Sludge Dumping Plot Thickens
May 17, 2018 – A call to our Association yesterday from Mr. Jason Phillipe of San Bernardino Environmental Health indicated that any action to implement land-spreading changes to the County Code will be delayed until the impact of SB1383 provisions have been considered. The bill was passed in September of 2016, and although it is supposed to reduce dairy methane emissions it could also have implications related to the dumping of methane containing elements of sewage sludge as well.
The fact that methane contributes about thirty times as much as carbon dioxide to atmospheric warming, regardless of what position one takes about that warming or not, must have been the raison d’être behind the bill.
But no matter what the motivating factor was, perhaps efforts to implement related laws could have a very positive impact in preventing the dumping of water treatment so-called compost in our rural areas and Newberry Springs to be specific, this being a very dangerous material considering the harmful metals, drugs, vectors, etc. that it contains or generates in situ.
Mark your calendar
On May 24 the San Bernardino County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on Policy 4.10 of the Renewable Energy Conservation Element (RECE), the date for the hearing having changed very frequently, probably because of the controversy surrounding that Policy item.
The RECE is a document containing both restrictions and allowances concerning renewable energy that were to be voted into the County Development Code by the County Supervisors, the original RECE item formulated in August of 2017 severely restricting the areas where utility solar development can take place. But recent revisions, which appear to be completely development oriented and certainly not incorporating valid concerns of nearby residents, have largely nullified that August 2017 language and put the RECE in direct conflict with the existing County Development Code.
MWA Approves Five Percent Ramp-down
February 28, 2018 – The Mojave Water Agency in its role as Watermaster voted, on a thin four to three majority, to continue to ramp down water usage in our valley by major water users subject to the 1996 water judgment, Directors Lowry, Cox, and Ventura voting against the ramp-down. The ramp-down reduces the base annual water allotment to each major water user to thirty-five percent of their usage prior to that 1996 judgment.
Communities Protest Solar Projects
Many high desert residents, both private individuals and organization members commented at the February 13th County Supervisors meeting protesting a number of solar projects having pending applications with County Land Use Services in Lucerne Valley, Daggett, and Newberry Springs as well as the removal from the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (RECE) adopted in August of 2017 of Policy 4.1, and the failure so far of the county to integrate the RECE into the County General Plan.
Fourteen speakers, some present in the San Bernardino chambers and some speaking from the Hesperia and Joshua Tree remote locations, offered various reasons why the policy should be reinserted into the RECE and why conditional use permits should not be approved for solar projects proposed in Lucerne Valley, Daggett, and Newberry Springs.
Policy 4.1 and its sub-paragraphs in the adopted RECE read as follows:
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