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Supervisor discusses TMDLs
By JOHN DIEHM Daily News Staff Writer

August 30, 2006

Jim Cook LAKE SHASTINA — Siskiyou County Supervisor Jim Cook provided residents at the Lake Shastina Property Owners Association annual meeting on August 19 with a simplified explanation of the complex water quality issues facing the Shasta River watershed – including the drainage of water into Lake Shastina.

Jim Cook

Cook is District 1 supervisor, serving the area from Montague to Tulelake northeast of District 3 that includes Lake Shastina. The Shasta River watershed is in both districts.

The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board has focused its attention on the Shasta River, doing so by monitoring and setting standards for Total Maximum Daily Loads of sediment and temperature, as part of the nation’s Clean Water Act.

“This is how the Clean Water Act affects Lake Shastina homeowners,” Cook said. “TMDLs come from the clean water act that started 25 years ago because a river back east caught on fire and burned for three weeks. After 25 years, the act is on the west coast with regulators now talking about the water coming off your roof and how clean it is when it enters the lake.”

Cook said that Lake Shastina General Manager Jamie Lea and resident Tom Wetter went to bat for Lake Shastina property owners by attending Regional Water Quality Control Board meetings and speaking up against the discussion concerning removing the Lake Shastina Dam, originally knows as Dwinnell Reservoir, as the solution to the river’s water quality problems.

“There are people trying to use this law to get rid of the dam and that will affect property owners,” Cook said. “Tom Wetters and Jamie Lea went to bat for you saying that is not appropriate. We are trying to make the law so it protects the water and doesn't adversely affects people.”

He said the process to date has progressed to doing a study.

“The study is on a fast track and in five-years the Environmental Protection Agency will expect the plan to be implemented,” Cook said. “The unknown right now is the cost and how to do it. In short, this will cost you money and you will have to do something to improve the water quality of the lake.”

Lea said he believes that the outcome for the residents of Lake Shastina will be the installation of some settlement ponds prior to surface runoff entering the lake.

“Our opinion is that the water quality is not that bad, but there are those who want the dams removed and are telling people otherwise,” Cook said. “Our position is that if you remove that dam, you must compensate the property owners. This is a way to save your lake.”

When asked who wants the dam removed, Cook named Felice Pace in specific and others on the coast.


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