The Triunfo Joint Powers Authority (JPA), which is comprised of Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD) and Triunfo Sanitation District (TSD), is taking a stance against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal of new water quality standards for Malibu Creek, according to a press release.
The Triunfo JPA filed a 75-page document with the EPA that cited serious flaws in methodology, including concerns about potential high costs to meet standards which are unwarranted, given the natural background conditions found in the watershed. In addition, the JPA states that time for public comment was too brief.
The projected cost of the new facilities would be $160 million, and there's no guarantee new measures would produce the desired result, specifically, the reduction or elimination of algae in Malibu Creek, according to the release.
According to the press release:
Rising from a consent decree reached among the EPA, Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Baykeeper and other parties, EPA is obligated to establish new water quality standards for several California waterbodies by March 24, 2013. The JPA and communities in the Malibu Creek watershed were not parties to the litigation nor the consent decree settlement, yet all of the financial impacts would fall on the ratepayers, homeowners and businesses served by the JPA.
“EPA’s draft document was seemingly put together in a hurry in order to meet the consent decree deadline and please the litigants, rather than function as a scientific blueprint to improve conditions in Malibu Creek,” said Charles Caspary, President of the LVMWD Board of Directors and a board member of the JPA, said in the press release. “If this document is adopted, compliance will come at a very high cost with no guarantees for results. In my opinion, that kind of disregard for the impacts to the region’s residents and businesses is unconscionable.”
The JPA cites that wastewater rates for LVMWD’s sewer customers could be doubled to $108 bimonthly, among the highest in the region.
The JPA provides wastewater treatment, recycled water and biosolids composting services to some 100,000 residents of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Oak Park, Westlake Village and portions of Thousand Oaks, in addition to unincorporated surrounding areas of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.