Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beating a dead horse (or rock) department

This from the Archives of the Las Vegas Review Journal December. 2001 - rather dated but you can see how bad environmental news tends to follow this company around... The question must be asked - are they responsible environmental stewards or not?


California agency

faces pollution fines

The California Department of Transportation faces possible fines of up to $50,000 over water quality violations from construction work on Interstate 80 east of Truckee.

The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board is proposing $10,000 fines for five separate violations between July 10 and Sept. 19 involving unauthorized discharges of turbid water into the Truckee River.

In some cases, storm runoff from uncovered stockpiles of soil sent more significant amounts of turbid water into the Truckee, Caltrans officials acknowledge.

Lahontan will hold a two-day public hearing beginning Jan. 9 to determine if the fines will be upheld, dismissed or reduced.

Eric Taxer, a Lahontan water quality specialist, said all violations occurred between July 10 and Sept. 19 on an I-80 project between Truckee and Floriston.

While Lahontan is holding Caltrans responsible, the violations resulted from work performed by the prime contractor and subcontractors, Caltrans officials said.

"The majority (of violations) are from subcontractors," Caltrans engineer Kirk Carrington told Truckee's Sierra Sun newspaper.

He declined to name the companies. Granite Construction is the prime contractor.

Caltrans was required to report the violations to Lahontan.

"We have a permit with Caltrans, and any enforcement action we take is with Caltrans," Taxer said. "The purpose of the penalty is to act as a deterrent."

Any fines imposed likely will be passed on to Granite Construction and subcontractors, Carrington said.


Anonymous said...

You need to read Harper's this month; there is a fascinating discussion (the quarry is an interesting parallel- adds to the economy-detracts from the quality of life) about how our economic productivity is solely, and wrongly calculated on a growth basis- it's good if GDP is up REGARDLESS of the components of that growth- their examples are that increased spending on health care costs (think long term care for avoidable diseases) reflect positively on the economy- regardless if the cost could have been avoided with better health care- and oil price increases are a "growth" factor- despite the depleting resource = a resource that is not reflected in the analysis of the current health of the economy.

Fascinating discussion- reflects our pursuit of "goals" rather than values.

Blue Heron said...

Interesting analysis - will try to find the Harpers. We need to reframe our "values" to decide the overall impact of growth at any cost. Yes, aggregate is expensive and yes, we need to build some roads and bridges, but since it is readily available from other sources, why should we value its cheap availability over people's quality of life and real environmental concerns?

NYSTAN said...

geeesh...this is a stretch for a guy who lives off Central Park West and gets to walk past famous people in the mornings...guys like that red haired guitar player from Phish, and Kevin Bacon, Alek Baldwin...so I say Quarry Shmarry....why can't you guys just buy them out and turn it into a land trust? I mean, you are talking about ROCKS....what a fucked up situation. Hope you can get it worked out.
Meanwhile, I hear that Calexico is a nice place this time of year...if that is how it is spelled. The senior photographer at the New York Times comes from there...long journey from there to here...check out his photos some time. A brilliant eye and also a hell of a painter....Librado Romero. Sometimes I see a photo in the paper and say to myself, 'DAMN, WISH I HAD TAKEN THAT PHOTO' and more times than not, there is a Li Romero byline.