In early December the Mono Supervisors asked to look into withdrawal of Mono County from the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District to form a separate Mono district. Would this benefit citizens? Mono Supervisors Vikki Bauer and Hap Hazard seem to think the APCD duplicates some regulations and has handled others poorly. The APCD Director has offered a report on serious concerns about Mono’s withdrawal.
The GBAPCD was formed in 1974 when Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties decided they would save money and serve constituents better if they got together. In a report to the APCD board, Director Ted Schade laid out the key issues of breaking up this district.
Schade writes that separation of Mono County may take a majority vote of both the Mono Supervisors and Mammoth Town Council. Another issue – About 55% of Mono County residents live within the Town of Mammoth Lakes which would likely require equal representation on a board by the Town and County.
Schade also points to state law which dictates that only the Great Basin APCD has the authority to require the City of Los Angeles to control air pollution caused by the City’s water activities here, and only Great Basin can assess DWP for fees to cover the City’s air pollution clean-up here. Schade’s report says that Mono County, by itself, may not be able to collect money from DWP but may still have to pay for monitoring Mono Lake’s dust issue. “Mono Lake,” writes Schade, “is classified as a serious federal non-attainment area for PM10 (dust pollution).”
A Mono County APCD may also not have the authority to require LADWP to pay for future legal costs which the current district does have. The report also says that if Mono County dropped out of the District, Alpine and Inyo might have to form separate districts. This could place Inyo in a position of not being able to collect money from DWP but still pay the costs of air pollution monitoring at the Owens Dry Lake.
Other issues: Raising enough money for a functioning district, coming up with enough expertise to handle Mono Lake and the Town of Mammoth’s air pollution issues.
More on this at an APCD Board meeting, Monday, January 28th in the Supervisors’ Board Room in Independence at 10am.