Welcome To Your W.A.T.E.R.
The Gateway Neighborhood Association (GNA) is holding a raffle to raise funds for the next round of expert and legal expenses needed to keep pressing for a complete Environmental Impact Review with enforceable mitigations regarding the Crystal Geyser bottling plant.
Click HERE for more info
Posted July 22, 2017
Critical Examination of a Crystal Geyser Economic Study
To gain further understanding of the real costs of a bottling plant in our community, W.A.T.E.R. commissioned Noah Enelow, Ph.D, senior economist, Ecotrust, Portland, Oregon to provide a an analysis of the economic effects of the Crystal Geyser plant. You can see the report <HERE>
Over a year ago, in March, 2016, an Arizona consulting firm, Applied Economics released a report titled Economic Impacts of Crystal Geyser on Siskiyou County, California, (AE Study). Shortly thereafter, March 30, 2016, the CEO of Crystal Geyser Water Company (CGWC), Yasu Iwamoto, in a guest opinion column, sited this study as an independent economic analysis. These reports are expensive and someone with a vested interest in the plant had to pay for the report. Why not say who? And on May 4, 2016, a corporate public relations advertisement was placed in the paper using the report to taut much-exaggerated potential economic gains.
The AE Study uses inaccurate and inflated assumptions including those concerning wages. Why not use actual figures, which are much lower? Will the jobs be full time with benefits or will CG be hiring part time employees or use a staffing service through an employment agency? Will there be an additional 1.4 jobs for every CGWC job created as their advertising claims?
The report provided no example of where a water bottling plant has helped a community economically. Again, why use ambiguous and questionable assumptions as to the effects CG will have on our county when it could use actual examples of the CG Roxane plant in Weed and CG plant in Olancha Point, CA? Probably because there is no benefit to a corporation extracting water for free and not being responsible for its costly negative impacts on the community and environment - which can include waste water treatment, damaged roads, heavy truck traffic, visual blight, and air, water, and noise pollution. Small businesses, property values, and tourism can be damaged by all of these factors as well as causing a decline in quality of life and health. (128)
Just as the community has strongly questioned the draft EIR with more than 150 submitted comments, the We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review (WATER) group and many other residents of Siskiyou County question many of the assumptions and claims made by the AE Study.
To gain further understanding, WATER commissioned Noah Enelow, Ph.D, senior economist, Ecotrust, Portland, Oregon to provide a critical examination of the AE study. He commented on many aspects of the report and concluded that “Crystal Geyser's promises of jobs and economic revitalization cannot be taken at face value. Its leading economic study is riddled with errors, omissions, and questionable assumptions; and it has failed to take account of the economic costs of the project's environmental impacts...the benefits claimed by the AE study are almost certainly overstated; and the costs to private and public property, health, and the natural environment are ignored.”
Noah Enelow states the AE Study “is not a good guide to decision-making around the proposed plant.” W.A.T.E.R. secured this critique and in addition has demanded a full EIR so that our public officials will make an informed decision that will protect their constituents, our community, and our environment. As elected officials, that is their responsibility. Once an international corporation establishes itself in a community, local control of its practices is lost.
Posted June 28, 2017
W.A.T.E.R. and the Gateway Neighborhood Association, six hired experts, two attorneys, the City of Mt. Shasta and 150 community members put in smart and exacting comments related to the Crystal Geyser Water Company proposal to open a bottling plant in town. The comments showed the many deficiencies that were found in the Draft EIR (DEIR) on the Crystal Geyser bottling plant. However the County has chosen to not resubmit a new DEIR to the public, but we have have been told that a Final EIR will be released in August of 2017 for the Siskiyou County Planning Commissions recommendations and then it will go the Board of Supervisors for approval. We will need to be at these meetings to make sure the truth about Crystal Geyser's environmental impacts is heard. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest news! (<--- Link at left)
We are in the process of insuring our hired experts and attorneys are available for the work necessary to continue the fight to safeguard our local water sources, community and surround neighborhood who rely on our pure water. Crystal Geyser admits in the DEIR that they plan to pollute the local groundwater by using the leach field to dump their effluent, rather than using the Mt. Shasta wastewater treatment plant.
We are planning on fighting this, every step of the way and we need your help to do so. We are submitting grants to help raise funds. But we also need your help! We must raise an additional $35,000-$45,000 in order to pay for attorney and expert expenses. See our PayPal donation button on the upper left of this page. It’s continuing to be a long fight but the plant is still not open so we are hopeful to force the company to do the right thing by our community or they can go away.
Posted March 28, 2017
Thank You Mount Shasta !
A big Thank You to everyone who wrote comments, attended meetings and contributed funds to this effort to have a real and effective EIR for Crystal Geyser.
Community Comments on the Crystal Geyser EIR
An amazing 150 comments were submitted to the County commenting on the Crystal Geyser draft EIR. The draft EIR was a poorly written and inadequate document that overlooked many of the harmful effects that this plant will cause. Concerned community members pointed this out again and again in an outpouring of thoughtful and well researched comments. The City of Mount Shasta held two meetings to discuss the City's response, and adopted a much stronger statement after numerous comments received from the public. W.A.T.E.R. and the Gateway Neighborhood Association (GNA) also hired lawyers and expert consultants to forcefully respond to the legal and technical issues around this draft EIR.
