Dry Lake hearing revealed hostile LADWP

dry lake

On the attack – that’s the way observers described Los Angeles Department of Water and Power attorney, Stuart Somach as he battled through a hearing before the California Air Resources Board in Sacramento against local air pollution control orders in Inyo County.

APCD Director Ted Schade had analyzed the Owens Dry Lake pollution, as required by a signed agreement and by law.  He found the need for DWP to clean up 2.9 square miles more to meet federal air quality standards.  LADWP exploded and refused.

At Friday’s Sacramento hearing, Somach was described as very confrontive.  He told the hearing officer that the issue has been in dispute a long time with no satisfactory conclusion.  “We are done,” pronounced Somach. “We are not going to continue to argue.”

At one point, Somach said the State Lands Commission is responsible for the dust clean-up, even though LADWP signed agreements saying they were.  Somach called the relationship between State Lands and the APCD “Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.”

LA and APCD each had 2 hours to make their cases.  Somach and LA experts argued that the lake level was lower when DWP started diverting water.  They attacked the APCD computer models and then claimed that archaeological artifacts in the lake bed can not now be disturbed. Then they turned to the expense of water for dust mitigation and what a waste it is.  DWP’s lawyer did not say that LA was never required to use water to mitigate the dust.  They can use gravel.

APCD’s layer, Peter Hsiao pointed to the legal air quality requirements.  LADWP is bound by signed agreements from 1997 forward and by local, state and federal air quality laws. The Air Resources staff had analyzed everything for 10 months and found in favor of APCD on every point.

Director Schade said he has been willing to work with LADWP on their concerns, but he said, “They can’t say they’re done until they’re done meeting legal requirements.”

Executive Hearing officer, James Goldstene, asked both sides to draft proposed orders.  He will then come up with the final order in 30 days.

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31 Comments
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Jeremiah
Jeremiah
10 years ago

I understand Alex. And I agree the Native American culture is very fascinating.

Jeremiah
Jeremiah
10 years ago

I am done with these fake names unlike some of you who dont want to let everybody know who is really behind the childish behavior you show. I am not speaking of everybody that blogs on this website, I dont need to name any names cause deep down they know… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Jeremiah

Please refrain from all of the self-righteous jabs. Have some thoughtful ideas to share? Go for it.
Blogs can state ideas without anger.
Benett Kessler

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Jeremiah

I hear ya Jeremiah.

Alexander
Alexander
10 years ago
Reply to  Jeremiah

Jeremiah on all the Owens Lake projects it is mandatory that both archaeologists and tribe members are on site at all times during any excavation. All artifacts that are found get recorded and then put back where they were. Also not all of the artifacts are from prehistory (before Europeans)… Read more »

Alexander
Alexander
10 years ago

The story here is not who is responsible, all of that was settled years ago. The story is the new play book that DWP is now using to once again try and bully it’s way out of a signed agreement. That agreement has been working for cleaning up the dust… Read more »

JeanGenie
JeanGenie
10 years ago

We no longer have “common dust storms”. In fact, several recent (last 6 months) PM10 alerts or violations were not caused by Owens Lake. Of, course, Shady (oops Schade) and crew don’t want that to get out! They want people to think every time its dusty its from the Dry… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  JeanGenie

Sour grapes must not taste very good. Why don’t we stick to the science.
Benett Kessler

JeanGenie
JeanGenie
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Ok Benett, Although I assure you that the grapes are sweet. Great Basin tested dust control methods on DWP’s dime for at least 15 years, they did not force DWP to use water based control measures, but they tested little else, and in fact the methods that measure “compliance” are… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  JeanGenie

You are certainly right that some people just like to complain.
BK

Social phenomenon
Social phenomenon
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

We live in times where mere complaining with no solutions whatsoever are offered is fashionable. Today’s GOP-laden US Congress has the distinction of the fewest laws passed in 70 years. Then, whatever is offered gets the ol’ “thumbs-down” as being “too liberal” all the while believing this is the truest… Read more »

Not Scared to say it
Not Scared to say it
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

When it comes to artifacts, its not complaining.
its being upset in a rational fashion knowing your ancestors life and death isnt being respected in the way you would like your own to be!!!!!!

Rob
Rob
10 years ago
Reply to  JeanGenie

I just drove by the lake bed this afternoon. I’d say they have plenty of work left to do.

