The Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) Sanitation District announced Monday that the three remaining legal challenges to the agency’s state-mandated
The Chloride Compliance Project has been completed.
Officials claim that this development will save Santa Clarita ratepayers additional legal costs and allow the completion of the Chloride Compliance Project.
Attorney Robert Silverstein represented the Affordable Clean Water Association (ACWA) as the plaintiff in the litigation. Since 2013, ACWA has filed five lawsuits against the SCV Sanitation District all related to alleged failures to comply with California’s Environmental Quality Act, according to officials.
Two cases were settled years ago.
The SCV Sanitation District prevailed on ACWA’S third lawsuit but ACWA pursued an appeal that finally ended in February. ACWA’s fourth and fifth lawsuits were dismissed on Feb. 28, according to officials.
The lawsuits were related to the SCV Sanitation District’s efforts to comply with state and federal mandates on the amount of chloride (salt) allowed in cleaned
sewage (wastewater) is discharged to the
Santa Clara River to support the increased use recycled water in Santa Clarita Valley.
The Chloride Compliance Project coupled with SCV voters’ 2008 approval of a first-in-the nation ban on home water softeners that add salt to the sewer system were intended to improve water quality in the Santa Clara River watershed.
However, ACWA’s legal challenges delayed compliance with the state
The chloride mandate was extended for two years and cost SCV ratepayers almost $8 million.
These problems also delayed the planning and implementation SCV recycled water projects, which could be particularly useful to residents during this current drought.
“This has been a long, hard road to get to this point. I’m proud that we persevered and stuck up for what we knew to be legal and right,” said Laurene Weste, chairperson of the SCV Sanitation District Board. “While I agree with the intent of the California Environmental
Quality Act, this set of lawsuits
This is an example of how the law can be used to delay projects that are supposed to protect the environment
to generate financial settlements.”
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