Sonoma County Gazette, May 2007

Basin Plan Amendment Changes Proposed:  Low Threat Discharges and Incidental Runoff

By Brenda Adelman

Are you prepared to recreate in wastewater?  You say “no”?  Well it won’t officially happen this summer, but the North Coast Regional Board has begun to consider an amendment to the North Coast Basin Plan that would eliminate the prohibition against summer wastewater discharges.  Their purpose would be to allow “incidental” runoff of wastewater resulting from summer irrigation.

Many locals realize that fish are as important as people in terms of exposure to toxins in water because when we eat fish, we are eating what they ate.  Furthermore, fish are like canaries in the mine; if they can’t survive, then ultimately, neither can we.  (Canaries used to be sent down into mine shafts to see if there was enough oxygen for miners.  The miners didn’t go down if the birds died.)