• Giving a Dam About Nature

    by Winston Chua 

    SGV – L.A. County’s public affairs manager declared thatsince 1993, water has been flowing down the hillsides that lead to the SantaAnita Dam and to the Sediment Placement Site, bringing with it the sediment andsilt that reduces the capacity of that dam and makes flood protection, safetyand water conservation far less effective. There are also seismic concerns.

    This knowledgehas forced L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and board members to takeaction and remove sediment before things get worse.

    This water and debris affect Arcadia, Sierra Madre, Pasadenaand neighboring cities, as it affects water importation and droughtconsideration. According to county spokesman Kerjon Lee, there are 500,000cubic yards of this that must be removed. Think of it this way: that is theequivalent of the size and density of 500,000 washing machines.

    The resultingdamage of the Station Fire of 2009 are only going to make the situation worse,over the next three to five years.

    Los Angeles County leaders are trying to increase thecapacity of that dam and remove the silt and deposits. Roughly 75 percent ofArcadians and the entire city of Sierra Madre will have their water suppliesimpacted as a result.

    But there isan effort from environmental community to save some or all of the 11 acres ofland that could be affected by the uprooting of valuable oak and sycamoretrees.

    Tonight,December 16 at 7 p.m. at Highland Oaks Elementary School located at 10 VirginiaRoad in Arcadia, there will be a discussion from local residents and residentsof the county who will see if there are substantive alternatives to the currentproposal, which could include wiping out a good chunk of oaks and sycamores.

    Glen Owens,founder of the Big Santa Anita Historical Society and a Monrovia planningcommissioner, is one who said that it is “criminal” to touch the pristine oakwoodland.

    The county is100-percent responsible for the project, according to Arcadia City Manager DonPenman and Arcadia City Councilman Bob Harbicht and has opposed trucking thesediment because it could potentially interfere with homeowners, schools, noisepollution and traffic with the vibration and dust that it causes. He is infavor of a 1-mile conveyor-belt system to transfer the dirt.

    Last week, MikeAntonovich and county board members agreed to put a 30-day hold on the damproject.

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