I’m curious where they think the dust in the Owen’s Valley comes from if it doesn’t come from the lake bed.

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Rob, i have to say .. there is a considerable amount of dust right now throughout the valley, being the area is so dry from lack of moisture. If the north winds are blowing hard, at this time there is a lof of dust blowing from where the wind finds… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Just a side note – the toxic dust from Owens Lake has been blowing for decades. There is nothing that confines that dust to the lake bed once it blows around. Same dust settles on many other parts of the Valley (even down to Ridgecrest) and blows up with the… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Yes Benett … coming back from Death Valley today, btw . the wind was blowing out there, like a blast furnace, not a lot of dust blowing around out there. But, as soon as I got to Dolomite Loop Rd. I could see the dust being carried from the lake… Read more »

Not Scared to say it
Not Scared to say it
10 years ago
Reply to  JeanGenie

I do know the air has been clearing up, but I still am not convinced a lot of it isn’t coming of the lake. I mean I live right next to it. And can see with my own eyes where it is originating from. They seem pretty common to me.… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  JeanGenie

You’re right on some points Jean G .. First, the air quality is good at vertain times, when the wind doesn’t blow, you’re right, but …. when the wind blows, the air quality blows too. And yes .. not all of it is caused from the lake, a lot of… Read more »

Not Scared to say it
Not Scared to say it
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Nice One!!

Reality Bites
Reality Bites
10 years ago
Reply to  JeanGenie

DWP Troll.

Rob
Rob
10 years ago

“archaeological artifacts in the lake bed can not now be disturbed”

They only play that hand when it suites their goals, the fact is they all ready prooved they have no problem tearing down historic buildings, now they’re worried about archaeological artifacts?

I call BS.

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Rob

You’re right Rob, artifacts is always a big trump card. I think .. they should send down the archeologists to scour and sift the lake shore to get all of the artifacts picked up and cataloged. Of course DWP will have to pay for that too, a little added cost… Read more »

Not Scared to say it
Not Scared to say it
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Touchy subject Big Al. Cataloged and then what? let scientist have there way with some of our ancestors remains and put them on display? or have them in small little packages and boxs for years and years. What about the ceremony that takes place when one dies and is buried,… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago

Remains .. yes that is more than a touchy subject, I think they shouldn’t even be unearthed myself. I hadn’t thought about the remains of persons deceased, I was referring to the lithnic scatter from the people who lived here before us. God forbid they find remains on DWP’s behalf,… Read more »

Alexander
Alexander
10 years ago

WOW LADWP you pay for a overpriced attorney and he comes up with “Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.” LADWP you are not in “Wonder land” and we all know this is not a dream. And a big thank you to APCD Director Ted Schade for not flinching when the old… Read more »

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

What? LADWP hearing hostile?? Pssshhhhaaawww! How could that be? Seriously, I hope that Executive Hearing Officer Goldstene studies the comments and the case thoroughly while each side is drafting its proposal. When LADWP drags its feet and either shows up without a proposal or asks for an (or several extensions),… Read more »

Not Scared to say it
Not Scared to say it
10 years ago

ok y’all pro LADWP individuals. LADWP dosent care that you live here too. It doesnt bother them that you have to see our valley deteriorate, avoid going outside when pm 10 and pm 2.5 levels are too high, or having to deal with invasive species in areas they have aquaduct… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago

Not afraid to say this either .. but first, I am not pro DWP. their arguement, as I have said … that lake levels were not as low as the findings claim, that is true to a certain extent. As I have said, and before people get all bent by… Read more »

Not Scared to say it
Not Scared to say it
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

I like it Big Al. Thanks for the superb Ideas! And yeah I do see the fact that the level was dropping due to rancher diversions, but at least that diverted water was still recharging our aquifers. Another issue I am passionately concerened about (our Groundwater). On that note do… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago

You’re right Not scared .. the early water usage did help recharge ground water. I do not see the any huge sink holes happening, the pumping is not usually localized I don’t think. But the ground water tables will definitely drop, unless pumping is drastically increased, in which case there… Read more »

sammy
sammy
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Having not lived in the owens valley, but traveled through it over the last 40 years, why was there water visiable off hwy 395 in the 60’s and 70’s? Sure it maynot of been very deep, but there was water. Stop the DWP from perpatrating this 1929 lie, that the… Read more »