LADWP sends lawyers, others to gripe about APCD budget

ladwp

How much did it cost to send lawyers and staff to Bridgeport?

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recently sent two attorneys, one staff person and outside consultants to Bridgeport to gripe about the Air Pollution Control District budget. They particularly criticized APCD’s expense of $25,000 for computers and an ATV to work at the Owens Dry Lake.

At the last Town Council meeting, Mammoth Town Councilman John Eastman brought up the DWP grumbling. Eastman now chairs the APCD Board. He said the DWP group complained about money they have spent to clean up the Owens Dry Lake and that 27% of their ratepayers are under the poverty level.

Eastman said he reminded the DWP lawyers that they are the ones spending all the money. He said that they had filed five lawsuits against APCD on the dry lake and lost all of the past suits. He also said because they violated a deadline on dry lake dust clean-up, they had to pay $6.5 million as a negotiated penalty. In comparison to all of that, Eastman indicated, a $25,000 necessary expenditure doesn’t look like much.

The LADWP group said the computers and ATV should’ve gone out to bid. APCD Director Ted Schade said the District has the right to designate sole sources for some equipment purchases if they justify it to their Board.

DWP also griped about the APCD attorney and said the Board should go out to bid for the cheapest lawyer! Schade said their attorney, Peter Hsaio  does cost $750 per hour but is one of the best environmental attorneys in the state and “has never lost a single issue with DWP.” Schade also pointed out that DWP hired six lawyers against the APCD’s one. Schade said, “They spend more than we do, and they have lost.”

The other LA complaint at that meeting was that they contend that Caltrans relocation of the old Highway in the 1950s destroyed vegetation and created the Keeler Dunes and blowing dust.

The bottom line of the LA-APCD encounter, according to Schade, was that LADWP objects to what he called the “general cost of government. They don’t want us to pay employee benefits, health care, office rent or gas.” Schade said, “They caused the dust problem, so they have to pay. In California,” he said, “the polluter pays.

 

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Tim
Tim
9 years ago

Good points Philip; till now most of the global warming discussion has been focused on green house gasses and not the displacement of water in regions effecting high elevation snow production. Green house gasses appear to be a complicated scenario in a situation with a potentially simple additional cause. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago

Patterson. . As you know “Percipitation is a product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls with gravity. This rain, sleet, snow or hail occurs when a local portion of the atmosphere becomes saturated. Two processes, possibly acting together can lead to air becoming saturated: cooling the air… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago

Thanks for the excellent post Tim. The links you have provided are beyond my expertise but this knowledge is a gift to anyone interested in water and what the results of a dwindling supply of this precious substance in the Owens Valley really means. http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/downloads/watercycle/watercycle.pdf This link is helpful to… Read more »

Tim
Tim
9 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Nice illustration Philip, Thank you! I think it would be doubly interesting to contact the author of the chart requesting elaboration which could include compounded dynamics of the Eastern Sierra watershed.

Tim
Tim
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Author at USGS contacted.
Thanks for the link Philip.

Reality Check
Reality Check
9 years ago

Who is the dealer in Mammoth? Mammoth Power Sports (Polaris) closed a couple years ago.

Steve
Steve
9 years ago

And this is the 100 hundred year anniversary of the LA Aqueduct opening. So way to go DWP with the good PR. Last time I read that DWP has spent over 1.3 Billion dollars fixing the Owens Lake. Millions of dollars a year in operation cost. And they bitch about… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve

DWP is under a great deal of pressure from the City Council and ratepayers to keep utility rates in LA down, while at the same time LA has to make major changes in it’s water distribution system to meet the most recent clean water regulations. That big open air reservoir… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago

Not sure what your source is, but I can tell you personally it takes a lot more water to keep trees and plants alive when the groundwater is 40 to 100 feet lower than it used to be.
Benett Kessler

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago

There are two dealers in Mammoth and one in Bishop that I know of. All different brands.

Mark
Mark
9 years ago

“sole sources for some equipment purchases”

I would like to hear the reason for circumventing the competitive bid process on computers and the ATV.

Of course all should realize DWP is masterful in circumventing the competitive biding process themselves.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Ted Schade pointed out that APCD has used Honda ATVs for years, has stocked parts for them, does their own service on them. The Dell
computers function with the District’s air monitors. They have had to justify not going out for bid with the APCD board.
Benett Kessler

Mark
Mark
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Sounds reasonable to me. I’m sure they could get several Honda dealers to bid on the quad. Probably holds true with the computers too.

Reality Check
Reality Check
9 years ago
Reply to  Mark

There is only one ATV dealer in the two counties. Where else would they buy an ATV and have it serviced and repaired if it broke?

Simple decision.

