Keep Kern Clean launches campaign to ban sludge
Subj: Keep Kern Clean launches campaign to ban sludge   
Date: 7/1/2005 5:10:06 PM Central Daylight Time
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Keep Kern Clean launches campaign to ban sludge

As urban interests hold up legislation, Florez urges local vote

BAKERSFIELD -- Keep Kern Clean, the campaign to fight dumping of Southern
California's sewage sludge on Kern County fields, today will file a proposed
initiative to ban the practice.

Gene Lundquist, a member of the Kern County Water Agency board who has
publicly expressed his concerns about land application of sludge above the
groundwater table, will present the committee's notice of intent to circulate
petitions at 3:00 p.m. to the county elections office.
Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter, has been leading legislative efforts to ban the
import and land application of sludge, or biosolids, in Kern County.  The measure,
SB 926, cleared the State Senate, but a series of meetings and negotiations
indicated Los Angeles had enough votes to kill the bill in the State Assembly.  

Florez then initiated efforts to enact a county ban through a vote of Kern County
residents.  Proponents of a ban will need to gather signatures from 15,000
registered voters in Kern County to qualify the measure for the June 2006 ballot.

"I think this is the perfect weekend to kick off this very important campaign," Florez
said.  "This Fourth of July, we'll be declaring our independence from the urban
interests that see us as their dumping grounds, and making a big stride toward a
cleaner and healthier Valley."

More than one million wet tons of sewage sludge a year are trucked into Kern
County for disposal, despite concerns that heavy metals, pathogens,
pharmaceuticals and carcinogens may seep into the groundwater stored below.  
The death of 300 cattle in Georgia was tied to the land application of sludge, as
was the death of a teenage boy who rode his bike through a sludge-applied field
and succumbed to a bacterial infection.

WHO:     Proponents of  Keep Kern Clean, campaign to ban land application of
sludge in Kern County

WHAT:    Filing of notice of intent to circulate petitions for June 2006 ballot

WHEN:     TODAY; Friday, July 1, 2005; 3:00 p.m.

WHERE:     Kern County Elections Office, located at 1115 Truxtun Avenue in
Bakersfield