Solano Group
of the Sierra Club Redwood Chapter
 Solano Home
 Meetings/Events
 Outings
 Get Involved
 Newsletter
 Resources/Recycling
 Contact Us
 Join/Donate
 Redwood Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jet Ski Races Are A Bad Idea for Suisun City & Solano County - Take Action Now!

Suisun City's aquatic environment and bird population are under threat from jet ski races scheduled for May 30 in Suisun City. This six-hour event is to be followed by two more races in August. The races create water, air and noise pollution, disturb nesting birds and other wildlife, and are a costly general nuisance. 

The event is a major source of CO2 and may be in violation of AB 32. Two-stroke engines, like the kind still found in many jet skis, dump 25-30% of their fuel directly into the water. A two-hour ride on a jet ski can discharge up to four gallons of gas and oil into the water. 

The California Air Resources Board has reported that a two-hour ride on a 100-horsepower jet ski emits the same amount of pollution as driving 139,000 miles in a 1998 car. High levels of MTBE and Benzene were found in waters off Benicia in 2004 after races there. They are also dangerous (potentially lethal) to riders and other boats, people and wildlife - just try to escape one coming at you at 50 MPH! 

This race is to be held in the 5 MPH "no wake zone," and that alone should be grounds to stop the race. The boats also damage the dock getting into and out of the water, and repairs are at Suisun's expense. The Suisun City Council meets the 1st and 3rd Tues each month except this week due to the election. The next meeting will be held after the May 30 race.

Sierra Club representatives have met with Suisun City Mayor Sanchez, who was unable to provide information about liability insurance, AB 32 compliance, EIR requirements, or bonding requirements for the race organizers. Sanchez said he is opposed to the races because they are noisy and don't attract paying customers. 

This is at least the second year these races have been held. The city gets zero dollars for this event and pays all the clean up costs. At this time it is not known whether extra police on overtime are required to police this event, whether an ambulance is standing by in case of injuries, or whether accident insurance has been obtained or a bond posted with the city to cover any damages or liability issues that may arise.

What you can do: 

  • Write a letter the editor of the Daily Republic, 1250 Texas St., Fairfield, CA 94533, or call Editor & Publisher, Bill James at (707) 427-6983, or Assistant Managing Editor Cecil Conley at (707) 427-6925
  • Contact Suisun City Manager Suzanne Bragdon at (707) 421-7300 or sbragdon@suisun.com 
  • Contact Suisun City Community Services Director Mick Jessup at (707) 421-7200. 
  • Contact Suisun City Police Chief Ed Dadisho at (707) 421-7373 or spdadmin@suisun.com
  • Contact Mariko Yamada's office at (916) 319-2008
  • Contact Congressman George Miller at 375 G. Street, Ste. 1, Vallejo, CA 94592. phone: 707-645-1888 fax: 707-645-1870

Power Plant Coming to Vacaville? Voice Your Concerns!

A proposal has been presented by Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) to build a 660-megawatt natural gas fired power plant in rural Vacaville / Elmira, at the intersection of Lewis and Fry roads. To the east, west and south of the proposed site is land in agricultural use. The picture above shows the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's Cosumnes River gas-fired power plant. 

The proposal plans on using wastewater from Vacaville's Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant and some of Vacaville's drinking water supply. 

Many who live near the proposed site are outside of the boundaries of Vacaville's city limits, so their voices have been marginalized because they do not have representation in Vacaville City Government.

The proponents have also not made any effort to notify the neighbors beyond what is legally required, so many neighbors are just finding out about this. Because it is in a rural area, and not many people live out there, they need your help!

Please get involved and help stop this! The last public meeting was on March 12th at The Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant, Vaca Station Road.

This meeting was conducted by the State of California Energy Commission. It is extremely important that you contact Vacaville City Hall and the State of California Energy Commission to let them know about your concerns.

For more information and to get involved, contact Heidi Spencer at HSpencer@baf.com.


Solano Land Trust Approves Lynch Canyon Switching Station Despite Objections

Recently the Solano Land Trust (SLT) Board of Directors, over numerous objections from the public and SLT members, voted to consider allowing an electrical switching station to be constructed in the heart of Lynch Canyon (LC) that would serve to deliver power via transmission lines running through the canyon. This decision runs counter to the mission of the SLT, which is to preserve agricultural lands, open space and resources, by allowing intrusive development of the switching station in Lynch Canyon. LC is located between Vallejo and Cordelia/Fairfield and is owned by SLT. LC is restricted to open space uses and is open to the public for hiking and other limited uses. Funding to acquire Lynch Canyon came from contributions by private individuals and businesses and a number of public agencies. The electrical switching station project will be blocked if any of the funding agencies indicate that future funding would be denied, or immunity from liability would be removed. Whatever the outcome, the SLT Board has damaged the trust of many contributors and members that the SLT will continue to manage its restricted properties properly in keeping with its mission. 

Although an indefinite delay on the project was recently announced Thursday, January 29 by the City of Fairfield, we encourage Sierra Club members to contact the Solano Land Trust and its board members and voice your opposition to this terrible precedent setting plan through solanolandtrust.org.

For more information, and to see the interview with the Sierra Club/Solano Group ExCom Chair Jim DeKloe, click here.

Click here to read the Jan. 30, 2009 Vallejo Times-Herald story.

Background:

In a historic agreement, Solano Land Trust  in 2008 partnered with Solano County to open Lynch Canyon to the public. Lynch Canyon is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. until the posted closing time and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Lynch Canyon is 1,039 acres just west of I-80, between Vallejo and Fairfield. It's an area of steeply rolling hills covered with grasslands, buckeyes and live oaks. The Lynch Creek watershed drains to Suisun Marsh, and the riparian woodlands provide habitat for a variety of wildlife. There are several miles of hiking trails with great views from the 900-foot ridge. No drinking water; restrooms at the parking lot.

