Prisoners Drink Sewer Water – Levees at Risk/Homeless/Giant Nutria – Rodenticide/Anticoagulant

Prisoners Drink Sewer Water  
Levees at Risk/Homeless/Giant Nutria 
Rodenticide/Anticoagulant
News Updates
Excerpts:
Bottled water tab at a California prison has hit $46,000 a month

Excerpts:
What was intended as a state-of-the-art, $32 million prison water treatment plant has turned into yet another state infrastructure boondoggle. Since the plant’s completion in 2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Deuel Vocational Institution, which uses brackish wells on its grounds, is supposed to run the water through a two-step treatment process before it reaches 2,300 prisoners and 1,000 corrections employees.

 

According to a July 2018 news report, the prison’s water plant in the town of Tracy has spent much of its life offline, requiring bottled water to be provided at the Deuel facility. Since October 2017 alone, the prison spent around $417,000 on bottled water.

The problem is not a new one. Like other prisoners across the country, those held at Deuel had been complaining about the taste and color of the water, seemingly without recourse, until a state environmental agency finally stepped in.

Deuel opened in 1953 and has been expanded several times since then. It serves primarily as a reception center, though it also houses California Prison Industry Authority slave labor programs, including a furniture fabrication plant, a farm where cattle grain is grown and a 1,200-cow dairy operation that supplies milk to other prisons and tax-supported public agencies.

After years of water quality complaints, the concerns of thousands of Deuel prisoners were heard in 2004. Talk of a new water plant finally began gaining traction.

The new treatment plant was driven by the fact that the CDCR began racking up fines for high levels of heavy metals found in the prison’s water supply, which were making their way into tributaries of the San Joaquin Delta. Repeated violations resulted in the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board fining the CDCR $525,000.

Within a year of its initial opening, the water treatment plant was shut down. Deuel’s plant manager, Jeffrey Palumbo, estimated that it would be up and running again within the next three months.

“We know what the problem is and how to address it,” water plant supervisor Matt Cordua said in 2010. But violations and hefty fines continued.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board again issued a series of citations against the CDCR as a result of ongoing water discharge issues at Deuel. The department paid a $2.3 million penalty in 2017, with $1.2 million going to the water board and $1.1 million to a nonprofit group carrying out water quality improvements in the San Joaquin Valley.

“What it comes down to is state requirement,” Palumbo said. “It has nothing to do with the inmates.”

Meanwhile, a key component of the high-tech plant, the brine concentrator, continues to malfunction, leaving the water below safe drinking standards.

The new treatment plant was driven by the fact that the CDCR began racking up fines for high levels of heavy metals found in the prison’s water supply, which were making their way into tributaries of the San Joaquin Delta. Repeated violations resulted in the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board fining the CDCR $525,000.

Within a year of its initial opening, the water treatment plant was shut down. Deuel’s plant manager, Jeffrey Palumbo, estimated that it would be up and running again within the next three months.

“We know what the problem is and how to address it,” water plant supervisor Matt Cordua said in 2010. But violations and hefty fines continued.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board again issued a series of citations against the CDCR as a result of ongoing water discharge issues at Deuel. The department paid a $2.3 million penalty in 2017, with $1.2 million going to the water board and $1.1 million to a nonprofit group carrying out water quality improvements in the San Joaquin Valley.

“What it comes down to is state requirement,” Palumbo said. “It has nothing to do with the inmates.”

Meanwhile, a key component of the high-tech plant, the brine concentrator, continues to malfunction, leaving the water below safe drinking standards.

 

https://www.pctonline.com/article/rodenticide-ban-bill-california-ab1788/

AB 1788, which would have banned second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs), was pulled from the Senate Appropriations Committee, effectively killing it for 2019.
AB 1788 had a lot of momentum due to concerns about the poisoning of non-target wildlife. AB 1788 states that despite a consumer sales and use ban of SGARs in 2014 by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), studies have found that the number of non-target wildlife with detectable levels of SGARs in their systems has not declined.

As such, the bill proposed to ban any pesticide containing brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum or difethialone. In addition, it proposed to ban the use of first-generation anticoagulant rodenticides containing chlorophacinone, diphacinone and warfarin on state-owned property in California.

The pest control industry has been steadfast in its opposition to AB 1788, arguing that SGARs are critical to the management of rodent populations and the protection of public health in California because of diseases that rodents can carry.

 

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1567188864768-13cb2c31a692508d6ba1374d7f0c36ca/HMGP-1603-0434-DEA-Body-Angola-508.pdf

Aug 29, 2019 … confines of the ring levees on the Angola Prison property. ….. hazardous wastes, or soils and/or groundwater contaminated with hazardous constituents are …… In compliance with E.O. 12898, the following key questions were …

Excerpt:
The capacity and condition of the existing drainage system at Angola Prison does not protect Inmates, employees, residents, or infrastructure from flooding during a 25-year storm event.

