Cadiz, Brackpool's Folly, another one of LA's reckless choices

Submitted: Oct 02, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 On its website, Cadiz called Feinstein’s remarks “irresponsible and not true.”

“The water that Cadiz plans to extract contains numerous contaminants including arsenic and cancer-causing Chromium-6. Left untreated, it could pollute the pristine water of the Colorado River Aqueduct, endangering the health of not only Cadiz’s customers but all 19 million Californians who rely on that water,” Feinstein’s statement said.

9-26-17

San Bernardino Sun

Feinstein contends that Cadiz project would contaminate water supply

Jim Steinberg

http://www.sbsun.com/2017/09/26/feinstein-contends-that-cadiz-project-would-contaminate-water-supply/

As the Cadiz project seems increasingly likely to go forward, Sen. Dianne Feinstein issued a statement contending the underground desert water could ultimately contaminate much of Southern California’s water supply.

The project involves the transfer of ancient groundwater in a remote part of San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert to parts of Orange County and other locations, where it could serve as many as 400,000 people.

“For close to two decades, Cadiz has been trying to ram through a water extraction project that would harm the Mojave Desert. And now we hear from the Metropolitan Water District that the water Cadiz wants to extract could contain dangerous chemicals that pose a threat to the safety of Southern California’s water supply,” Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a recent statement.

Cadiz officials have long denied that the project will harm wildlife. They dispute Feinstein’s claim, denying that the project’s groundwater would be brought into the Colorado River Aqueduct without treatment to screen out potentially harmful contaminants.

On its website, Cadiz called Feinstein’s remarks “irresponsible and not true.”

“The water that Cadiz plans to extract contains numerous contaminants including arsenic and cancer-causing Chromium-6. Left untreated, it could pollute the pristine water of the Colorado River Aqueduct, endangering the health of not only Cadiz’s customers but all 19 million Californians who rely on that water,” Feinstein’s statement said.

The aqueduct extends 242 miles from Lake Havasu to Lake Matthews.

The project got a boost earlier this month when the Department of Interior’s Office of the Solicitor issued an opinion that Cadiz believes allows its use of a railroad right-of-way for the construction of a 43-mile pipeline from Fenner Valley — about 40 miles northeast of Twentynine Palms — to the Colorado River Aqueduct, where it could be delivered to future customers.

In late 2015, the Obama Administration’s Bureau of Land Management rejected Cadiz’s use of an 1875 railway right-of-way to build this critical pipeline.

In a letter to Feinstein dated Sept. 15, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s general manager, Jeffrey Kightlinger, wrote that the project is in a preliminary stage “and much about it is still unknown.”

The Cadiz project has not submitted an application to MWD for a conveyance agreement, Courtney Degener, a Cadiz spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

Metropolitan will seek to ensure that the project does not interfere with its operations of the Colorado River Aqueduct which serves about 19 million retail customers,  Kightlinger wrote.

“We are stunned and disappointed by the allegations made by Senator Feinstein, which reflect a lack of understanding of the project and disregard for state requirements that all drinking water meet federal and state standards issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state’s Division of Drinking Water,” Cadiz said on its website.

“Water quality at Cadiz is regularly tested using licensed professional laboratory services, is the subject of annual reports to San Bernardino County and was extensively surveyed in connection with the comprehensive Court-approved environmental impact report (EIR) for the Cadiz Water Project,” a company statement said.

Delivery of Cadiz groundwater to the Colorado River Aqueduct will be done in full accordance with applicable federal and state standards.  Cost-effective and permitted treatment technologies are available to reduce constituents below existing state and federal standards should such treatment be necessary in the future,” the statement said.

In July, at the request of Feinstein,  Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, introduced AB 1000, the California Desert Protection Act, a state bill that would have stopped Cadiz by requiring stronger environmental review for groundwater projects in the desert.

The bill has been blocked by the California Senate Appropriations Committee.

In commenting on why the bill, supported by Gov. Jerry Brown, did not leave the committee before the current session ended, its chairman, State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, said the bill would have created a precedent for the Legislature to block other controversial projects.

 

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