Press Release - For immediate release October 22, 2000

Contact: Richard Garcia 732-3785, 592-9865

Sierra Club to File Suit Against TID

The Visalia based Mineral King Group of the Sierra Club plans legal action to force the Tulare Irrigation District to do a new Environmental Impact Report for the proposed canal lining project. At an October18, 2000 Farmersville Planning Commission meeting, it was disclosed that TID had not addressed the impact of a proposed cement batch plant in their EIR hearings. At that meeting Mary Moy, a Sierra Club representative, informed the Planning Commission that TIDıs final EIR was not in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Farmersville Planning Commission unanimously voted to delay granting a conditional use permit to contractor R&L Brosamer Inc. Concerned citizens expressed outrage when informed that when the concrete mixing plant was in full operation, it would result in about 150 round-trip truck trips a day. Planning Commission members voiced concern over the negative impact the project would have on the citizens of Farmersville. The issues of traffic safety, dust, noise, and road damage were discussed by speakers in the public comment session of the meeting.

Sierra Club spokesman Richard Garcia said ³TIDıs omission of the Farmersville batch plant was a clear violation of Section 15165 of the CEQA act. By not addressing the negative impact of the batch plant, they side-stepped their obligation to mitigate the environmental problems that they would impose on the community.²

Garcia also called for an investigation of TIDıs refusal to apply for a Stream Bed Alteration Permit from the California Department of Fish and Game. TID claims that they are exempt from the permit requirements because the canal is entirely a man made structure. Opponents of the project have argued that; it is a natural waterway, that landowners have riparian water rights, and that a project of this scope requires a Stream Bed Alteration Permit. Garcia stated ³In light of TID testimony in a 1981 legal case, where TID argued the canal was a natural waterway, it is obvious that the project is subject to California Department of Fish and Game review.²

From: Sierra Club - Mineral King Group
P.O. Box 3543
Visalia CA 93278-3543