Message from our CEO - Nancy Lindholm
A couple of issues have surfaced in the last month or so that have left businesses scrambling to comply with new guidelines, regulations and procedures. Unfortunately, these have been presented with some very unreasonable implementation timeframes.
The first issue was brought to my attention when I received an email from a member (large Oxnard business) asking me who their city councilmember was. That set off an alarm in my mind, so I immediate called and asked what the problem was. It seems the city needs to comply with some new discharge regulations set forth by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, a state agency. In order for Oxnard to achieve the revised wastewater ocean discharge limits, the water they take in must be less contaminated. Hence, the new local limits on wastewater discharge from industrial users.
I sincerely believe our businesses are willing to comply with the new limits. The problem was that the city notified the users in May and had plans to implement in September. For some of our manufacturers or food processors, that is not much time to retrofit or actually install wastewater treatment equipment.
The Oxnard Chamber leadership met with representatives from the wastewater division of the Public Works Department of the city and they agree to push the implementation back four to six months.
The other issue brought to my attention was the city's Groundwater Replenishment Reuse Project. This, again, involves wastewater and the city's recycled water. What I received was a Notice of Public Hearing, which was set for June 14. The problem here was that the public hearing notice stated that public comments on the project were due no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 21. The Chamber objected to the one week – or five business days – time limit to respond to a very complicated issue. The city responded and changed the deadline for public comments to August 13.
Your business may not have a direct impact from modified wastewater discharge limits, and you may not care about the groundwater replenishment project. However, when an issue comes up that could have a negative impact on your particular industry, please know the Oxnard Chamber is ready to stand with you and help with an implementation timeline issue or a dispute resolution.
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