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| Thursday, Jun 20, 2013
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The Board of Directors for the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District extended the public comment period for the chloride compliance plan by an additional 30 days.

The comment period will now end July 24, said Sanitation District engineer Basil Hewitt.

“(District staff) going to do our best to get it done, we’re going to do whatever it takes,”Hewitt said.

The move is likely to raise the overall costs of the project, but it won’t affect the deadline, he added.

“We usually — between the close of comment period usually have between four and a half to six months,” Hewitt said. “In this case, we’re going to have just over three months.”

The delay makes cost overruns inevitable because the Sanitation District works on the documents as a private-public partnership, enlisting consultants for their expertise when necessary.

“This is going to result in more costs, because of overtime,”Hewitt said. “District staffers and consultants are going to have to work nights and weekends to get it done, and we will get it done.”

To avoid steep state fines, the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District is conducting this local planning process to determine the most cost-effective and environmentally sound method for the Valley’s sewage treatment facilities to meet the state’s strict salt limit for discharge of recycled water to the Santa Clara River, Hewitt said in a statement released Thursday.

The risk of what could happen if district officials do not beat the deadlines as they are now set is not something district staff wants to chance, he added.

“We don’t want to expose the district and our ratepayers to wasteful and unnecessary fines,” Hewitt said. “Fines that will be even more significant than the last fine of $225,000.

The Draft Facilities Plan and Environmental Impact Report, describing the choices for meeting the State’s strict salt mandate, have been released for public review and comment.

The public is invited and encouraged to review and comment on the Draft Facilities Plan and Environmental Impact Report.

Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District staffers are proud of their history of providing the lowest rates possible while staying in compliance with state standards, he said.

Ultimately, as the state schedule currently stands, there needs to be an approved plan in place for addressing the chloride levels by Oct. 31 of this year, and measures should be implemented by May 4, 2015.

The district serves the wastewater management needs of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The agency protects public health and the environment by constructing, operating and maintaining a regional system that collects, treats, recycles and disposes of sewage from homes and businesses in the community, according to a Sanitation District statement.

“We take pride in the work we do,” Hewitt said. “We take pride in the fact that we take protect public health in a cost-effective manner.”

Here’s a link to the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District’s alternatives for addressing the state’s Total Maximum Daily Load for chloride in the Santa Clarita Valley watershed.

You may submit written comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report to Mary Jacobs, senior Engineer, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, 1955 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, CA 90601, mjacobs@lacsd.org or contact her at (562) 908-4288, Ext. 2728.

The Draft Chloride Compliance Facilities Plan and Draft EIR also can be viewed at Santa Clarita City Hall or one of three city libraries.

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