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Chloride petition option not as easy as it sounds

Posted: June 16, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 16, 2013 2:00 a.m.

This letter is provided as clarification to Jim Holt’s June 9, 2013, article "Petition offers yet another chloride option."

As the article points out, there are opportunities to petition certain Regional Water Quality Control Board actions to the State Water Resources Control Board, primarily newly-issued permits and enforcement orders.

However, it should be noted that residents cannot at this time challenge the state’s mandated discharge limit on chloride (salt) to the upper Santa Clara River.

The chloride (salt) limit for the upper Santa Clara River is mandated in NPDES discharge permits currently in effect for the Saugus and Valencia water reclamation plants, for which the opportunity to submit a petition has expired.

It should be pointed out that the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District has filed three separate petitions for review to the State Water Resources Control Board in connection with chloride regulations between 2001 and 2003.

The first two related to the water quality objective and to the Total Maximum Daily Load and were rejected as not being subject to State Water Board review through the petition process.

The 2003 petition filed following issuance of new NPDES permits and Time Schedule Orders in 2003 led to an agreement between the Sanitation District and the Regional Water Quality Control Board to, among other things, conduct special studies to provide the basis for potential modification of the chloride water quality objective.

The article was inaccurate with respect to the statement that one or more of the various alternative compliance plans currently being discussed would hike single-family sewer rates an estimated $200 to $500 per year.

The estimated range of increases for a single family home is from $125 to $265 per year, depending on which project is implemented.

Those costs could be reduced if project costs go down or if outside funding is secured.

Editor’s note: Due to an editing error, The Signal article was indeed incorrect in the chloride plan cost increase to single-family home owners. A correction on the numbers was published in Tuesday’s paper.


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