See the entire list of comments submitted HERE
Links to specific comments:
GNA attorney Marcia Burch
W.A.T.E.R. attorney Don Mooney
Hydrogeologic expert Tim Parker, Parker Groundwater
Traffic expert Tom Brohard, Brohard and Associates
Waste water treatment expert Peter Martin
Air Quality expert Greg Gilbert, Autumn Wind Associates
Noise expert Geoffrey Hornek
Comments by the City of Mount Shasta
The Real Crystal Geyser Project Revealed
The comment period for the Crystal Geyser Plant Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is now complete. If you look at what Crystal Geyser disclosed during this process, you will notice that the project is much larger and its impact on both the environment and our community is much greater than what the company originally told the public, the City, our County Supervisor and the Chamber of Commerce at the community meeting on March 24th, 2014.
The Gateway Neighborhood Association (GNA) and W.A.T.E.R. fought hard to get a full EIR because we knew that the public was not being told the truth. Here are a few project changes, undisclosed to the public until the DEIR:
W.A.T.E.R. receives a $20,000 grant!
W.A.T.E.R. has received a generous grant from LUSH Handmade Cosmetic's Charity Pot non-profit funding effort. Charity Pot looks for projects that create long-term systematic change and address the root cause of the problem, which aim to alter opinion and behavior through raising awareness of issues, activism, education and campaigning. This grant helped us pay for the attorneys and environmental experts comments on the Crystal Geyser EIR. Thank you Lush Cosmetics!
W.A.T.E.R. educational meeting
on the Crystal Geyser DEIR
Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 6pm
Mt. Shasta Library
515 Alma Street, Mt.Shasta, CA
This meeting will help define all the areas of the document that are of serious concern, and ask you to review the DEIR and send in your comments to the County. We will have a handout with links to our County Supervisors, Planning Commissioner contacts, the newspaper (for letters to the editor) and how to mail in your own personal comments.
Please let your friends and neighbors know about this opportunity to see and discuss the plans that Crystal Geyser has for its business and our community.
Tips on how to make effective EIR comments can be found HERE
Access the Draft EIR documents themselves HERE
Crystal Geyser draft EIR released by Siskiyou County.
Posted January 14,2017
The draft Environmental Impact Report on the Cyrstal Geyser project has been released by the County. The entire report can be downloaded at the County project web site HERE. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the files. This is a lot of stuff to read, pick the area you are concerned about and please study. We are now going over these finding carefully and forwarding to our consultants and lawyers. W.A.T.E.R. is planning to have a community forum soon to go over these reports and discuss the findings and how we should respond.
Crystal Geyser draft EIR out soon.
Measure H Gets 45% of the Votes in Siskiyou County.
Posted November 10, 2016
Throughout this entire election season, We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review (WATER) has been working hard to ensure that the EIR for the Crystal Geyser Project is complete, thorough and up to State CEQA standards. We have been reviewing documents and hiring experts to ensure every aspect of the project is reviewed and thoroughly considered. This work is intensifying as the Draft EIR is expected Dec. 10th, 2016. Please visit our website or Facebook page for current updates in the coming weeks.
The voting results are in on Measure H, and although it did not pass, 45% support in this county is real progress! We understand that some Siskiyou County residents and the Board of Supervisors have differing ideas about how our area operates and how we care for our resources. Times are changing and there is obviously more work and education for us all to do. Staying active in our local issues and politics and responding to environmental threats is crucial to creating the type of community we value. We encourage you all to stay engaged, particularly now.
Crystal Geyser Draft EIR Looms
Updated Novemtber 10, 2016
On June 24, 2016 Siskiyou County announced the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Crystal Geyser plant in Mount Shasta. This began a 30 day comment period from the public and various concerned agencies. Over 130 comments were submitted to the County by the end of the 30 day comment period. This shows the overwhelming interest and concern of local citizens and others about this controversial project. You can read W.AT.E.R.'s and the Gateway Neighborhood's comments to the County in the relevant links below, which give a good overview of the environmental issues surrounding the Crystal Geyser plant. We are thankful to all the folks who submitted comments and attended the public comment meeting on July 20. Now the real work begins. The County has hired the firm Analytical Environmental Services to conduct the EIR and will be releasing the Draft EIR (DEIR) sometime in mid-December. When the draft is released we will then have at least 30 days to comment on the draft and make criticisms of the report. W.A.T.E.R. is retaining knowledgeable environmental experts and lawyers to make strong and effective arguments about any weaknesses we find in the DEIR. This is the expensive part of the process and you can help by donating via the PayPal Button at upper left of this page.
WATER representaive Geneva Omann spoke at the World WATER Appreciation day in Mount Shasta City Park on July 25, 2016.
See the text of her talk HERE
Updated July 6, 2016
Public Comments Needed for EIR!
