Kern County is supporting a proposed state law that would allow counties to limit sludge coming from other counties.
Kern County Supervisors gave their support Tuesday to Assembly Bill 371, which would authorize the supervisors by majority vote to regulate or prohibit the land application of sewage sludge in the county's unincorporated areas by adopting and enforcing ordinances that are more stringent than state or federal law.
In the second item, supervisors stated opposition to legislation to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas operations and support of hydraulic fracturing regulations to protect drinking water.
In information presented to the board, County Administrative Officer John Nilon wrote that the ordinance approved in 2006 by county voters banning land application of sludge in unincorporated areas was immediately challenged by Southern California sanitation districts and the city of Los Angeles.
"In June 2010, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a Ninth Circuit decision upholding the ban, the city of Los Angeles filed a lawsuit in Superior Court," Nilon said. "In June 2011, a Tulare Superior Court judge ruled that Los Angeles was likely to prevail in its lawsuit and enjoined the county from enforcing its ordinance banning sludge spreading.
"The county appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Fresno, which upheld the Superior Court decision on Feb. 12, 2013."
The Assembly bill "makes declarations and findings that the unique and special problems associated with land application of sewage sludge require a special statute" that would allow the county to control the sludge for the public good, he said.
The board applauds your introduction of AB 371, 3rd District Supervisor Mike Maggard, chairman of the board, wrote to State Sen. Jean Fuller.
" … Even heat-treated sewage sludge can contain dangerous metals and other toxic substances that could contaminate crops and water tables if spread on agricultural lands," Maggard said.
"AB 371 makes declarations and findings that the unique and special problems associated with land application of sewage sludge require a special statute enabling Kern County to control sewage sludge for the public good.
"The bill provides definitive legislative authority for the Board of Supervisors to adopt an ordinance to control or prohibit sludge-spreading in unincorporated areas of the county, as long as the ordinance does not discriminate against sludge imported from another county.
"Our board supports AB 371 and stands ready to work with you for its enactment."
The board made a determination of a public nuisance and ordered abatement and cleaning-up of five properties in Boron, Mojave and Onyx.
The properties are:
•Boarding-up and cleaning-up of property at 24254 Chaparral Ave., Boron, $6,000;
•Boarding-up and cleaning-up of property at 27096 Cote St., Boron, $6,000;
•Boarding-up and cleaning-up of property at 26924, 26926 and 26936 Prospect St., Boron, $5,000;
Page 2 of 2 - •Boarding-up and cleaning-up of property at 15320 Myer Road, Mojave, $6,000;
•Cleaning-up of property at 17017 Jill St., Onyx, $3,000.
In other actions, supervisors:
• Adopted a resolution finding that administrative penalties of $157,000 for the violation of a county ordinance is due and payable solely from the owner/operator of Medical Marijuana Dispensary 661 Medical Inc. and that property-owner Paul Carlson is not responsible for violations that took place at 2689 Sierra Highway, Rosamond.
•Approved a letter supported by 1st District Supervisor Mick Gleason backing the application by the Inyokern Airport District for designation as one of the National Test Sites for development and testing of unmanned air systems by the Federal Aviation Administration.
•Approved an ordinance establishing a 40-miles-per-hour speed limit on Mahan Street between Springer Avenue and China Lake Boulevard, Ridgecrest.
•Approved an offer of dedication of public road right-of-way and inclusion into the county-maintained road system for portions of 55th Street West and Astoria Avenue, Rosamond.
*Approved transfer of $273,675.80 in unclaimed money from the Suspense Trust Fund to the county's General Fund. Those wishing to see a list of names and amounts of unclaimed money should contact the county Treasurer and Tax Collector's office.
•Appointed Ron Orrin of Taft as 4th District member to the Greater Taft Economic Development Authority, with a term to expire at the pleasure of the board;
•Reappointed Ronald Curtis Sprague as 4th District member to the Planning Commission, with a term to expire Jan. 1, 2015;
•Appointed Robin Fleming as 4th District member to the Board of Trade, with a term to expire at the pleasure of the board;
•Reappointed Michael Joseph Yraceburn as at-large member to the Animal Control Commission, with a term to expire Feb. 28, 2017;
•Proclaimed April as Donate Life Awareness Month in Kern County;
•Proclaimed April 8-12 as Adult Education Week in Kern County;
• Proclaimed April 7-13 as National Boys and Girls Club Week in Kern County;
• Proclaimed April 14-20 as National Library Week in Kern County;
•Retroactively proclaimed March 18-24 as Women's Military History Week in Kern County;
•Approved the annual agreement with the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force for loaned aircraft at Boron Aerospace Museum and Meadows Field Airport;
•Approved plans and specifications for automatic door hardware at Inyokern, Rosamond, Kern River Valley, Richard Prado and East Niles Senior Centers.