MOUNT SHASTA CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS STATE THAT CRYSTAL GEYSER WILL NOT PROCEED WITH BEVERAGE BOTTLING PROJECT!
At the May 11 Mount Shasta city council meeting council member Tim Stearns stated that Crystal Geyser representatives had called council members to inform them that Crystal Geyser has “no intention of proceeding” with the project, that they have placed the property up for sale and that they have “vacated” the building that was to be the beverage bottling plant on Ski Village Drive. Council member Stearns advocated using this information to annex the property into the city limits to have more control over the property’s future development. Stearns had previously been one of the major boosters of the project, having "cut the ribbon" for it at a ceremony in 2013.
This is potentially very good news for all of the community members and others concerned about our mountain environment and the type of development suitable for our community. Over the past six years many of you have put in huge amounts money, time, and resources to understand this project. We demanded an environmental review (against the desires of the County supervisors) to protect our area from this possible water depletion, pollution and noise. None of this would have been possible without community support, well attended public meetings, EIR comments, and financial donations.
The City Council statements were made shortly after W.A.T.E.R. and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe filed the opening briefs on April 16 in our lawsuit challenging the fatally flawed Crystal Geyser EIR with the Appellate Court in Sacramento. The brief laid out the many flaws with the County's approval of the CG EIR challenging impacts on air quality, aesthetics, greenhouse gas emissions, noise and water and county enforcement.
Our opening statement from our appeal stated:
"In certifying the EIR and approving the Project without any upper limit on the amount of water CGWC may pump out of the ground for consumptive use, the County violated fundamental mandates of California law and its own land use plans and ordinances.
Significant environmental problems with the Project stem from its location in a pristine
mountain area, adjacent to a quiet, residential neighborhood. The area surrounding the bottling facility is also within aboriginal territory of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, near natural springs that are sacred and have significance in Tribal culture.
The proposed bottling facility’s significant impacts to water supply, water quality, noise, air quality, aesthetics, and land use, were not adequately addressed in the EIR process. Among significant problems explained by WATER and the Tribe, the Project will have unknown impacts to the groundwater supply for two reasons: (1) the County refused to do groundwater studies on the actual aquifer impacted by the Project, and (2) because there is no upper limit on extraction of groundwater. CGWC may pump as much groundwater as it wishes for any purpose and there is nothing in the conditions of approval for the caretaker’s residence limiting extraction.” (See entire brief HERE)
We are not yet sure what this announcement from City Council members will mean for our ongoing court challenge to the EIR. What is certain is that the City. the County and local area residents need to be vigilant and imaginative about what this property will become.