Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
May 25th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

Mark StoneWhat are some of the persisting safety issues with drinking water in the state, and what would the Freshwater Protection Fund change?

More than 16 million Californians get at least some of their drinking water from groundwater, which comes from both public water supplies and private wells. The state regulates and tests our communities’ public water systems, but private domestic wells are unregulated and untested. As a result, many neighborhoods throughout California, especially those in agricultural areas, currently lack safe drinking water due to nitrate-contaminated groundwater. This contamination comes primarily from nitrogen in fertilizer used to grow crops. If consumed at a dangerous concentration, nitrate contaminated water can put individuals, especially pregnant women and infants, at a particularly high risk for serious health problems and even death. Newborns can suffer from “blue baby syndrome,” where there is not enough oxygen in their blood, and adults can experience gastric problems. 

Most communities with nitrates in their water lack the funding resources to clean up their water supply or start getting water from other sources. Sadly, California does not have the infrastructure or a dedicated fund to assist with providing clean drinking water.

Springfield Terrace, an agricultural community in Monterey County, provides a sobering example of the problem of nitrate contamination in drinking water. Since 1986, wells in this community have shown nitrate levels above the 45 parts per million (ppm) level considered safe. At this time, some of this community’s wells have nitrate levels reaching as high as 300 ppm. Residents of this predominantly farm worker community can’t afford to increase water rates to finance the replacement of their contaminated well, nor can they afford to travel 20 miles to purchase water for daily use.

That’s why I introduced legislation to establish the Freshwater Protection Fund, also known as Assembly Bill 467. The purpose of this fund is to create a reliable, stable funding source to provide long-term safe drinking water infrastructure as well as short-term solutions for communities impacted by nitrate contamination.

Specifically, the money in the fund can be used for “direct” and “indirect” assistance to help ensure that our water is safe to drink. Direct assistance includes the provision of alternate non community water supplies, closures of wells impacting groundwater, and monitoring of private wells and grants. Indirect assistance includes public education and awareness campaigns, evaluation of water management practices, and other research.  It’s long past time to ensure that all Californians’ drinking water is safe.  This legislation is long overdue. AB 467 is currently under consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

What are your thoughts on the governor’s proposed May budget revision?

In the legislature, we need to pass an on-time, balanced state budget by June 15.  I appreciate the governor’s commitment to maintaining fiscal stability, and I look forward to being part of the process to review thoroughly the governor’s proposals and revenue projections. As a member of the Budget Committee, I want to make sure that the final budget continues fiscal responsibility, strengthens the middle class, and protects our state’s most vulnerable residents.

Ultimately, I, along with my colleagues in the legislature, will focus on making sure our state takes the critical steps needed to improve our schools, small businesses, safety net, higher education, courts and other key areas that have been harmed during the Great Recession. I will be sure to update you on our progress over the next month. 

Comments (2)Add Comment
I'm Puzzled
written by Water Guy, June 24, 2013
The State (CDPH) regulates large public water systems however, counties regulate anything below 199 connections. In addition, CDPH already... provides funding to public water systems. County EHS offices are already in the business of (or are chartered to and thus already should be) doing what is proposed above. This piece of legislation is reinventing the wheel and as far as I'm concerned a waste of time because the mechanisms are already in place to do what is described above.
Monterey Bay Conservancy
written by Douglas Deitch, May 23, 2013
This is laughable. No one is more responsible for our dire nitrate and salt water intrusion ground water contamination catastrophes in the Monterey Bay Region than former supe and Coastal Commissioner Stone, who purposefully ignored and neglected both our laws and LCP (www.pogonip.org/ord.htm) and his oath to us all to do exactly that ... www.ourinconvenienttruth.org , www.thinklocalactlocal.org , www.thinklocalactlocal.net

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival