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It is all about the water 

SLO Self Governance Action Committee, San Luis Obispo

“All eyes on water” (June 21) by Kathy Johnston was rather shocking in the fact that farmers are blamed for the Central Coast drinking water pollution. Even with regulations, monitoring tier upon tier of all approved and regulated pesticides, herbicides, and nutrients, even with rules in place from numerous regulatory agencies—Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Water Resources Control Board, not to mention the FDA and EPA—pollution still happens. And this article seems to be focused on one nutrient in particular that is somehow exceeding levels and of great concern.

I can hardly imagine what the reaction would be from the farming community subjected to this kind of scrutiny, oversight, monitoring, and reporting when they learn that someone would be allowed to operate in this area exempted from every one of those rules and regulations. And not just exempted from one particular application but from 750 toxic, known cancer-causing, fish-killing, flammable ingredients that would be directly injected into the watershed and groundwater without having to pass one inspection. And enjoy immunity and non disclosure of certain chemical concoctions because of patent protections. How do you monitor an unknown?

Interesting, too, that under an exemption, the Regional Water Quality Board, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Board of Supervisors, and city councils can do nothing to stop the pollution and contamination from occurring. Their hands are tied.

The farmers watching all their efforts to be in compliance, and the water board concentrating on making sure they are in compliance, powerless to implement safeguards, just seems a monumental waste of time, effort, and resources. One day in operation by a company that is exempt from these rules could easily wipe out a lifetime of efforts by farmers, water quality boards, a community—and impact the area in a way we would not see a recovery or restoration in our lifetime.

The process is hydraulic fracturing, the exemption is called the Halliburton Loophole, and it is all about the water, folks.

-- Jeanne Blackwell - San Luis Obispo

-- Jeanne Blackwell - San Luis Obispo

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