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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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July 15, 2011

Letter from: John W. Menke, PhD., Landowner in Siskiyou County. HERE for biography

FOLLOWED BY: letter from Ben Zabinsky

Mr. Ben Zabinsky:

Water Resources Control Engineer
Irrigated Lands Discharge Program Development Lead
NCRWQB, Santa Rosa, CA
Dear Mr, Zabinsky:
 
Are you aware that such a program has already been developed by the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board?
 
Are you also aware that that board lied to a landowner in the Redding/Anderson area when he refused to join a coalition which that board threatened him with up to a $1,000 per day fine if he did not sign up to join that coalition?
 
And are you also aware that that board lied to him that they had sent out the same threatening letter to 200 others when, in fact, they had sent the letter to only 2 landowners?
 
Are you also aware that when that landowner paid for legal counsel, and that counsel person contacted that board concerning the 200 letters, in reality only 2 letters had been sent out?
 
Are you also aware that landowners in our area of Scott and Shasta Valley's have already experienced the threatening-letter approach by a cousin agency of your board, the California Department of Fish and Game, and that we are seasoned on how to deal with such threats? If you are not aware of that outcome, the staff involved in that effort were reassigned elsewhere.
 
Is this the tactic you are contemplating using in the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board's jurisdiction for irrigated lands waste discharge?
 
Are you also aware that the program of the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board only found pollution due to the City of Anderson's Sewage Treatment Plant and not from any landowners' irrigated pasture?
 
Are you also aware that your board is promoting removal of 4 hydo-electric dams on the Klamath River with 21-million cubic yards of high-phosphorus sediment behind them and discharging that waste into a Wild and Scenic Klamath River? In other words you are a party to a plan for massive pollution of a fine fishery by your association with a board that is backing this project. You could lose your engineering license being an associate of this proposed project.
 
Are you also aware that your Staff Leaders--Kuhlman and Leland have condoned and fostered the cover-up of another of your staffs findings during TMDL analysis of Scott River, that being, diversion of relatively warm water for agricultural irrigation helped meet the goals for this temperature-impaired river? This finding did not align with the staff's agenda so it was not included in the final document, but another staff member in your office and and I know otherwise, as does another member of our valley who was temporarily a member of your board.
 
Please investigate this series of actions and behavior of the Water Board's and report back to me and my representatives (see below) on how you are refocusing your program while taking into account the unreasonable harassment-oriented program your sister board and cousin agency have tried on some of our fellow citizens, and your board's purely agenda-oriented program of landowner harassment and plan that includes destruction of a fine fishery due to your board's willingness to discharge massive sediment accumulations from behind 4 dams on the Klamath River. My concern is that the Klamath River is the conduit of the Scott and Shasta Rivers and we enjoy fine steelhead fishing on the Scott River and do not want it destroyed by Agenda 21 driven puppets.
 
I suggest you apply your engineering skills in helping Dr. Dennis Lynch and others in analyzing the impacts of sediment releases planned by the US Department of Interior and signers of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. It is high time you get your priorities in order. The temperature impairment of the Scott and Shasta Rivers is not feasibly remedied, and neither is the decomposed granite sands from the French Creek sub-watershed of the Scott River.
 
Representatives: Assemblyman Nielsen, Senator LaMalfa, and Congressman Herger (Wally was added since this will become a Federal EPA issue sooner or later if not already).
 
Thanks for your help with this matter.
 
Sincerely, John W. Menke, PhD., Landowner in Siskiyou County
 

##########################################################################################

From: Ben Zabinsky [mailto:BZabinsky@waterboards.ca.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 5:32 PM
To: Ben Zabinsky
Subject: Irrigated Lands Discharge Program

 
To Interested Stakeholder Representatives:

This email is being sent on behalf of Catherine Kuhlman, Executive Officer of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board).

Staff of the Regional Water Board are developing a Water Quality Compliance Program for Discharges from Irrigated Lands in the North Coast Region. The program will address discharges of waste from irrigated lands to waters of the State of California. Examples of irrigated lands include row crops, irrigated pasture, vineyards, and orchards. The program will address human-caused sources of pollution such as tailwater discharges, polluted stormwater runoff, pesticide discharges, degradation of riparian areas, and erosion from production lands, destabilized streambanks, and unpaved roads. The goal is to develop a program that is both protective of water quality and reasonable to implement, while not duplicating existing efforts to protect water quality.

Regional Water Board staff are in the initial stages of developing the program and are committed to involving stakeholders through a formal stakeholder process. You are being contacted because you have been identified as a stakeholder representative that would likely have an interest in participating. The stakeholder process will involve one or more working groups that will provide input to Regional Water Board staff and Board members on the development of the program. The specifics of the stakeholder process will be developed over the next few months and the working group meetings are scheduled to begin in October or November 2011. We plan on sending out a survey in August, the results of which will help further develop the specifics. Please reply to this email if you are interested in participating in a working group.

Another purpose of this email is to gather information about agricultural areas in the North Coast Region, which, as a general description includes all of Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity counties and most or some of Siskiyou, Modoc, Sonoma, Marin, Lake, and Glenn counties. A map showing the specific boundaries of the North Coast Region can be found by clicking on the link below. Staff of the Regional Water Board would like to hear about any existing water quality protection efforts, projects, and/or monitoring efforts in your area. We would also appreciate contact information for local interest groups that you feel should be contacted regarding the development of this program.

Interactive Map of North Coast Region (shown in green in northwest portion of the state)

More information about program development can be found on our website:
http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/northcoast/water_issues/programs/irrigated_lands/

If you wish to receive future correspondence about the program, please sign up by checking the Irrigated Lands Discharge Program box for email updates about the program at the following address:
http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/resources/email_subscriptions/reg1_subscribe.shtml

We appreciate your interest in this program and hope to hear from you. Please reply to this email or call me at (707) 576-6750 to respond.

Sincerely,

Ben Zabinsky
Water Resources Control Engineer
Irrigated Lands Discharge Program Development Lead
707-576-6750
bzabinsky@waterboards.ca.gov

North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
5550 Skylane Blvd., Suite A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
 
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