I am contacting you to express my continued concern that a CEQA exemption was accepted in the groundwater pumping (a groundwater interim measure) at well#WS9a at Santa Susana's Area II. This is being done to prevent a seep from emerging in a drainage up gradient from NPDES permit outfall 2 from the site. This is done because this particular seep presents a health concern to wildlife as it has VOC impacts of roughly 100 ppb in TCE.
They are treating the groundwater pumped (a good thing), but then they are discharging it to a completely different drainage, effectively depriving the entire watershed and related eco-system of life-sustaining water. This is a 24/7 365 days a year stream (the Chastain waterfall in the back of bell canyon) which is now dry.
We stood at the outfall (19) and saw the very different place of discharge, compared to point of pumping. The solution being applied is to deprive all water that the same wildlife is dependent on for survival. They have put out tubs with little ramps for [critters] to drink from, and while I appreciate the intent, what about all the plant life? Root systems cannot move in this way. Hundreds of species depend on the oak woodlands for their habitat and this water is crucial to sustain those species.
Today, I saw a lynx (bobcat) in the equestrian center in Bell Canyon because he is looking for water in the creek -- now dry. He has been spotted twice this week by others. (I will bring my camera from now on). We are also seeing lots of other examples of wildlife being pushed into the community and putting themselves into danger, looking for water. Deer, coyote and even a mountain lion. We have an unheard-of population of hummingbirds in the horse stalls because of this water loss. While remarkable, it's an important sign of impacts to the eco-systems that can have far-reaching effects.
I am deeply concerned that we will potentially lose these precious endangered species, and the root systems of the oaks (hundreds of oak trees that are protected) rely on groundwater recharge. That won't happen without this creek running. This is moon-scaping from the bottom-up and will devastate these fragile eco-systems. I have photographed the Humboldt Lilly at this waterfall. We really must protect these precious and rare species and I believe there are easy solutions that accomplish the cleanup objective while not putting the current eco-system at risk.
Please help us convince Boeing and the other responsible parties (NASA and DOE) to discharge the treated water to the same drainage it came from, instead of drying one drainage and wetting another (that is otherwise only seasonal but now is running like never before). These modifications to nature have far-reaching affects. Please allow me to show you first-hand and through my photographs, just how profound an impact this is turning out to be. This is so important and truly what I believe the purpose of CEQA to be. I look forward to hearing from you.
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