means, on our behalf, the Board must refuse to allow any EPA exempted oil drilling operations to take place in our backyard. Simply put EPA standards do not meet our standards which are clearly defined in the Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water and Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts.

So, it is official. It is on the record. We requested a response on or before April 19, 2016.

Board of Supervisors does not meet on the 5th Tuesday.  So, anyone that can attend the B of S meeting the week of April 5, 12, and 19th @ 9 a.m. please do so. “Sign the proclamation, it’s the right thing to do.”

 

And if you can only make one meeting let it be the 19th. Because frankly, ignoring us, as they have done in the past, is no longer acceptable and we are there for their official answer. We are calling for them to make a motion to vote on the Proclamation then and there.

 

The Proclamation is simply a renewal of their vows, their oath of office, to uphold, protect and defend our rights and we have a right to know if they intend to honor that promise.

 

As a last resort you can email the Board. You can include articles, facts, documentation, data, studies that support your reasons for wanting the Board to refuse to accept the EPA’s exclusion of our rights in support of their exemption. An appeal to reason. An appeal to emotion. The Need to be safe is very emotional.

Emails are part of the public record and if need be can be subpoenaed by the court as evidence.  If we need to prove we did everything in our power to get the Board to respond to our needs and do their job the emails will do that as will public comment.

1.  Frank Mecham  fmecham@co.slo.ca.us

  • Bruce Gibson    bgibson@co.slo.ca.us
  • Adam Hill          ahill@co.slo.ca.us
  • Lynn Compton  lcompton@co.slo.ca.us
  • Debbie Arnold  darnold@co.slo.ca.us

  • I hope it does not come to that but we really cannot take a chance or tolerate disrespectful, belligerent behavior from our elected officials who refuse to acknowledge and recognize our concerns and needs. We have waited three years and that is long enough.

    While our efforts are local and deals directly with our officials there is also much going on at the State level dealing directly with DOGGR and EPA.

Groups want freeze on oil waste dumping into water reserves

I know this whole process is very disrupting, inconvenient and unsettling but is nothing compared to what will happen if we don’t do it and do it now. Because frankly people if we don’t stand up for ourselves it is for darn sure nobody else will.

So buck up and let’s get this done.   We are under siege.  Freeport is the first to go. Then oil trains then Diablo and then we are home free. At least until the next round which will be a lot easier because we will have trail blazed how to establish a respectful and congenial working relationship with our elected officials.

Mothers for Peace on constant vigil asking for us to call Senator Monning’s office. It’s easy. And the interns at Monning’s office are very pleasant and polite. So please…………

Contact Senator Monning and register your opposition to California SB 968

(916) 651-4017   http://sd17.senate.ca.gov/send-e-mail

30 organizations oppose this bill because it mandates an analysis of purportedly negative – but not positive – impacts of shutting down the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Read more:

https://mothersforpeace.org/data/2016/2016-03-23-thirty-organizations-oppose-diablo-canyon-bill-sb-968

 

https://mothersforpeace.org/data/2016/2016-03-23-letter-to-california-committee-on-energy-in-opposition-to-sb-968-1

 

THANK YOU!!!
_______________________________________________
Share this with everyone that has a vested interest in keeping SLO Safe.

In solidarity, peace and love
Always,

Jean’ne

jeannewater@gmail.com

SLO Clean Water.org

Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box. 

 

​SLO CLEAN WATER.ORG

Facebook SLO Clean Water

​Protect Price Canyon​