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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

July, 2005

 

10 Million Gallon Mega Tank Slated For San Geronimo Valley
By Submission

SPAWN, the San Geronimo Valley Planning Group, and a growing number of environmental organizations are extremely concerned about a Marin Municipal Water District proposal to construct a 10 million gallon water tank buried on Blueberry Ridge in Woodacre that could have devastating impacts on our beloved coho salmon.

Background
This proposal threatens to undo decades of environmental protection in the County Wide Plan and roll back policies, long fought for, in our local Community Plan. The environmental, social, and health impacts would create severe short and long-term impacts and major disruption to our Valley community. Here is a partial list of impacts:
Environmental:
a. Removes a large section of Blueberry Ridge (100,000 yards) and replaces its current natural contours with a flat surface surrounded by fencing and possible security lighting.
b. Digs a 300'x 100' x 60' hole; excavates 151,000 cubic yards of soil and rock for tank and pipes; buries several thousand feet of 36" pipe, some through mapped landslide areas.
c. Chemically dissolves several feet of solid bedrock; creates an access road 1600' long and 12' wide during excavation and construction phases.
d. Threatens two entire year classes of endangered Coho salmon should a seismic event or other catastrophic tank failure occur in which chloramine-treated water is released into San Geronimo Creek.
Construction: An estimated 5,000 dump truck loads will releases diesel fumes and noise into the Valley and surrounding communities; unexpected delays will exacerbate health, environmental, safety and transportation issues.
Legal: Violates the Marin County Wide Plan and the San Geronimo Valley Community Plan that specifically prohibit ridge-line development; and uses the District's power of eminent domain to seize private property of four Valley families, plus part of George Flanders' Ranch.
Health:
a. Creates public safety hazards from 45 thousand tons of water, concrete and steel buried directly above residents. Uses unknown chemicals for dissolving bedrock.
b. Puts particulate matter into streams damaging recovering salmon populations.
c. Causes excavated particulate matter to be trapped in the Valley's documented inversion layer.
d. Creates heavy noise pollution.
e. Potential impact of a seismic event. There is a fault line in the area.

Transportation: Ties up traffic on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Geronimo Valley Drive, and in neighboring communities as 5000 - 7000 truckloads roll to and from the site.
SPAWN is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting threatened coho salmon and steelhead trout and the environment on which we all depend. The protection of these keystone species leads to the protection of all wildlife of our community, and indeed the protection of ourselves and the land on which we live.

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