Full of Crap? Blame Liberals.

That’s the story and they’re sticking to it; Republicans that is. I wrote on Friday about how Crap Costs Money. I predicted that the Republican spin doctors would blame the liberals and environmentalists for the increase in sewer fees that the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) Board of Directors approved this week.

It only took a couple hours and then there was Republican pollster and spin doctor Adam Probolsky telling people listening to the Red County Radio Roundtable that the back story to the rate increase was that there was a consent decree with the EPA that required the Board to go to full secondary treatment. The decree of course was due to enforcement of the 1972 Clean Water Act which I’m pretty sure he thinks was the result of efforts by radical environmentalists to attack business. (Note: the 1972 Clean Water Act was signed into law by President Nixon)

There he goes again… Full of Crap and blaming liberals for it.

Anyway, what Adam conveniently left out of his commentary was the fact that the consent decree (reached in November 2004) was required because the OCSD Board voted in July 2002 to not apply for a waiver of the regulations and move the district to full secondary treatment. I was at the 2002 meeting and watched the mostly conservative board consent to the will of the public speakers and vote to not submit an application for a waiver from the regulations. 

At that time the Board knew they would have to move to full secondary treatment of wastewater and that a consent decree would be needed because without it they would face astronomical penalties for non-compliance while the additional facilities were constructed.

So now that I’ve flushed away Probolsky’s crap, let me be perfectly clear here.

The increase in sewer fees due to the implementation of full secondary treatment was a ball that started rolling in 2002, not 2008.  Most of the board members at OCSD probably were not even on the board when the initial decision was made. What we are facing now is the bill for actions taken years ago. The decision is not due to Rosie Espinoza joining most of the fiscal conservatives on the Board in voting in favor of the increase. The cost of getting rid of our crap is increasing because conservative Republicans on the OCSD Board decided in 2002 that they wanted to flush less crap in the ocean off the coast of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach.

So enough of the crap guys; skip a cup of Starbucks drip coffee a month and you’ve got your increase paid for. And if you don’t drink coffee, skip that bottle of Evian water, and you’ve found the money there. At any rate, GET OVER IT! Crap Costs Money.

  2 comments for “Full of Crap? Blame Liberals.

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    March 2, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Costs are going up everywhere; why is an increase in a tax or fee, no matter how small, so painful for conservatives — especially those driving expensive cars.

  2. just...asking?
    March 3, 2008 at 10:41 am

    As a progressive liberal, I feel a bit queasy agreeing on an issue with wingnut conservatives, but on this tax/fee issue I do! Albeit for very different reasons.

    The consent decree is thrown out as the reason for the additonal costs, thats a red herring. If OCSD was not polluting the ocean beyond the legal limits there would be no consent decree. If OCSD did not have incidents of spills and the sending of untreated sewage, there would not be a consent decree.

    The need for secondary treatment was put in place years before when the directors voted for this and the GWRS plans. It was always expected for costs to rise along with these operational enhancements. Again as I’ve written on several blogs, I don’t have a problem with this. What I continue to have a problem with is how the fee/tax plan was developed and implemented. The majority of directors looked at the 10% per year amount and bought into that number even before they made decisions on the actual plant operations. Somehow they belived that the magic 10% would give them political cover. This was discussed openly in public meetings on several occasions.

    These directors decided to disregard staff input on operations in the area of odor and emmission controls. And give themselves a raise of 25% while they were going after more money.

    Just look at the plan, does anybody really believe 10% a year is going to resolve all the financial issues OCSD will be facing? No money for odor or emmisons which are increasing due to GWRS and secondary treatment are planned. They are budgeting on the hope that nobody sues or resident complaints only come from Costa Mesa who are out of their district.

    Crap costs money, yes. But we should not accept a fiscal plan that is also full of crap!

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