Confusion over Air Board membership

inyocourthouseAfter they talked for about an hour, it still wasn’t exactly clear why Supervisors Linda Arcularius and Matt Kingsley wanted to get more seats for Inyo County on the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control Board and why now.

The agenda said The two board members were requesting the Air Pollution Control Board to recommend and the District’s member agencies to concur in modifying the agreement between Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties forming the Air Board to provide the County of Inyo with representation on the Air Pollution Control Board “proportional to Inyo County’s relative population and responsibility for District liabilities.”

As for liabilities, Deputy APCD Director Duane Ono told the Inyo Board that Inyo County pays “zero towards lawsuits and damages.” Ono said the Inyo County Counsel is reimbursed for expenses. He said the City of Los Angeles is obligated to pay legal expenses.

But Supervisor Linda Arcularius said if APCD did lose a lawsuit, damages could fall back on Inyo County through a Joint Powers Agreement. Inyo’s County Counsel will look into that, which still doesn’t explain how more seats on the APCD board would change anything.

Arcularius and Kingsley did bring up population and change over time, but Supervisor Rick Pucci told the two officials that population is not the only factor when it comes to the make-up of the Air Board. Arcularius said things have changed over time with the Owens Lake clean-up nearly done and the need to conserve on water and create public access to wildlife. Those ideas lead to LADWP’s plans to cut back water use at the lake and Arcularius’s plans to use more water for ranchers.

Supervisor Kingsley repeated that he wants to “serve his constituents.” He did not say exactly how. More seats on the APCD Board could give Inyo more power over matters, although Arcularius said, “Power is not even a word I know how to articulate.”

Supervisor Jeff Griffiths said he would defer to the two board members to explore any solutions and initiate discussions with the City of Bishop regarding the opportunity for a member from the City of Bishop to join the APCD Board.

On Monday, Mono County Supervisors Larry Johnston and Byng Hunt said any changes on the Air Board should wait. Hunt said he could “only guess that relations between LADWP and Inyo County are so fragile that Supervisors Arcularius and Kingsley are looking for ways to better control their political interactions with LADWP. Population numbers,” said Hunt, “have nothing to do with the make-up of the Air Board which has been functioning well according to mutual design over recent years. I suspect that the honorable Supervisors from Inyo County will face some strong opposition in their efforts to modify the make-up of the Great Basin Board if they choose to proceed.”

Johnston said any changes should wait until the new members take their seats next year. He said the changes proposed by Arcularius and Kingsley would not sit well with him. APCD Director Ted Schade could not attend Tuesday’s Board meeting. He had gone to his annual conference. Before leaving, Schade did say he strongly recommends the current balance of authority not be changed. He said, “The existing make-up of the Great Basin Board has allowed air quality standards to be met in Mammoth Lakes and Coso Junction and soon at Owens and Mono Lakes. There is no reason to change the makeup of a very successful environmental protection authority.”

This issue will come up at the Great Basin Board meeting on Friday which starts at 10:30 am in Suite Z in Mammoth Lakes.

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7 Responses to Confusion over Air Board membership

  1. Steve November 7, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    “If it aint broke don’t fix it” GBUAPCD is working just fine. Any water saved from dust mitigation at Owens Lake will not be used for ranchers in the Owens valley, it will be sent South to LA were it can be sold for the highest dollar. To think otherwise is foolish.

  2. Michael Prather November 6, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    PS – Remember that one of the best things that ever happened to Inyo County was Ted Scahde being in charge of the GBUAPCD. He stands for public health via clean air and he stands up to Los Angels the bully on the block. Do his own two Inyo County supervisor reps on the GBUAPCD back him up? Sometimes you wonder.

  3. Michael Prather November 6, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Where did this idea of Inyo County needing more representation on the Great Basin APCD come from? Ted Schade doesn’t support it. Mono and Alpine Counties don’t support it. So that leaves Supervisor Arcularius or Kingsley or Inyo County Administrator Carunchio. I say keep it to two supervisors from each county – Inyo, Mono and Alpine. Let’s ask our local supervisor Matt Kingsley to represent us and to be independent from the influence of Supv. Arcularius who does not represent us. We elected Matt, not Linda, but she throws a long shadow and is on every critical committee in this county.

