Q’s needing A’s
The latest Los Osos sewer assessment must be protested unless these questions are answered:
Will the project reduce pollution of the estuary? Supervisor Bruce Gibson and others claim it will, but it is not an objective in the environmental impact report. And, according to the National Estuary Program and the San Luis Obispo Science and Ecosystem Alliance data, contamination near Los Osos has been within safe ranges for years.
Presumably, the wastewater project is needed to reduce nitrates in our drinking water supply, but the water purveyors are going to treat for nitrates after the project is completed. Why not just “pump and treat” now? It’s cheaper and more efficient.
How much will it cost if the Broderson leach fields fail or the wetlands begin to dry up? According to the Coastal Commission, these are “substantial” issues, yet the project doesn’t budget to fix them. Will there be another assessment?
Why hasn’t the Board of Supervisors and USDA required an analysis of social and economic impacts with specific mitigations? Current project costs are 200 to 1,000 percent above state and federal affordability guidelines for 25 percent of the homeowners, but the county has received only one $4 million grant. Agreeing to this assessment gives the county a blank check and puts Los Osos in an economic disaster.
After an in-depth analysis, the California Legislature, led by Sen. (then-Assemblyman) Sam Blakeslee, the California Energy Commission and the California Coastal Commission directed Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to update the seismic mapping and technical studies before a license renewal is approved.
Rochelle Becker, executive director of the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, merely pointed to the state’s official stance on these updated studies in her Viewpoint, “Answers before Diablo renewal” (Dec. 3).
Loren Sharp of PG&E implies the state should blindly allow PG&E to choose if, when and what seismic studies it will complete (“Diablo is on top of recent seismic issues,” Dec. 5). The last time the state followed PG&E’s “plan,” it cost ratepayers $4.4 billion in seismic miscalculations and costly overruns.
The Alliance is supporting the actions of state regulators and fails to understand why PG&E continues to try and make this about being in favor or opposed to Diablo Canyon or nuclear power.
In the aftermath of the BP oil spill and San Bruno, it is about state oversight of twin aging reactors that will produce an additional 20 years of radioactive waste on our fragile coast. It is about state-required seismic studies. It’s just that simple.