A message from our CEO - Nancy Lindholm
The city of Oxnard is stuck between a rock and a hard place, or perhaps more appropriate, stuck between a California regulatory agency and industrial businesses in Oxnard.
The situation is that the city has not updated its wastewater discharge limits in nearly 20 years. The Regional Water Quality Control Board (a state agency) says they have to clean up their wastewater before it is recycled and pumped back into the ground to recharge our aquifers for water storage. Oxnard is building a water recharge facility at the old Oxnard High School campus.
When the Chamber first learned about the impending discharge limits changes, the city was on a fast-track timeline to implement the new restrictions. We negotiated a six-month extension to work with our industrial businesses, which the city got approved from the Regional Board. However, those six months are flying by and we have not seen a lot of outreach to those impacted.
I have personally met with the city and two different businesses with boron discharge challenges. As I understand it, there is no concern discharging boron into the ocean, but only a trace of it can be discharged through recycled water, which is headed for the aquifer for future use. It's a very expensive undertaking to remove boron from water.
The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) new limits in wastewater will be impacting many more businesses in Oxnard. The city's proposed limits (which need to be approved by city council) are listed as, "Site-specific 'baseline' concentration limits for current industrial users; 1,850 mg/L for future industrial users."
We applaud the city for consideration of our existing businesses. The limit of 1,850 mg/L is actually more lenient than our neighboring cities to the east, where the limits are currently around 1,000 mg/L.
I'm also happy to report that we have heard from one large manufacturing business in Oxnard that has determined they will be able to comply with the new discharge limits.
The Oxnard Chamber will continue to work with city and our business community to assure we can respect the environment and assure our businesses can continue to provide jobs for our residents.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the proposed wastewater discharge limits.