Background and Site Description

The Louisiana State Penitentiary known as Angola Prison is one of the nation’s largest prisons with a population of over 1,500 staff and 6,300 inmates. The prison is located on approximately 18,000 acres in the northwestern corner of West Feliciana Parish. West Feliciana Parish is located in southeastern Louisiana with elevations ranging from 25’ to 360’ above mean sea level. The parish is approximately 426 square miles in size and is bordered by the Mississippi River to the south and west, East Feliciana Parish to the east, and the State of Mississippi to the north.

The Angola Prison property has approximately 200 buildings on site; however, the 18,000-acre area is mainly agricultural with crop production and livestock fields. The main prison complex is located near the center of the property with a residential area called the “B-Line” located to the southeast of the property (Bergner 1998). The B-Line neighborhood is approximately two (2) square miles and provides housing for approximately 100 prison employees and their families. Commercial, residential, and community buildings are located throughout the prison complex, including several churches, a post office, a community center for B-Line residents, a mop and broom factory, and educational facilities for the inmates.

The bayou and detention pond utilize steel bulkheads to stabilize their banks; however the bulkheads are currently collapsing inward on the brink of failure with associated bank erosion and scouring. (Figure 3). To preserve the structural integrity of the levees by releasing pressure during high- water conditions on the river, 20 relief wells allow water to seep out of the levees and ultimately flow into the detention pond.

Riverine flooding from the Mississippi River poses the largest flood hazard risk to the prison campus. In 1997 and 2011, the Mississippi River breached the outer levee and flooded parts of the property, necessitating the emergency evacuation of 2,000 inmates, closing the administrative offices, and disrupting normal prison operations (Todd, 2011). Flooding due to heavy rainfall is also a concern and was observed in the B-Line and central administrative area during a January 2013 heavy rain event (Arcadis, August 2018).

 

https://www.usace.army.mil/National-Levee-Safety/About-Levees/Levees-and-Communities/

Levees are widespread and integral to communities in the U.S.
The role that existing levees play in flood risk reduction in communities across the U.S. is significant. Traditional development patterns in the U.S. have focused around rivers and the coast to take advantage of transportation, natural resources and power — many of our larger cities and towns were built in flood prone areas. Nationwide, at least one-third of communities with a population of 50,000 or higher have some portion of their community protected by levees. If you live in a community greater than 1 million in population your chance of having a portion of your community protected by a levee increases to 50 percent. This includes densely populated portions of many of our large cities such as Sacramento, St. Louis, New Orleans, Des Moines, Kansas City, Memphis, and Washington, D.C.

https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Invasives/Species/Nutria/Infestation

Excerpt:

Nutria are large, semi-aquatic rodents that reach up to 2.5 feet in body length, 12- to 18-inch tail length and +20 pounds in weight. Nutria strongly resemble native beaver and muskrat, but are distinguished by their round, sparsely haired tails and white whiskers (see CDFW’s link opens in new windownutria ID guide (PDF) or Delta Stewardship Council’s link opens in new windownutria pocket guide). Both nutria and muskrat often have white muzzles, but muskrats have dark whiskers, nearly triangular (laterally compressed) tails and reach a maximum size of five pounds. Beavers have wide, flattened tails and dark whiskers and reach up to 60 pounds. Other small mammals can sometimes be mistaken for nutria if seen briefly or in low light conditions, including river otters and mink.

Nutria can be found anywhere in or near freshwater or estuaries. Thus far, they have been found in cattail and tule marshes, ponds, canals, sloughs, and rivers. All currently known locations are upstream of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which provides a vast amount of ideal and interconnected habitat for nutria.

Look for nutria and signs of nutria presence in wetlands, canals, rivers, and creeks, along levees and riparian areas, in flooded agricultural fields adjacent to waterways, and in the transition zone between wetland and terrestrial habitat.

 

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-nutria-invasion-20190212-story.html

Why They Are Harmful
These things populate like crazy and wreak havoc on suburban infrastructure, vegetation and wetlands. The large rodent species has a voracious appetite and consumes and destroys massive amounts of vegetation and crops.

They are burrowers and cause water-retention and flood control levees to breach. They are also known to weaken structural foundations and erode banks, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This threatens populations of rare and endangered animals.

In addition to the damage they cause, Nutria are said to host nasty things like tuberculosis, septicemia, tapeworm, nematodes and blood and liver flukes. A documentary about the nutria problem, “Rodents of Unusual Size“, reports that the large rodents have cost municipalities millions of dollars in damage.

The only way to control the nutria population is to trap and eradicate them. Some states are even paying hunters to cull them.

 

Homeless People Damaging Flood Levees, Putting Thousands Of Sacramento Homes In Danger

Levee districts have no authority to move homeless, so it’s up to the police to clear out the camps, which isn’t happening. We asked the Sacramento Police Department why officers aren’t moving people out of that area so the levees can be repaired.

A recent federal court ruling made enforcing the city’s anti-camping ordinance difficult because there’s not enough shelter space to house homeless.

“It’s a problem throughout the entire state and we are doing our best to offer services to them,” said Basquez.

Kerr said some homeless people dug out the levee to flatten the ground for their tents.

 

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