Note: the Board of Supervisors is expected to rule on this appeal December 12. For more information, see the W.A.T.E.R. group’s website.
Letter to the Editor
Mt. Shasta Herald
Siskiyou Daily News
November 17, 2017
On Thursday, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors heard six hours of testimony during the Crystal Geyser EIR Appeal hearing. Many experts explained fine details of the environmental and economic harm an inadequately mitigated project will cause.
Yet as I listened, I realized a single number drives every study: exactly how much water will Crystal Geyser really use?
In my business career, I managed finances and created economic models for a $70 million international manufacturing operation. All such models started and ended with sales and therefore production assumptions. Those drove requirements for labor, material and other costs of bringing outputs to market.
Crystal Geyser’s 233,000 gallon per day average (not peak) projection may be correct, or simply a fantasy pulled out of thin air. Who knows? Previously, it was 345,000. The EIR is inadequate for one big reason – absolutely nothing ensures this number is true. There is no enforceable development agreement and no way to monitor pumping to ensure accuracy and accountability.
All the studies, all the expert testimony, and all the analysis fade into irrelevance if someday the company just decides that’s not enough water for them. It can double, perhaps triple – they won’t say, much less commit. We will be left holding the bag, completely unable to defend ourselves from increased harm.
When people keep secrets, many times it’s because they have something to hide. In business, we create contracts. That keeps things clear and honest.
With no control of how much water Crystal Geyser can take, this EIR is obviously, fatally flawed. The right decision for the Board of Supervisors is crystal clear: support the appeal, and send the project back to the drawing board for a legally compliant EIR, with a development agreement that holds the company to its word.
Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center