View Full Version : Schwarzenegger to terminate water quality agency
08-24-2004, 10:38 AM
The terminator would like to do away with the water and air quality control boards in California, in keeping with his party's general assault on the environment and quality of life for those making less than 100K/yr.
What has your regional water quality control board done for you lately? How about keeping industrial polluters in check since the 1970s, ensuring that the state of California's waters meet the letter and intent of the federal Clean Water Act, and keeping your rivers clean enough to boat in?
Send the terminator a message; as boaters, we like clean water. The State Water board has done a damn good job, and his goal of simultaneously defunding and consolidating them into a
mega-bureaucracy will not keep our waters clean.
08-24-2004, 01:16 PM
It's not a termination, it's a reorganization. Don't worry, no state employees will loose their jobs, they'll just do even less.
The State Water Quality Control Boards have been in disarray for years. The Northcoast and Central Coast Boards are perfect examples of ineffective bureacracies. Board Staff does what ever they please, taking lead from Byron Sher. If you like to show up at meetings and complain, the current system works. If you want effective mitigation of impacts, most of the board staff in incapable of helping. Look how they've derailed the TMDL and NCWAP programs. Schedule another meeting and wait for a citizen based lawsuit for direction. We'd be better off if these people were paid to stay home.
08-24-2004, 04:53 PM
Well Golly gee, Mr Guest;
I was unaware that they had done such a horrific job and were such incompetent boobs; my experience with that agency is that my local water quality control district have forced the biggest water polluters in my region (such as squaw valley ski corp) to come to the bargaining table and quit doing stuff like dumping thousands of gallons of diesel in the creeks.
Of course, SWRCB are often under seige from corporate and republican interests because they do their job, and that doesn't make "Caleeforrnya" (in the words of the steroid induced coronary patient known as AH-nold)
as "business friendly". So he's doing what he can to give them the axe.
I wish I had all the elementary, facile answers that you and AH-nold have; it must be soothing to have such simple minded solutions to the kinds of complex water quality problems that business has created in "Caleeforrnya". Maybe we should privatize these agencys, hmm? Maybe give a fat contract to Kenny Lay, frinstance....Of course, if Ahnolds new k-12 textbook in civics (otherwise known as "Mein Kampf") doesn't address water quality, there's no need to spend money on it, eh?
08-24-2004, 06:30 PM
you are a sarcastic jerk.
08-24-2004, 07:10 PM
Nobody wants water pollution, but it is wrong when you spend a substantial amount of time preparing a comprehensive mitigation and restoration plan only to be attacked by water board staff as professionally incompetent. It's only fair to in turn challenge their competency, especially when their comments indicate a lack understanding of the topic at hand. Their project review should be based on a systematic and scientific review, and not based on the name of the client.
Trivia question: Which president signed the Clean Water Act?
08-26-2004, 11:44 AM
Sorry to hear about your professional incompetence.....
As for the "trivia question" (a very dead horse which has been hammered into the ground by unintelligent demagogue conservative talk show hosts everywhere, incidentally); the so called "clean water act of 1972" was signed in by that guy... gee...what WAS his name?
You know, the one who was basically forced to either resign or be impeached for his masterminding of the Watergate crimes....the one who we have tape recorded phone conversations of him talking to KKK members on the phone, telling them to go down and "kick the shit out of anti-war protesters"....the one who was addicted to pain meds while initiating the "war on drugs" while in office....the one who called for the bombing of civilian targets in Hanoi and Cambodia, killing tens of thousands of unarmed women and children....OH, Gee, I remember; his name was Richard Millhouse NIXON. Trivia question: which major political party did Mr Nixon belong to (multiple choice): a) Republican party b) Facist party c) Nazi party d) Frat party
And, although he did sign both the CWA and the ESA, he did so without understanding what he was doing or the long term implications.
Furthermore, you fail to recall the preceding legislations, the federal water pollution control act of 1948 AND the 1965 water quality act... Both of which were signed into law by Democrats (Truman and LBJ, respectively).
