Welcome To Your W.A.T.E.R.
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.
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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.