By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Keith MayLots of protesters shot off their mouths last year during a loud campaign that forced the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) to clean up the quarter-million gallons of sewage it flushes into the local ocean every day. It was great. We like protesters.
But we love activists. They are the people who have quietly stuck around after the noise died down to make sure the OCSD really does clean up that sewage—and, maybe even, to help.
Cleaning poop isn't cheap. But one of those activists, Randy Fuhrman of Huntington Beach, suggests that locals might persuade the federal government to help. He's exhorting the public to write letters to the OC congressional delegation, asking them to work for a $3 million-per-year, 10-year federal grant to the OCSD.
"If everyone who spoke (at OCSD board meetings) over the past two years about the waiver issue also wrote a letter, we'd be in business," Fuhrman says.
The wording can be pretty basic. Point out to each of these representatives that Orange County voluntarily chose to clean up its sewage at a cost of $400 million and that you are asking this show of responsibility be matched with another—namely $30 million—to help offset the cost. Heck, that's short enough you can write it on the john.
This is not an unreasonable request. In more environmentally progressive times, the federal government supplied 87.5 percent of the money to build secondary treatment facilities. Even after that program expired, Los Angeles County received a $50 million grant to build its facilities in the 1990s. Orange County's request is for only $30 million.
So don't feel guilty about writing that letter. But you might want to wash your hands before licking the stamp.
For a list of Congressional addresses, contact Randy Fuhrman at firstname.lastname@example.org.