Dispatches from the Battle Against Poseidon, summer 2016

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soaky screwing

Vern here – I didn’t get around to writing up a report on the last OCWD meeting, with the election coming right up and everything, but it WAS remarkable and shameless, and the next one comes up tomorrow at 5:30!  Fortunately Merle Moshiri of Residents For Responsible Desalination has written a good summary here, which I’ll add a few of my own comments to.  La luta continua….

A message from the President of R4RD:

The OCWD’s June 1 meeting was a spectacle not to be believed. The following summary will give you an idea of what is going on and what the water rate payers in Orange County have to look forward to.  Keep in mind this is only a summary. These meetings have to be SEEN to believed!  There were 3 items concerning the Poseidon Project.

1.  The Poseidon Confidentiality Agreement: It would appear that the agreement signed in 2010 just doesn’t go far enough to suit Poseidon. We thought that agreement would suffice. Now, the Board and Poseidon agree that Poseidon needs to be further protected. From WHAT? From WHOM? Well, maybe from US!  Members from R4RD inquired from the OCWD attorney about what dangers still lurk that threaten agreements already signed off on.  Are there other companies hiding in the bushes waiting to jump out and steal this wonderful deal out from under the very noses of OCWD & their friends at Poseidon?  No, but it appears that as the project goes forward, the results of certain critical studies revolving around water quality, in particular, might not be well received by the public. Like what? Mr. Kuperberg quietly gave a “for instance” that the amount of Boron contained in the desalinated water might be cause for concern.

2.  Results of the Water Quality Study from Trussells Technology for the Poseidon Desalination Project: The District paid $46,000 for this study, which stands over 2 1/2 inches high.  Of that immense study, those attending were given only 3 pages front & back, including graphs and pictures.  dewane 3-18After approximately 7 minutes of presentation and the constant interruptions of Director Shawn “Superior” Dewane to refute portions of the study and to tell the presenter to not bother showing slide #8 that contained pictures of plants and agriculture affected by the Boron content of desalinated water, a well-prepped Dewane (who does this for him anyway……Poseidon? Mesa Water staff?) declared we had probably heard enough! We don’t need to hear any more about the effects of elevated sodium, chloride and Boron on agriculture like roses, oranges and lemons, etc.  In denying the results Mr. Dewane cited Poseidon’s “superior water” so many times there arose a giggle from the audience.  And we were not allowed to hear that the Boron levels may have a “substantial impact on the design of the plant.” Considering that to date, Poseidon has flatly refused to make ANY substantial changes at all to the originally proposed plant……….this could be interesting.

[Vern:  It’s true – when the hot-tempered Dewane suddenly sits up and start sputtering over some detail in a staff report, we all sit up and pay attention:  His one concern is always that something is going to make Poseidon look bad in the public’s eyes.  Hmm, boron, huh?  We’ll have to make a note of that.  Last time, at the “Dude, Where’s My Demand?” meeting, what got him riled up was staff giving the board a much-lower estimate of OC’s future water demand than he wanted to hear, an estimate that would make it harder for he and his allies to convince the public that we need this expensive boondoggle.  Staff at length explained to Shawn the rigorous scientific way they’d come up with the estimate, but nothing would satisfy the shill;  I understand that at a later meeting he managed to bury that too and replace it with the high estimate he and Poseidon prefer.  My friend Cari Swan marveled, “Geez, is this guy a water board director or a LOBBYIST FOR POSEIDON?”]

3. Poseidon Resources California Environmental Quality ACT (CEQA) REIMBURSEMENT! Yes friends, Poseidon will “give” the OCWD up to $500,000. to cover the CEQA Study. But there is a slight “catch”. IF the project goes forward, OCWD will have to pay Poseidon back any costs incurred by CEQA! How’s that for a deal? In order to initiate a CEQA study a few important items need to be in place, i.e. the length, capacity, cost, pipe material, urban/rural alignment (route) etc. WE STILL DON’T KNOW any of this.

cathy green poutingThe project type and route have NOT even been determined! This was all rushed through by Director Cathy Green. Maybe SHE does know? But, the Board approved it over the objection of Directors Flory and Anthony.

Interestingly, at the end of the vote Director Anthony asked OCWD general Manager, Mike Markus why this item had appeared on the Agenda and made to look like the Staff had recommended that the 3 CEQA items including the REIMBURSEMENT agreement, when in reality it was DIRECTOR GREEN, not the Staff, who had made the recommendation.

After much sputtering and denial by Ms. Green, she indeed, did have to admit that it was her not staff. Is she a little anxious to help her friends at Poseidon? Perhaps they are calling in their chits?

I know this is long, but it actually doesn’t touch the absurdity of these meetings. The fine professional staff at OCWD, not to mention the studies paid for by rate payers, are being thrown under the bus by the voting majority of the Board, led by Steve Sheldon, Cathy Green and Shawn Dewane. Not to mention a compliant General Manager.

GO TO THESE MEETINGS! The first Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. WE, the public, are being HAD for the next 50 years by a greedy, law violating, group of hedge funders and their cohorts on the OCWD Board.

Don’t let them get away with it!

Vern back – Also of interest:  How many times have you heard us say, “Let’s not rush this, let’s see how things go with Poseidon’s Carlsbad plant first?”  Well, in the latest bad news from the Carlsbad monstrosity, we also learned (at that same June 1 meeting) that the plant has already had TEN pollution violations.  From Coastkeeper:

carlsbad plantAt last night’s Orange County Water District meeting, Orange County Coastkeeper presented documentation that Poseidon Water’s Carlsbad-based desalination plant has incurred multiple water pollution violations since it began operation less than a year ago. Poseidon’s pollution violations in San Diego include discharge of toxic brine, discoloration of the ocean at the outfall and dumping contaminated water into storm drains. Coastkeeper also revealed that Poseidon has failed to acquire the greenhouse gas offsets required for its Coastal Commission Permit. Coastkeeper says this means Poseidon is not complying with the two main permits it needs to operate the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.  [read more here…]

poseidon god

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.