PATHOGENS IN RECLAIMED WATER California 8-16-2007
Thursday, Aug 16 2007
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa claims the city of Los Angeles has tried to be a "good neighbor" in its
operation of its Green Acres Farm in Kern County.
Los Angeles spreads about 750 tons of human and industrial waste a day on this "farm", which is
located between Bakersfield and Taft, south of Highway 119.
It seems the honorable mayor of Los Angeles doesn't know how bad his "farm" smells, the danger it
poses to the county's real farmland and water supply, and what a miserable neighbor it really is.
Let's tell him. Send an e-mail to Villaraigosa at firstname.lastname@example.org . Letters also can be sent by mail to
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Room 303, Los Angeles 90012, or by fax to 213-
The only thing “green” about the way the city of Los Angeles gets rid of its sludge is “money.”
The city and its mayor — who says he wants to be known as environmentally sensitive, or “green” — are only
thinking about “money” when they haul about 65 million gallons of sludge a year to Kern County, where it is
smeared onto the land.
It’s the cheapest way for Los Angeles to get rid of the goo it scoops from the bottom of its sewage treatment
plants. It used to dump it into the ocean. But the federal Environmental Protection Agency ordered the city to
stop because it was killing the fish.
So now the witch’s brew of human waste flushed from the city’s toilets, chemicals and drugs tossed down the
sink, and Lord-knows-what wastes from industrial plants, is hauled to Kern County.
A steady caravan of trucks haul about 750 tons of sludge a day to Kern County, where it is called “fertilizer” and
spread onto “Green Acres Farm,” about 5,000 acres owned by the city of Los Angeles.
Like “Greenacres,” the 1960s television show featuring inept city slickers who move to the countryside and just
don’t fit in, the city of Los Angeles and its stinking, polluting sludge don’t fit into Kern County.
And that is why Kern County voters last year overwhelmingly passed Measure E, which bans the importation of
sludge into Kern County. The ballot measure and ban came after Los Angeles repeatedly rebuffed pleas to
relocate its “farm” away from a critical underground water storage facility and urban development.
Kern County voters, sick of gagging on the smells, feared Los Angeles’ human and industrial waste would
contaminate the ground and water supply.
But a federal judge in Los Angeles now has overturned Measure E, contending the ban discriminates against
Los Angeles and violates constitutional commerce protections.
Acknowledging Kern County residents have legitimate environmental concerns, the judge ruled that Los Angeles
can keep shoving its filth down our throats.
Kern County supervisors will meet later this month to discuss their next legal move. The voters already have
spoken. This is a righteous fight that must continue to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
It is a fight that would end if Los Angeles and other big cities worried more about really being “green” than just
saving a buck by dumping on their rural neighbors.