What is Crystal Geyser up to?


The latest actions by Crystal Geyser (CG) call into serious question its much-touted “awareness” of the need for an Environment Impact Review (EIR).  Everything the company is doing seems to be geared towards opening the plant without an EIR. At this time construction at the plant is proceeding and Crystal Geyser refuses to submit any permit applications that could trigger an EIR.

Polluting Boilers Installed
On September 29 Crystal Geyser submitted an application to the Siskiyou County Air Pollution Control Board (APCD) to install four steam boilers in their Mount Shasta beverage plant (and plans show that a total of six boilers will eventually be installed).  According to Crystal Geyser’s application these boilers will emit over 17 thousand tons of carbon dioxide a year in addition to thousands of pounds of other pollutants and poisons!  Here is a chart of the major pollutant amounts from the four boilers revealed in the application:

Amazingly, but unsurprisingly, the APCD approved installation of these boilers with no environmental impact report (EIR), using the excuse that each boiler by itself is below the amount requiring an environmental review, but refusing to consider them as a whole. By this logic there is no limit at all to the amount of steam boilers CG can install. But Crystal Geyser was so impatient to start polluting they installed the boilers before the permit to construct was granted, causing the County to fine them a thousand dollars for the violations. Crystal Geyser seems to want to take all sorts of shortcuts to get this plant in operation.

Three Propane Generators Planned
On December 17, after the boilers were permitted, Crystal Geyser applied to the APCD to install three 375 kilowatt electrical generators to supply additional power to the plant. These large generators will be housed in building on the south of the plant and will generate even more noise from the plant as well as a substantial amount of pollutants. 

Electrical Substation and new power lines to plant
Pacific Power has applied to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to rebuild the large electrical substation on S. Old Stage Rd. and enlarge the power lines to the Crystal Geyser plant. This also requires an environmental review, but amazingly even though Crystal Geyser is a major reason for this upgrade, Pacific Power is not including the Crystal Geyser plant in its proposed environmental assessment. WA.T.E.R. and others in the community have filed protests with CPUC over this flagrant oversight.

Propane, Nitrogen and CO2 Tanks installed
Crystal Geyser has also installed a 30,000 gallon propane tank as well as large liquid carbon dioxide and nitrogen tanks next to the plant. The Crystal Geyser plant is located in a designated High Fire Hazard Zone. The National Fire Protection Act requires a Fire Risk Analysis be done on the potentially very flammable and explosive propane tank. W.A.T.E.R. cannot find that this analysis has been done. W.A.T.E.R. has filed a protest with the State Dept. of Industrial Relations about these dangerous shortcuts by Crystal Geyser.

Waste Treatment Building Going In
For months the City of Mount Shasta has been waiting to receive an application from Crystal Geyser for a permit to connect to the City's waste treatment plant. But the City has heard nothing from CG about this, leaving everyone in the dark as to what CG is planning. Meanwhile CG is now planning to construct a new building to house a "Waste Water pH Neutralization system". According to an email sent out by Crystal Geyser's Communications Manager, Jill Harris. This system is being installed to ensure all discharge going to the City Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) has been effectively neutralized. The letter goes on to state: 
"We will not proceed with wastewater discharges from the Neutralization system to the City sewer until we have obtained a City Wastewater Permit. We understand that this permit is discretionary and will require environmental review. We are prepared to address this and all other environmental impacts in the course of the previously announced EIR”

But no application to connect to the City has been submitted and no environmental review has been done. Just like the boiler being installed before the permit to construct was granted and the propane tanks installed with no inspection or permit, CG is planning a treatment process building before any permit to connect to the WWTP has been granted. W.A.T.E.R. has learned that on Dec 11 the County has issued a "stop work order" to Crystal Geyser demanding that it STOP ALL WORK that is not permitted by the County. 

It is W.A.T.E.R.'s belief that there are serious environmental concerns around this plant and this sewer connection permit is dependent upon an environmental review. However, since Crystal Geyser has announced it plans to begin with production of sparkling water only, this could be done without a connection to the City sewer system, using the on site leach field to dump rinse water. It seems like CG wants to have the entire plant built and operating before any environmental review is done, once more impatiently putting its own needs first. Crystal Geyser has made much public relation noise about "becoming aware" of the need for an EIR, but has so far refused to submit any permit applications that would trigger the need to conduct one. What are they waiting for?