By Deb Murphy
The Inyo County Board of Supervisors has filed a temporary restraining order, stopping the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from flipping the on-switch to Well 385R’s pump test. In addition, the Board has initiated litigation against the department to keep the pump off.
The decision was made at Tuesday’s closed session meeting. Water Department Director Bob Harrington ended his presentation on the well and the impacts to groundwater in the Five Bridges area at Wednesday’s Water Commission meeting. He also informed the Commissioners that the Owens Valley Committee and Sierra Club have begun the Memorandum of Understanding arbitration dispute resolution over the test.
Harrington had submitted a comment letter on LADWP’s Initial Study Negative Declaration on the project pointing out discrepancies in the process and requirements of the Long Term Water Agreement and potential violations of the California Environmental Quality Act. DWP’s response failed to address those issues or issues raised by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, attorneys for OVC and Sierra Club and 10 other individuals or entities.
DWP’s Board of Commissioners adopted the Negative Declaration at its November 27 meeting after approximately an hour of public comment opposed to the document.