Mark
Mark
9 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

Ted said they service the ATV themselves. I must say that absolutely anything you can buy in Inyo or Mono Counties you can by somewhere else for less. You can buy a Honda or a Ford from any dealer in the Country and have it serviced locally. I should also… Read more »

Ted
Ted
9 years ago

Really? LADWP wants to micromanage THE GBAPCD? DWP employees enjoy some of the best wages and benefits in the state; they should think about that when they mention the poverty level in LA. DWP is embarrassingly close to being called a whiner.

Eastern Sierra Local
Eastern Sierra Local
9 years ago

Quiet interesting comments from LADWP. They say that 27% of their ratepayers are below the poverty line….but the City of LA’s per capita income is $27,811/yr and the poverty rate is 17%; whereas in Inyo County per capita income is $19,639/yr and the poverty rate is 13%. They’re griping about… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago

Litigation and mitigation and a headquarters on Hope Street. The DWP has caused all sorts of disruptions and turmoils to keep the lights on, the water coming out of the tap, to grow a dysfunctional and a unsustainable City and maintain a power elite. Now their act has become whimpering… Read more »

MJA
MJA
9 years ago

Way to go John and Ted,
Thanks!

=

chris
chris
9 years ago

So, if “…LADWP objects to the general costs of government…”, what in the heck do they think they are? A charity? Huh?

Really?
Really?
9 years ago

Huh….lights on in a big building at night in the city–that’s just nitpicking. Last I looked, most of the buildings in Los Angeles have lights on at night. Everyone pays for the lights to be on at night for every business that leaves them on. Not just DWP. I’m betting… Read more »

Tim
Tim
9 years ago
Reply to  Really?

I thought it was nitpicking for DWP to complain about the computers and ATV in the article, this is why I picked at their lights. As for the buildings with lights on in downtown LA, yes, most buildings have some lights on. The difference with the DWP building is that… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Yes, and how about that big moat around DWP headquarters!
BK

Tim
Tim
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

The backlash of displacing water and changing regional climates will be disasterous. Scientists have projected that by 2050, the average snowpack in the Sierra’s will decrease by 25%. Some experts have even predicted the Sierra snowpack will be virtually gone by the end of the century. Why aren’t we reading… Read more »

Patterson
Patterson
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Tim, Your claim regarding the affect of water diversion is completely false. If you had even a basic knowledge of hydrology you would know that snowpack levels are related to precipitation events which are driven by ocean evaporation and temperature levels. Even if the predicted reduction in snowpack you’re referring… Read more »

Jeremiah's ego
Jeremiah's ego
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Patterson, Anybody that I come across defending the corrupt entity in LADWP, the initial thought that comes to mind is they either work for, had worked for, a dependent of those who works for, somebody within the good ol boy circle, or one in denial and or “all due respect”… Read more »

Tim
Tim
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

I do not have knowledge of hydrology; however I am trained in other earth sciences and quite capable of sound deductive reasoning. I tested my theory by finding data that would validate my suspicions. I was recently poking around on line and came across some California Energy Commission information that… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Re: anecdotal information – I have talked to many in the Owens Valley, long-timers, who believe that the drying up of the Owens Valley has changed snowfall. In past decades, Inyo has experienced major snowfall in the valley – 3 feet or more. Hasn’t been that way for some time.… Read more »

Jeremiah's ego
Jeremiah's ego
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Nice Job Tim, I just can’t get past people defending DWP, “It’s like okay, you must benefit in someway to think or believe that LADWP influence in the valley isn’t overall a bad one” LADWP’s reference “the greatest good for the greatest number of people” quote is just a divide… Read more »

Tim
Tim
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Patterson, I notice that the source articles use nearly the same language as you, you said: “Evapotranspiration of a adjacent desert region would have a very miniscule effect if any. The authors of the scientific study said it a bit differntly, here is what they said: “Based on the model… Read more »

Patterson
Patterson
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Jeremiah, I am not defending LADWP in the manner that you have depicted. I simply pointed out Tim’s misconceptions regarding the snowpack. And I’m surely not denying that LADWP has taken the water out of the OV. That is all. Tim, In the case of the Owens Valley, precipitation in… Read more »

Tim
Tim
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Patterson, thank you for your courteous reply. You said: “ Bodies of water and plants in the valley would produce both evaporation and evapotranspiration. However, the effects of these processes within the valley would have a very miniscule effect on bringing precipitation to the Sierras.” If you have reputable sources… Read more »

Tim
Tim
9 years ago

I have never driven past that DWP building on the 110 freway late at night and seen the lights off.
Who pays for that?

Desco
Desco
9 years ago
Reply to  Tim

When that building was constructed electricity was dirt cheap and it was thought it always would be. They omitted the light switches to save money.