Download: Letter to Cindy Tuck

RIALTO - City officials are seeking $23 million in emergency funds from the state because of perchlorate contamination in the drinking water.

The contamination is not new nor has an emergency been officially declared, but Rialto has been battling the perchlorate for years.

It found its way into the groundwater from the past manufacturing at industrial facilities of military rockets, fireworks and other explosives.

On Aug. 29, members of the City Council met in Sacramento with a number of state officials, including Dan Dunmoyer, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's deputy chief of staff.

Dunmoyer suggested that Rialto look into declaring a state of emergency.

"It's the only way we can get emergency funds from the governor. We have to do it," said City Councilman Ed Scott, concerning the possible declaration of a state of emergency.

Scott is a member of the council's perchlorate subcommittee.

The council will likely vote at its next meeting on whether to declare the emergency, he said.

Perchlorate, which could cause a number of health effects by interfering with the thyroid, has been flowing through Rialto from industrial sites on the city's north end.

It could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up.

The contamination has generated more attention in Sacramento since last month, when a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge halted state hearings to determine if three companies - Pyro Spectaculars, Goodrich and Black & Decker - should have to clean some of the contamination.

The city laid out its funding request in a letter to Cindy Tuck, undersecretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The city would use the money to stop the perchlorate from continuing to move through the Rialto Basin and contaminating more clean water.

Much of the money Rialto requested would also help the city better understand the extent of the contamination.

Rialto has developed plans that spell out what needs to be done in order to better understand the total cleanup cost and the extent of the contamination.

The city wants to use the state money to gather that information, Scott said.

Then Rialto could take out an insurance policy, and parties such as the suspected polluters, would pay into the policy, to guarantee that the cleanup would be paid for.

"We are seeking an emergency cleanup while we urge the state to toughen its enforcement effort against the (potentially responsible parties)," reads the letter, signed by Scott and Councilwoman Winnie Hanson, the other member of the perchlorate subcommittee.

In another move that could provide Rialto with millions of dollars in cleanup money, the state Assembly last week amended legislation, which had already passed in the Senate, to provide about $50 million in remaining Proposition 84 money for drinking water cleanup.

The money set aside by the Assembly amendment should go to the poorest, most populated and most contaminated areas, said Alicia Trost, a spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland.

Perata wrote the original bill.

"So Rialto of course is included in that group," Trost said.

Scott said he hopes Rialto can get $15 million to $20 million of that money.

Both Assembly chambers were expected to vote on the legislation during an all-night session on Tuesday.


BS Ranch Perspective:

When is The Rialto City Administrator going to Wake up, and go to the City Council and ask for the City's Council's Resignation. After all Owen's handling of the Perchlorate Contamination in the water was Very Flawed from the Beginning. He Started off with a massive Law Suit, Opening huge billable hours for him and his Law Firm, from which he knows that the city cannot afford. The Gamble was that the money that was generated by the Law Suit would be paid not by the City but by the private business that was named in the law suit, however the Businesses have been winning their portion of the law suits and it has made it hard for the city now to make a simple request to the Federal Government, (namely the Environment Protection Agency), to come in and assist in the clean up of the Perchlorate.

Now that there is an Active Law Suit the EPA will not just step in and clean up the mess, they must wait to allow the law suit to go the full suit, now that the City of Rialto has spent over $23Million on the clean up and they have not gotten anything done to clean up the perchlorate, other then shutting down the wells that had tested beyond the measurable amount that is considered to be toxic, well the wells that are getting small amounts of Perchlorate contamination could be getting more toxic, however they might only do spot checking, but that is not information that is given to the public.

Now the city's counselor has to go to the state to bail himself out of the trouble that he has dug himself into! The Rialto City Administrator Garcia still sits in his office while all this goes on, $23 Million of the city's money has been spent and is gone, if this was the Police Department and this kind of money was mishandled, I can say with 100% honesty that the City's Administrator would fire the Police Chief and accuse him of being a thief! Then the Police Department would be torn to bits in the news and the whole Police Department would be called Corrupt!! Wait, we have been down this road, only with a real Corrupt Police Chief, Just like the Cities Attorney seems to be more and more corrupt, with billing more and more money to the city when he gets the second largest check, if not the largest check second only to the City Administrator.

Wait, that City Administrator is the one that sits on his hands when it seems to be the time to look into getting a new City Counsel. But who am I? I am just a Concerned Citizen that they are supposed to represent! A Citizen that they are supposed to represent without profit to self!!

BS Ranch