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One of the last hurdles Caltrans is facing in order to commence the destructive and controversial R.I.P.(Richardson Grove Improvement Project) is certification for the project from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Caltrans is required to uphold standards set in place by the Federal Clean Water Act, assuming that Caltrans is not facing a court order to cease construction from one of the multiple lawsuits currently in progress, including plaintiffs from big environmental organizations such as EPIC(Environmental Protection Information Center) and the CBD(Center for Biological Diversity).
The irony of the Caltrans permitting request from the Water Quality Control Board is Caltrans' blatant disregard for the Federal Clean Water Act in recent projects. One of the most striking examples is the recently completed Confusion Hill bypass project.
From August 17, 2006 to June 1, 2007 while during the construction of the two bridges that now span the Eel River at Confusion Hill, Caltrans violated its 401 Clean Water Act permit 154 separate times and had 141 days of violation during the construction:
"NCWQCB Assistant Executive Officer Luis G. Rivera recommended in August 2009 that CalTrans pay a $1.5 million fine for the violations out of the possible $3 million maximum that could have been levied.
According to the complaint, "the discharger [CalTrans] easily could have avoided many of the violations included in this order had it simply used adequate best management practices and timely reported the violations. CalTrans was warned in the two notices of violation that many of the BMPs utilized at Confusion Hill were inadequate and had resulted in violations of the Water Quality Certification and Storm Water Permit, but failed to take corrective measures."
From "The Willits News" 04/30/2010
How can we allow Caltrans to get away which such crimes? And why would the Water Quality Control Board continue to allow Caltrans to trash the already impared Eel River? Again!?!?
Only you can help stop Caltrans continued degradation of the Eel River by contacting the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and asking them to hold Caltrans accountable for their indiscretion to the law. Don't let these crooks get away with it. Again!
Contact Jeremiah Puget at the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board right now at 707-576-2220 or at email@example.com. Public comments accepted until December 9th.
Full public notice at: www.waterboards.ca.gov/