Inyo County strikes back over pumping test

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.

Bob Harrington/file photo

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.

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2 Responses to Inyo County strikes back over pumping test

  1. Philip Anaya December 8, 2017 at 11:51 am #

    While it is relatively easy to be a advocate to holler out and think that you are on the side of truth, justice and the American way, it’s a totally different story if you are member of the Inyo Board of Supervisors where the ideals hit the reality of decisions and dealing with a litany of issues and a mismanaged mindless institution, the LADWP, who believes that they have Inyo County in it’s jaws. It is not easy when there is responsibility and consequences that accompanies every decision.

    The issues of the LADWP Five Bridges wells W385 and W386 are not new nor are the wells. There is a history that DWP fails to remember of the wells being drilled in the mid 1980’s . The wells operated for about 1 1/2 years when they were turned off due to the lowering of the water tables . They were turned on and tested in 1993 and it was determined once again that there were lowered water tables not only in the immediate vicinity of Five Bridges but also in monitoring wells in Fish Slough a critically endangered environment, some miles to the north. The assertion that the wells have been modified and are thus new is like having a knee replacement and then you are get to be a newborn and you’ll soon be crawling around and thereafter having your first steps, deja vu all over again . This bill of goods sold to and then mindlessly approved by the LADWP Board of Commissioners with respect to the planned resurrection of these two wells (that are in a permanent off status) is now to be tested in a litigation process thanks to the Inyo County Water Department and the Inyo County Board of Supervisors .

    I for one support, appreciate and commend Inyo County for standing up for truth , for the LTWA process , standing up for CEQA, standing up for lawful required communication with the Tribes and standing up for the future of the environment and SGMA in the Owens Basin. I hope that we can take a page from the courtroom domination of the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District of the LADWP and ultimately help DWP to begin to apply sustainable conservation measures to it’s operations in the Owens Valley. Hats off Inyo County !!!!!

  2. Almost Native December 8, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    I guess our Water Commisioner got tired of getting stepped over finally.


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