Cook and Bennett to present county’s TMDL concerns
Yreka, Calif. - Heading toward the next meeting for Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the Klamath River, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors is preparing its next comments to present to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (WQCB).
TMDLs act as a regulatory tool that identifies sources of pollutants in a water system and the corresponding levels of those pollutants that constitute impairment of the river for identified beneficial uses.
At the supervisors meeting Tuesday, County Counsel Thomas Guarino stated that a previous request made to the WQCB for communications between its members had been met, with a number of e-mails being made available to the county.
Guarino stated that he believes the communications show that two agreements that provide for potential dam removal and restoration activities have had an impact on the TMDL process, along with tribal interests and other groups working “behind the scenes.”
A large packet was provided to the supervisors with Guarino’s suggested comments, which he proposed to be presented at the WQCB’s TMDL meeting in Eureka on March 24. He also stated that he feels that those representing the board at the Eureka meeting should continue to stress PacifiCorp’s concerns about the technical process used in establishing the TMDLs for the company’s dams.
Natural Resource Policy Specialist Ric Costales stated that he could attend the meeting, and District 1 Supervisor Jim Cook and District 4 Supervisor Grace Bennett stated that they would go to the meeting to present the county’s comments.
Costales said that he believes that the TMDLs as they are currently are “so flawed they won’t get it in line,” stating that if the WQCB fails to implement the TMDLs properly, then the process will be taken over by the Environmental Protection Agency.
District 3 Supervisor Michael Kobseff added that he feels the TMDLs are “toast,” saying that he wants the entire process to be restarted from the beginning because he believes there has been manipulation from outside sources.
An in-depth look at the e-mails received by the county, the list of county comments and PacifiCorp’s concerns about the TMDL process will receive an in-depth look in a future edition of the Siskiyou Daily News.