By Patric Hedlund
Tejon Ranch personnel told a state agency July 15 that they do “not intend to artificially maintain the [Castac / Tejon] lake level,” according to a letter from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Valley Region) to the TriCounty Watchdog citizen group.
The lake has been kept nearly full for over five years. The agency’s letter confirms that it is groundwater pumped into the lake has artificially maintained the lake.
Tejon Ranch Company spokesperson Barry Zoeller did not answer inquires regarding the July 15 “teleconference” statement mentioned in the letter.
The TriCounty watchdogs contended in their inquiry to the agency that the volume of groundwater used to maintain the lake may adversely affect the quantity and quality of groundwater for other users. They also said that by keeping the lake full, the lake bed can no longer serve as a cath basin for run off, may increase downstream flooding.
The citizens’ group also said that the exclusion of the lake from the Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for Tejon Mountain Village project reduces environmental review and expedites approval to build the housing project
Two public hearings for Tejon Mountain Village are already scheduled. The Kern County Planning Commission will hold a hearing September 10 (7 p.m.) and a final hearing will be held by the Kern County Board of Supervisors on September 22 (2 p.m.). The public is welcome to speak at both events. Both are held at 1115 Truxton Avenue, Bakersfield.
This is part of the August 21, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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