On June 24 Siskiyou County released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Crystal Geyser Bottling Plant. The NOP describes the project and potential environmental effects in order to allow all interested parties to comment on the scope and content of the EIR. See the entire NOP HERE. The release of the NOP begins a 30-day public comment period. Written comments can be submitted to the County until July 25, 2016.
Written comments should be sent to:
County of Siskiyou, Community Development Department
c/o: Greg Plucker, Director,
806 S. Main Street, Yreka, CA 96097
Attend the Public Scoping Meeting
Wednesday, July 20 at 5PM
Sisson School Gym
601 E. Alma Street, Mt. Shasta.
The scoping meeting provides the opportunity for interested agencies and the public to provide oral comments on the scope of the EIR. It's important that the County and Crystal Geyser sees how much this means to our community.
It is important that the County hears all of our concerns about this plant! Put in your own words all the issues you think may be environmentally significant about the Crystal Geyser’s plant. Are you concerned about water usage, drought, effects on local wells and aquifer, noise, traffic, plastic pollution, effects on the local waste treatment plant and leach field, night sky lighting, local economic effects, effects on neighbors, or some other issue? Put it all in a letter and/or email and send it to the County by July 25. Attend the public scoping meeting and speak to the issues that concern you!
After the public comment period, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process will then have the County to prepare a Draft EIR to present to the public for review and comment. Once the draft EIR is presented we will need to comment on the errors and omissions of the draft before a final EIR is sent to the County for approval. You can see the County information page on the Crystal Geyser project HERE.
To learn more about preparing good scoping comments see this Help for CEQA commenting article by the Sierra Club. Another informational article from the “Fremontia” newsletter is HERE
W.A.T.E.R. has many concerns about the process so far. The NOP does not identify the expected severity or estimated impact of the different possible environmental issues. There is no Initial Study, which is expected either before or with a NOP. The County only provides a standard laundry list of expected effects. The project description is vague about one of the most severe issues: how will industrial waste be treated and disposed. The NOP describes FOUR different possibilities. Each of these entails a very different process and outcome. One of the options put forward entails building a NEW waste treatment plant ON SITE and then dumping the treated wastewater into our aquifer. We want Siskiyou County and the Regional Water Quality Control Board to follow the State mandate for clean water and anti-degradation and insist that the industrial wastewater go to the nearby Mt. Shasta City wastewater treatment plant.
We must ensure that all issues and environmental concerns are addressed and studied carefully. Your comments to the County can make a difference.
Updated June 6, 2016
Ground Water Initiative gathers over 2000 signatures.
In an amazing outpouring of community effort, volunteers collected over 2000 petition signatures to get an important ground water initiative on the November ballot. This was well over the 1362 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot. The petition, titled the Siskiyou Headwaters Initiative, was ”prepared for the purpose of amending the Siskiyou County Groundwater Management Code (ordinance) to apply ground water extraction permit requirements to the entire County (not only designated groundwater basins) and remove the exemption that enables the water bottling industry to extract and export unlimited amounts of water from Siskiyou County without a permit.” Under requirements of California environmental law (CEQA), a level of environmental review will be necessary in order to obtain Conditional Use Permits. If approved by the voters in November, this initiative will overturn a late 1990’s amendment to the Siskiyou County groundwater ordinance exempting the water bottling industry from the permitting processes
Dozens of volunteers spread out through the County getting signatures, talking about water issues in our area and even registering voters so they could sign the petition. Good work everyone! The Board of Supervisors will review this initiative at their meeting scheduled for July 12, 2015 and could vote to implement the initiative directly. For more information, see the website of Siskiyou Forward at www.siskiyouforward.org
WATER receives a $3000 Grant to continue our work!
We are pleased to announce that WATER has received a $3000 grant from the Patricia L. Kimball and David T. Kimball Fund of the Shasta Regional Community Foundation. This generous donation was made possible at the request of the directors of the Kimball Fund who wished to support our work in protecting the environment and responsible development in Siskiyou County. This is especially important as we begin (again!) the CEQA/EIR process around the Crystal Geyser plant
Crystal Geyser EIR inches forward.
The County has told us they have selected a consulting firm to prepare the Environmental Impact Report for the Crystal Geyser plant. We anticipate the County will open an escrow fund (funded by CG) for expenses of the EIR, which we assume will include all County costs to administer the EIR as well as the consultant fees. We will continue to monitor this. If indeed a full Environmental Impact Report is to be prepared, a Scoping Meeting will be held and the public and agencies provided a project description. Comments received at that meeting and afterwards, will then be part of the review processes. Stay tuned and get ready to participate in this process. We expect it all to begin in earnest later this summer.
See "History" tab for earlier postings
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Welcome and thank you for checking out our website!
We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review (W.A.T.E.R.) is a group of Mt. Shasta area citizens who are concerned about maintaining a healthy environment and a desirable and sustainable community for future generations.
W.A.T.E.R.’s mission includes:
monitoring various development project applications
educating the public about environmental issues of local importance
support other local agencies in similar goals
W.A.T.E.R. has a State of California 501(c)3 non-profit status.
Members of the public are welcome to join us. We respect all viewpoints and welcome open and honest discussions.
Our community is what we make of it.