Directions: From I-80, take the American Canyon / Hiddenbrooke exit; then take McGary Rd. (frontage road on south east side of freeway) and go to the underpass, turn left to entrance. Parking is $5 per car. 

For more info go to www.solanolandtrust.org. Updated 11/2/08


Rockville Trails Estates: A BAD IDEA in Rural Solano County!  

The Solano County Board of Supervisors, at the October 14 public hearing, approved the Rockville Trails Estates housing project by a 3-2 vote. In casting their votes, three members of the Board chose to ignore a deeply flawed Environmental Impact Report, gross inconsistencies with the county's General Plan & Orderly Growth Initiative, and overwhelming community opposition.

Rockville Trails Estates is a proposed 370-house subdivision that, if built, will be located on 1,560 acres of pristine hillsides between Green Valley and Suisun Valley. The main entrance to the project is on Rockville Road, across from the Rockville Hills Park access. Since the project is well beyond the reach of municipal services, it requires an on-site package sewer treatment plant, as well as a high producing well, to serve the hundreds of new houses. This is in direct contradiction with the Solano County General Plan's cornerstone principle, "Direct new urban development and growth toward municipal areas". Almost every aspect of this project directly contradicts the basic tenets of sustainable development.

The Rockville Trails site is rich in biological resources, including sensitive species and habitats. The potentially significant impacts generated by the project on these resources has been inadequately analyzed or mitigated. The effect of the project's high producing well pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of water daily from the local aquifer could be devastating to the sensitive oak woodlands, as could the drip irrigation system proposed for dispersal of the treated wastewater. There are many other under analyzed impacts associated with project, which all stem from the fact that a residential subdivision of this size and scope is an entirely inappropriate use of the site.

Local residents had sincerely hoped that government officials would put the best interests of the public ahead of the financial goals of the developer. Unfortunately, that hope was unfounded. The countless negative impacts of this project on the environment and the quality of life of neighboring residents are so significant that they cannot by accepted by the community. Consequently, the decision has been made to seek relief through litigation. 

The Green Valley Landowners Association, along with the Sierra Club, is preparing to bring suit against the Board of Supervisors for violations of the California Environmental Quality Act and numerous zoning and land use laws. 

Contributions are needed to help fund this important litigation. Tax deductible donations can be made through the Sierra Club Foundation (please be sure to designate the Rockville Trails Estates project.).

---- Nancy Nelson


Regional Wal-Mart Issues

Vallejo: Wal-Mart has pulled its application for a 393,000 sq. ft. Wal-Mart Super-Center on the edge of the White Slough wetland. The Solano Group was opposed to this project because the proposed location is part of the Napa River marsh system. Wal-Mart chose to withdraw before the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) was completed, in part due to the opposition brought by Vallejoans for Responsible Growth (VFRG) and the Solano Group. However, Wal-Mart still owns the site. This can hamper other developments, including the revitalization of Vallejo's nearby historic downtown, due to the uncertainty of future uses for Wal-Mart's site. Wal-Mart does not seem to have any clear plans for this property and is allowing it to become blighted. 

Please call or email the Vallejo City Council at (707) 648-4575; juliae@ci.vallejo.ca.us and ask them to take action against Wal-Mart's neglect of this important property and encourage them to plan for a much lower impact mixed use development that is allowed for in the "White Slough" development plan. 

To learn more about the role the White Slough wetlands plays in keeping Vallejo from flooding during periods of heavy rain, click here.

Suisun: Stemming from a decision by the Suisun City Council to approve a Wal-Mart Super Center in Suisun City, a recall was mounted against Mayor Pete Sanchez, Councilwoman Jane Day and Councilman Mike Hudson. According to the Solano County registrar of voters, the petitions turned over by the group, Save Our Suisun (SOS), lacked sufficient valid signatures and fell short of the 2,013 needed signatures of registered voters. During the signature collection process, SOS was victorious in their challenge to be allowed to collect signatures at the Heritage Shopping Center in Suisun, Their argument - which Judge Paul Beeman agreed with - is that the shopping center is a quasi-public forum for the expression of free speech and petitioners should be allowed to collect signatures there. Mark Merin, attorney for SOS, successfully argued that because Suisun City has no central downtown, the mall has become the new public market place. saveoursuisun.com

For more information on the fight against Wal-Mart Superstores in our region, please visit California for Healthy Communities at www.calhcn.org or contact them at info@calhcn.org 

---- Katy Meisner

Local News & Issues:

The Solano Group seeks a VALCORE recycling representative. Visit the Get Involved page for more information.

Donate your CRV cans/bottles, including CRV #1 PET & glass bottles, household batteries, cell phones, ink jet cartridges, lap tops & PDAs to VALCORE Recycling. $50 is offered to volunteer supervisors for their favorite classroom or environmental project.This is how the Solano Group raises money! Visit our Resources page for more info. 

Rockville Trails Estates is a BAD idea for rural Solano County! Help save 1,560 acres of pristine hillsides between Green Valley and Suisun Valley from the bulldozers. Make your tax deductible donation to the Sierra Club Foundation, and designate the Rockville Trails Estates project. Info: solanobreeze@yahoo.com

Fight Wal-Mart's neglect of its White Slough wetland property in Vallejo. Contact the Vallejo City Council: (707) 648-4575, juliae@ci.vallejo.ca.us 

 


2008/2009 Solano Group Sierra Club All Rights Reserved