Rush Through $30 Million Sewer Plant Plan
Despite massive opposition by the people of Dixon, state officials have pushed forward the plans to build a $30 million “activated sludge” sewer plant for Dixon.
The Region 5 Water Quality Board met on the Dixon issue on Friday, August 8. Their agenda showed Dixon as Item number 20 – with other matters to take over four hours and Dixon set to be considered in the afternoon. But when Dixonites arrived just after noon, they were told the meeting was over – and Dixon came up at 11:30 and voted on by 11:45.
When confronted by the Dixon residents, Water Board’s staff admitted they knew people were coming to oppose the plan – but the board decided to rush the decision through without the Dixonites’ input.
On Tuesday, August 19, the Water Board’s State Revolving Fund committee likewise snubbed the citizens – allowing three speakers only three minutes each to speak to the issue. That committee spent more time introducing a delegation from Japan, and patting themselves on the back over a program to motivate school children over the drought.
The committee members were determined to get out on time for their lunch break – and not interested in considering any information that would delay their lunch break.
At both meetings, the Dixon taxpayers’ contingent intended to show there are alternatives that are both considerably less expensive and more effective in protecting the environment. The Activate Sludge plan does not remove ANY of the targeted material from the sewer effluent, but only dilutes the waste water by reducing evaporation from sewer ponds.
Mike Ceremello attempted to present relatively new, but proven, Ferrate Treatment methods that actually remove those materials, and even breaks down pharmaceuticals – which is a growing concern as people dispose of their unused medicines down drains. The Ferrate process would cost only a fraction of the approved scheme.
The attitude of the revolving fund committee was expressed by Steven Moore – a member of the committee – who praised the taxpayers interest in studying new technology, but then argued “Engineers are cautious by nature and want to stick with tried and true methods such as activated sludge – and not try new things.”
Through the morning on other issues, the committee staff and members repeatedly claimed they want “stakeholder” input – but when Dixon’s taxpayers noted the people of Dixon are the “stakeholders” the state officials ignored their hypocrisy.
The two state committees also ignored their violation of the policy they adopted in June which stated no mandates should be adopted that “compel the irretrievable commitment of major resources.”
The revolving fund committee was asked if $30 million constitutes “major resources.”