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Friday, January 29, 2010

HB 1087 to Come Back, Fight Septic Tank Inspections

I get the straight poop on HB 1087 from Barb Lindberg, president of Citizens for Liberty. The way the bill was worded, HB 1087 appeared to represent a drastic expansion of county government power. Turns out the conservative backers of this legislation actually wanted to use it to curb government power, specifically the power Pennington County wants to exert to regulate septic tanks in the Black Hills.

Lindberg tells me her group has asked Rep. Mike Verchio of Hill City to reintroduce the bill in amended form to simply ban all retroactive application of county ordinances, without exception for immediate threats to public health and safety. Why we need this law, I'm still not sure, since the Constitution itself says ex post facto laws can't happen. And even reworded, this proposed law probably cannot stop a county from acting to inspect and shut down faulty septic systems or other sources of water pollution.

Lindberg's explanation acknowledges one of the key lessons of modern politics: if you're going to introduce a bill, get out in front of the message and let people know what it's about before misconcpetions can drive the debate.

Below is Lindberg's explanation of what Citizens for Liberty is up to with HB 1087:

Hey Cory,
Not quite sure where all the mis leading information on our 1087 Bill that was "quietly trash" came from. But the foundation and true intent of this Bill has surely been largely mis read and deceived. I know.... as I was part of those who drafted and offered the Bill to be submitted. Want the real skinny?

This Bill was meant for a "people friendly amendment to 7-18A-2 It's purpose was to RESTRICT and END the abusive authority that Pennington County Commissioners have been using against the rural citizens involving septic systems. Although State law already states that counties cannot make ordinances that are retroactive. Pennington County appears to be above the law restrictions. In a proposed septic system ordinances that the residence have been fighting over for 6 years, Pennington County Commissioners in the last 10 months have moved forward with a County Ordinance that retroactively effects every private septic system in the County, of course under the safe water cloak. The proposed ordinance will make all private septic systems under the jurisdiction of Pennington County "new" installation and supervision regulations. The City has already implemented such ordinance.
All residence will have to submit request to have their septic systems "permitted" and approved. Any flaws or concerns the County Planners "see" in our septic systems will have to be brought up to their standards before permits to operate your system is allowed.

There will be a $500 fine and 30 days in jail are the consequences for violating their retrospective ordinance on "ALREADY Operable" septic systems. However the more concerning fact is in a recent waste water meeting the Board laughed and stated that if residence did not comply with this excessive government policing, they would shut private water sources off. I didn't think it was funny. Now I'm not the most bright color crayon in the box..... but tell me Cory, how does the County come in and shut off a private landowners well? You got it - they'll put locking devises on our well heads.

Plus under the proposed section 200 they also are demanding the rights to come onto your property and test ground soil, all water sources, including in house water facets, site ect - all under their fraudulent cloaking of safe water. Absolutely NO evidence has been given by the Pennington County or Rapid City Officials - however, extreme environmentalist have presented agenda that states septic systems are "probably the problem source" of contaminating Rapid City's water sources.

Yet after extensive research and data pulled from all operating municipal wells in Rapid City, along with water samples from many subdivisions, no contaminate threats are evident. In fact the EPA states 10 milligram of nitrates per liter are allowed and over 90% of all ground and surface sources show levels BELOW 1.0 milligrams. Average is .54 milligrams per liter.

The real Truth of the matter is that water flowing down Rapid Creek and going INTO Rapid City's Waste Water Treatment Plant is less than 1.0, HOWEVER when this water comes out of the Waste Water Treatment Plant the nitrate levels have been at 14.6 milligrams per liter. You can do the assumptions there. Please see www.TheVoice316.com for all info and data researched. The REAL story is a massive "The Sky is falling - the Sky is falling" conspiracy by Rapid City Officials and Pennington County Commissioners.

We the people are presently having open town hall meetings informing residents of this hoax both the County and City is attempting. Out of these battle fields, We,presented Mike Verchio a proposed amendment to title 7 of county provision that we felt we could live with.