  4. Transplanted November 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    This seems fairly cut & dry to me: additional seats on GBAPCD would give the honorable supervisors leverage to mitigate dust mitigation – and hence the political hammer to free up more water for ranchers.

    Ranchers win, LADWP wins, everybody else looses.

    I wonder if Ms. Arcularius can articulate ‘misrepresentation’ or ‘conflict of interest’. I’m sure the word ‘power’ is one she understands quite well.

  5. ovlove November 5, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    There is an agenda. You can count on that just as sure as you can count on the reasons behind the sudden interest having nothing to do with the air quality what so ever. In case anyone has noticed theres been an excessive amount of news coverage on the long time Owens Valley ranching families in the recent past. Mrs. Arcularius happens to belong to one of these families along with Talbots, Cashbaughs, Laceys, Yribarren, etc. I personaly enjoy reading local history and believe the stories to be an accurate description of the events that took place years ago. But don’t let them fool you. The generation of ranchers today are nothing like the legacies we are told of. These individuals make up a very small percentage of the overall poppulation and they have special interests. Their own. Agriculture is one of the leading scorces of our local economy making these individuals a small and very wealthy population. The drought has impacted these ranchers and created hardships, we are told over and over. They are not happy with their new lease agreements with LADWP and feel they are entitled to more water because they have ALWAYS used more in the past. Nevermind the rest of the economy, tourism, fishing, hunting, etc. look at all the empty buildings on main street. Lets not forget about the hundreds of thousands of dollars these ranchers recieve in goverment subsidies for their losses suffered due to the drought either. The fact of the matter is they want on the board to gain power. This special interest group belongs to several other agencies farm bureaus, cattlemens ass., beef counsils, advisory boards, water boards, school boards, courts, law enforcement, fairgrounds, chamber of commerce, county, city, state, and federal government. They just want to gain a little more power anywhere they can get in. Next time ther is a meeting about ranch leases and water issues and or even discussion about LORP, solar farms, the county and the air board pay close attention because somehow some way it eventually will relate to the ranchers. always remember it was the rancher who stole the Native peoples hunting ground, and the rancher who sold to LA. PLEASE PLEASE BE CAREFUL. THESE PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE WAY TOO MUCH POWER. BEWARE OF THE CATTLE BARON

  6. Daris November 5, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    If Ms Arcularius says that the change of Air Board Membership would bring more water to the ranchers I for one would like to know just how this will happen. Ms. Arcularius and Mr Kingsley please explain your agendas at a public forum so we can see just where you are going with your request.

  7. Philip Anaya November 4, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    “Something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear”.
    No doubt , these words of Steven Stills recorded by Buffalo Springfield in 1966 will live forever given the unfortunate, mostly unintended I trust, of public officials and this attempt to discuss and with out a clear understanding communicate issues of the GBAPCD , the result, misunderstanding to us all.
    So what is this all about ? Not willing to offer an alternative choice journey into paranoid fantasy the key might be the words “save water” in the reported statements. DWP and the GBAPCD have three (3) methods of approved dust mitigation if I am correct and they are looking at a Fourth (4th) method to save water . Row and Moat or whatever the name, might not be acceptable at all levels and it has to be approved by the both DWP and the GBAPCD and most likely the Courts . I am , Ignacio to the details but is this an attempt by Inyo County to accept a novel water saving method of dust control that is a political solution rather than a scientific solution to control the dust on Owens Dry Lake?
    It is vital that this disconnect to understanding be addressed. As an example, Chief Watson in Mammoth responds on this public forum and shares public information and understanding . How about that Ms. Arcularius, Mr.Kingsley? Please help us understand the issues and concerns of our Inyo GBAPCD Reps with regard to the Owens Lake, dust mitigation and this current discussion .Please let us all know what’s cooking in the pot .


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