The Los Angeles County Regional Water Quality Control Board has notified the SCV Sanitation District of its intent to levy a $280,250 fine for the district’s failure to file timely reports related to a future chloride treatment plant.
The Regional Board – one of nine in the state, whose members are appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown – oversees compliance with state and federal water quality laws. It has told the SCV Sanitation District – whose representives are two Santa Clarita City Council members and one county supervisor – that they must take particular steps to reduce the amount of chloride (salt) that’s sent downriver in the form of wastewater flowing out of the Santa Clarita Valley.
The steps the Regional Board wants the Sanitation District to take include the eventual constrution of a chloride treatment plant at a potential cost of $250 million or more. The cost would be borne exclusively by Santa Clarita Valley homeowners and business owners through higher fees that are collected in property tax payments.
Sanitation District officials have resisted the costly requirement, saying chloride levels are within state tolerances – thanks in part to the elimination of self-regenerating water softeners in the valley (the type you put salt into).
According to the Sanitation District staff, the Regional Board filed an administrative complaint on the grounds that certain plans and reports pertaining to the eventual treatment plant weren’t filed by the due date in 2011.
“The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board is committed to ensuring that all dischargers comply with the requirements of their permits,” said Sam Unger, spokesman for the Regional Board. “This will protect and restore water quality and preserve the beneficial uses of the Santa Clara River as a source of irrigation water for agriculture in the Los Angeles Region.”
The public has until Dec. 26 to tell the Regional Board what it thinks about the adminstrative complaint. The complaint can be viewed online [here].