What's really up with that EIR?
We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review would like to take this opportunity to give you our perspective on recent events and regarding announcement of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Crystal Geyser Plant.
- After two years of working with agencies to get a full and impartial EIR, W.A.T.E.R. filed a lawsuit in August, 2015, against Crystal Geyser Water Company and Siskiyou County challenging industrial zoning and ground water extraction permit issues. (Please note: An EIR is separate from the lawsuit. If an EIR happens it will be concurrently with the lawsuit.)
- The lawsuit will be heard in Siskiyou County Superior Court. W.A.T.E.R will announce any hearing dates once they are scheduled.
- Crystal Geyser’s PR firm Burson-Marsteller, released a press release on September 16th, stating: ”…Crystal Geyser Water Company has become aware that our state-of-the-art bottling facility in Mt. Shasta will require a permit from the Siskiyou County Air Pollution Control District (APCD). In an effort to be completely transparent with the community we have decided to move forward with APCD in the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). By preparing this EIR, we will be able to analyze all potential impacts of the plant operations in Mt. Shasta.”
Here’s what you need to know now. The Air Pollution Control District ‘s (APCD) Board is made up of the County Board of Supervisors. They are one and the same. Yes, the same Board of Supervisors that have ignored the public’s request for an EIR for over two years.
In the 10/7/15, Mt. Shasta Herald, Deborra Brennan reports that Siskiyou County council Brian Morris stated: “…he understands that Crystal Geyser wants to do a full EIR due to community interest and he confirmed that county officials have had meetings with Crystal Geyser representatives about the matter. However, he said no decisions have yet been reached.” Morris also noted “From the county’s perspective, we have not yet determined whether there will be an Environmental Impact Report done with either the Control District as lead agency, or what the scope of any such EIR might be.”
(See full article HERE)
The rest of the article goes on to explain that any EIR would only cover items for the specific permits submitted - NOT a full EIR of all aspects of Crystal Geyser’s operations. A full EIR would consider all particulars such as industrial water extraction and consequent possible groundwater depletion during historic drought conditions, effects on local domestic wells within the shared aquifer, pollution from plastic bottle production, hazardous material storage (two 30,000 gallon tanks of propane), pollution from industrial waste, plant noise, air pollution and odors, truck traffic, general plant aesthetics on our scenic rural environment and the ability of the City waste treatment plant to process the plant’s effluent.
So despite the recent “positive spin” press releases by Crystal Geyser representatives, it seems that the County continues to ‘carry water’ for Crystal Geyser and has no intention of doing a full and impartial EIR. It will be up to everyone to make sure a full and impartial EIR is done. Contact your County Supervisor, write a letter, attend Board of Supervisor meetings and make your voice heard.