The Inyo Supervisors continue to think about a dispute over the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s new groundwater pumping plan. LADWP adjusted the plan to eliminate pumping opposed by the Supervisors but then added more pumping in other locations.
Inyo County Counsel Randy Keller said that there is no position yet on the new pumping plan but would be by the early December board meeting. The Supervisors objected to 8400 acre feet of pumping in the Black Rock and Aberdeen areas, siting damage already done and significant further damage.
DWP officials responded by agreeing they would not pump that amount from Black Rock-Aberdeen but would pump the same amount from Laws and Independence. Both Laws and Independence have suffered groundwater loss over the years as a result of DWP pumps.
Meanwhile, the Supervisors did hire attorney Phil McDowell to represent them as a mediator in a dispute with LADWP over a dispute procedure. It’s complicated. DWP officials claim that before Inyo County can dispute any LA pumping plan, the County must have a mitigation plan in place that would address any damage. Inyo maintains that’s not true, that there can be no mitigation plan for something that has not happened.
County Counsel Keller said that Mr. McDowell and LA’s mediator will choose a third mediator. Those three people will work on a mediated decision on the procedural dispute. Keller expects mediation to be complete by early February. The mediators have 60 days after both sides exchange briefs. If there is no mediated agreement, either side may appeal to Superior Court.