At any rate, reducing the political power of clean air and water agencies is part of the AH-nolds overall plan to "make Caleeyfornya business friendly"...just like his hero, Dubya, whose "business friendly" policies during his tenure in Texas as governor led to that state being ranked as having THE worst air pollution in the nation and damn near the worst water pollution...
08-26-2004, 04:46 PM
Sure it's fun to call people racist nazis, but the enabling legislation is not going anywhere. A restructuring of the water boards isn't going to do much. Board staff, which actually does the work, will remain. They just might have to be polite, timely, and professional. Believe it or not, many businesses try to comply with the law. If you're honest and up front, why should you get the run around.
08-27-2004, 11:15 AM
Yes, some businesses try to comply with the law.
But when the political atmosphere is decidedly pro-business, you get Texas, as I so rudely reminded you above.
BTW: you obviously hold a grudge against the SWRCB for the way they bitch slapped you in regards to some grey literature you authored (Us pointy headed liberal science types often call that stuff "brown literature" for obvious feco-similarity index reasons). What particular piece of brown literature was it that seemed to cause all the commotion? I used to review these types of EIR/EIS documents, and you could gain a supporter in your cause of slandering those "big bad ignorant gumment bullies @ SWRCB", were I to read it.
Or not. Probably not; they tend to do a pretty good job at keeping the conslto-scum in line, and I have yet to see a lawsuit against them over these matters which actually had merit. Translated: most consulting verbiage is poor quality, without merit, factually stretched thin.
Speaking of which, I hear tell they're looking for consultants down in the Lone Star state. Maybe you should go. They pay well for folks who know how ta skirt the law for business interests . O course, they ain't no big gumment envira-mental laws down there, so that line o work might be a might thin. Which brings us back around to the republican party's obsession with the supremacy of Adam Smith's invisible hand of competition over environmental quality ...hee hee hee. . . .
10-19-2005, 10:52 AM
I have been pretty impressed with the water board staff that I have dealt with in hydro relicensing meetings. They have been less likely to jump to conclusions or misinterpret data than power company consultants and of course much more objective than citizen group stakeholders.
Hydro relicensing has been a learning experience for me, and the water board staff have been some of the most helpful and objective in that process. I won't complain too much about the power company or their consultants either, but they are more likely to use questionable data as being conclusive and to use mamby pamby smarmy language that might give them loop holes in the future.
So, my experience is that the water board has been doing a pretty good job as is. I would have to hear some specific examples of how reorganization would improve them before I could see any reason for it. Reorganization does pose the likelihood of causing some chaos until people get used to the the new organization.
10-22-2005, 12:48 AM
Considering the complexity of California's water quality and supply issues, the SWRCB and REgional Boards do good and vitally important work. I'm not sure about what the proposed changes would do, but weakening this institution is a bad idea.
Is it a completely efficient and well oiled machine? No of course not, its a large beurocracy and chronically underfunded. Also, being a regulatory agency pretty much stacks the deck against them. Nobody likes the guy that tells you you have to meet clean water standards, designate TMDLS or anything along those lines. But do we need hose things? **** yes. We take our water for granted already, we should be stronger have stronger and smarter regulation, not less. We should invest in the agency to increase their capacity not neuter them further to make their work completely inconsequential.
I'm happy to see paddlers talking about this. We are not as well organized or entrenched in these issues as we ought to be. I'll keep my ears open to explanations about how this legislation will facilitate better water management.
10-27-2005, 08:50 PM
Is this back on the table? I thought this died last spring?
One of the proposals, as I recall, was not to dismantle the agencies, but to change them from boards to non-boards reporting to some uber-Secretary appointed by the Gov. One result of this would be that the stakeholders would not really have a locally oriented decisionmaker and that all regional policy would be completely dictated by Sacramento.
I have no idea whether this would be a good thing or a bad thing.
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