How Complex is LADWP’s Dewatering Plan? Mono County Ready to Count the Ways

 

HOW COMPLEX IS LADWP’S DEWATERING PLAN?

MONO COUNTY READY TO COUNT THE WAYS

Common sense tells you dewatering grazing lands in Mono County has the potential of messing with the eco-system. A team of scientists has been hired to outline just how complicated that proposition is.

Scientists from Bauer Planning and Environmental Services will be preparing the County’s comments on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s preparation of an Environmental Impact Report. Sandra Bauer and biologist Jim Paulus outlined those efforts at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

The department will hold a public scoping meeting at 6:30, September 26 at the Mammoth Outlet Mall. Comments are due October 16.

Bauer explained the reasons to submit comments to LADWP’s Notice of Preparation: demonstrate the possibility of environmental harm; no lawsuits can be filed once the EIR is published unless the basic legal issues are raised during the process and to provide significant recommendations.

Then Paulus gave scientific weight to a lot of the assumptions already discussed at previous Board meetings.

  • After 50 to 100 years of watering, an area has all the conditions to qualify as wetlands.
  • Habitat for the sage grouse chicks require, not just the presence of water, but distribution of water over the wetland area—the kind of distribution resulting from water spreading as opposed to water flowing through a channel.
  • The impact of listing the sage grouse as threatened or endangered would have a county-wide impact and require an economic analysis. That impact was noted during the listing process five years ago.
  • The EIR has to include a water management and a habitat protection plan. “It takes a long time to make wetlands and a short time to kill it,” Paulus said.
  • There is a strong likelihood for air pollution and increased wildland fire issues once the meadows convert to either dirt or invasive species. Wildland fires morphed from potential to reality earlier this month when a LADWP drone crash sparked a fire between Crowley Lake and U.S. Highway 395. There was speculation the drone collided with a turkey buzzard, but no buzzard corpse was recovered from the site.

Supervisor Fred Stump, whose district includes the dewatered Long and Little Round valleys, made the point that forecasts indicate “higher snow levels but not necessarily less precipitation.” Paulus agreed, adding that wetlands act as a storage facility for fast run-off, holding water and releasing it slowly.

Again, LADWP will hold a public scoping meeting at 6:30, September 26 at the Mammoth Outlet Mall. Comments are due October 16.

 

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5 Responses to How Complex is LADWP’s Dewatering Plan? Mono County Ready to Count the Ways

  1. Johnny Smoke September 14, 2018 at 1:10 pm #

    If they are truly “wetlands,” why is Mono County working so hard to ensure that cows – an “invasive species” if there ever was one – can continue to drop tons of manure in them?

     
  2. Steven Most September 14, 2018 at 5:13 pm #

    How can the public leave a comment pertaining to the proposed de-watering?

     
    • Deb murphy September 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm #

      Comments can go to:
      LADWP
      Attn: Jane Hauptman
      111 N. Hope St., Room 1044
      Los Angeles, CA 90012

      Deadline is 5 p.m. Oct. 16

       
  3. Philip Anaya September 14, 2018 at 6:43 pm #

    “the reasons to submit comments to LADWP’s Notice of Preparation: demonstrate the possibility of environmental harm; no lawsuits can be filed once the EIR is published unless the basic legal issues are raised during the process and to provide significant recommendations.”

    The LADWP is it’s own Agency when it comes to who authors the EIR. The fox in the chicken coop is not an understatement here. Any issues, even those outside the box, need environmental assessment/consideration and need to be submitted during the scoping period. The deadline as reported, for comments is October 16 but comments made at the 26 September meeting will have the support and witness of those in attendance and every issue brought is a possible action for litigation if the LADWP EIR fails to assess the issues correctly . The Community of the Eastern Sierra has significant knowledge and experience with issues of water and the DWP but that is not enough . We as a Community need to show up and contribute to this process and offer the legitimate/profound concerns and even out of the box issues that could require environmental review .

     
  4. Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe, Esqs. September 17, 2018 at 9:17 am #

    The assertion in the press release that “no lawsuits can be filed once the EIR is published” is flat wrong.

    The plaintiffs who file the lawsuit may be limited to objections raised in the EIR process; but they are not prohibited from filing the lawsuit.

    Mono County doesn’t seem to understand how CEQA operates; not surprising.

     

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