Is Cal Am trying to get around the CEQA?

montereyherald – excerpt

The issue with the California American Water slant well isn’t if it is successfully pumping seawater, it is that Cal Am is simultaneously increasing seawater intrusion in the Salinas River Basin aquifers.

This is what the multimillion-dollar Castroville Seawater Intrusion Project (CSIP) was designed to stop. CSIP was doing a good job until the test slant well started drawing seawater into the aquifers. Now nearby growers’ wells are displaying significant increases in saltwater intrusion.

No one from Cal Am or the so-called Hydrological Working Group has taken the time to check with these growers to confirm this.

Now multiply that effect by eight production slant wells drawing water from the aquifer and you can kiss the CSIP investment goodbye.

Because the slant well was originally designated a test well, it was not required to pass the California Environmental Quality Act requirements. However, Cal Am has redesignated the test slant well as a production backup well. Are they are trying to circumvent CEQA? Why?

Finally, it’s all about cost, an estimated $6,000 per acre-foot for Cal Am water vs. an estimated $2,000 for publicly owned desalinated water.

Which would you like to pay?

— Charles Cech, Monterey… (more)

What we need to change in Sacramento: How do we change the pilot, test program exclusion to CEQA reviews? This is how “they” are getting away with a lot of projects. This needs to be on the list of questions we ask Wiener and Kim and everyone running for state office. Cities all over the state are having the same problem with these “tests” turning into permanent changes, by-passing CEQA reviews or public debate.

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