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UPDATE: Deadline looming for chloride plan in Santa Clarita

Adds details of where study can be viewed, when hearings are scheduled

Posted: June 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 3, 2013 9:31 a.m.

The Santa Clarita City Council this week will consider asking state water authorities for an extended deadline on a plan to reduce chloride in the Santa Clara River.

A special City Council meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the City Hall Century Room, during which council members are expected to draft a letter requesting the extension. One locally elected legislator has also made the request.

Later on Tuesday, at 7 p.m., the first of three scheduled public hearings on the chloride-reduction plan is scheduled at Newhall Elementary School, 24607 North Walnut Street in Newhall.

To meet state-mandated standards under which the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District is allowed to discharge chloride, a naturally occurring salt, into the Santa Clara River, the district unveiled a plan April 24 to reduce its chloride output. 

The plan contains four options for which district officials hope to gain the public’s input. Ultimately, they want public support for one of the four options.

Any of the four plans would likely add several hundred to an annual single-family residential sewer fee. Businesses could see their fees double. Doing nothing could incur increasingly steep fines, sanitation district officials say.
April 24 is when the clock started ticking on the 60 days the state allows for public input.

“We want them to consider extending the public hearing deadline an additional 30 days,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar.

Attendance at three public information meetings about the plan has been sparse, Kellar acknowledged during an interview last week.

“I’m aware that the turnout has been disappointing,” Kellar said. “But there are a number of people in the community who will be taking a hard look at the environmental impact report.”

Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, has also asked the state for an extension for the public to consider the plan.

Sanitation district ratepayers rejected a chloride-reduction plan three years ago and on Nov. 26 were fined $225,000 for failing to meet the obligations of the district’s permit to discharge chloride into the Santa Clara River.

It’s a fine for which sanitation district customers — meaning everyone in the valley hooked up to the sewer system — will be responsible.


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