For many months I have been receiving information from Alan Levine about the serious conflict of interest issue with Regional Board appointees. The law clearly states that appointees should not receive more than 10% of their income from NPDES permit holders either directly or indirectly. About six appointees have lost their seats in the last two years because of having such conflicts. The most recent was Bev Wasson, who had served for over six years and had been Board Chair for one. It is a shame she lost her seat but we believe the rule is a fair and important one and should be enforced equally and consistently.
Unfortunately some State officials are trying to justify leaving Bob Anderson, lobbyist for United Winegrowers, in his recently appointed position (but not yet confirmed) as Regional Board member. Alan recently circulated many of the activities of United Winegrowers and it clearly indicates their bias in favor of permit holders such as the large vineyards and wineries. He has provided a great deal of information to justify opposition to this appointment.
My group, Russian River Watershed Protection Committee, and myself, and have thought long and hard about taking a public position in this matter. We have decided that it is important to do so. I attach here out letter to State Officials. We urge you to write your own letters, either as individuals, or as groups. You are welcome to use our letter as a template, if you wish, but please use your own letterhead. Or you can simply write that you support our letter, which was mailed two days ago (Five names and addresses appear in the letter). I believe that confirmation occurs sometime in August, so it is important to get something in within the next two weeks or so.
Please feel free to respond to me with questions and/or comments.
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US Supreme Court Rapanos (800kb pdf document)