IT WAS NOT to give the County more jurisdiction - but prevent them from doing what they are already doing! Pennington County and Rapid City Officials are already passing ordinances that ARE retrospective. That is WRONG!

We the people, on line 14 stated: "No ordinance or amendment thereto may have a retrospective application unless:"

The "unless" was added because that is what the state already provides under the Statute. We added that it would also take 2/3 vote of commissioners AND that clear and convincing EVIDENCE would have to be proven as an imminent threat to either health or safety or both.

Right now they have neither, but are moving forward because they say they have the right to do so because they "believe" there is a threat.

The people should not have to sue in Court to get the County to adhere to Statute. Our attempt was to clarify Title 7, that any County COULD NOT make ordiances or amendments that was retroactive unless it was absolutely proven with evidence there WAS an imminent threat- not just because they "thought" there was.

I do not know of what "non legislation resolve" has been reached that pulled the Bill, other than the non clarification of what the Bill was meant to resolve. Seems we failed at both.

As a tea party president of over 1,500 members, we'll follow MA 's lead. My opinion is: "They closed a chapter in politics as usual.... now we'll close the book!" ..... come election they might as well "Pack it up- these County Commissioners and City Officals are DONE!" We'll be replacing their seats with or without a Bill.

Out of the chute - we could have done better at verbiage. For that I apologies and take full responsibility. I promise we'll do better in the future. As for all the political garb and campaign usage? Sorry I imposed a black eye for Mike Verchio. I take my hat off to him that he at least moved in our behalf and did what his constituents requested. I apologies earnestly that he took heat for my verbiage error. Please note though - that his efforts to do so sealed all his votes for "yes" by his constituents. He at least had the backbone to run with us and not shoot us down.

This was about regular citizens. We may have missed the boat on this round - but we'll be back ... better adverse and ready.

If there's any questions I can assist in to bring a clear perspective - please give me a call. I'm new on the court- but sincerely don't believe I'll be going away anytime soon. Thanks for your time and soften ears to hear.

Just thought you might want to know "the rest of the story".
Barb Lindberg
CFL President


  1. Actually it's Barb Lindberg.

    You're right that we shouldn't need this bill, yet the Pennington County Commission seems intent on applying this septic ordinance retroactively, so apparently it needs to be spelled out for them: don't slam people tomorrow for complying with what you said was right today.

  2. Steve Sibson1/29/2010 4:39 PM

    "Lindgren's explanation acknowledges one of the key lessons of modern politics: if you're going to introduce a bill, get out in front of the message and let people know what it's about before misconcpetions can drive the debate."

    What debate? All you want to do is trash conservatives. Why would you think limited governemnt folks wanted to puposely expand government in the first place?

  3. It's sad that common sense, civil responsibility, and neighborliness require legislation and county rules. No matter how "adequate" a septic was when installed, if one is crapping in their neighbors' drinking water it's long past time to shut them down or to force repairs. John Kelley

  4. Cory,

    Here is one of the hydrology tools PennCo is using to make its determinations:


    This is hardly a new study; water quality in the lower Box Elder watershed have been deteriorating steadily for at least two decades.

    Interestingly enough, the proliferation of ponderosa pine and the absence of fire has depleted the elemental carbon necessary for the purification of water entering the Madison aquifer and then discharging at locations near the confluence of Box Elder Creek and the Cheyenne River as evidenced by the DENR map you have so graciously provided in an earlier post.

    For many decades organic componds were the largest components impairing water quality.

    Now, the most disruptive compounds are those that don't break down, ie. pharmaceuticals, sulfa-based drugs, and most terrifying of all, the surfactant, polyethloxylated tallowamine, the ingredient in Roundup(R) that forces penetration through the blood/brain barrier in mammals; it causes birth defects, cancer, and spontaneous abortions.

    These compounds pass unaltered through the Missouri River and into the Gulf of Mexico where it then absorbed into the tissues of every aquatic species.

    My guess is that these fringe Calvinist cults either don't get what's really going on, are hiding their own complicity in terracide, or just don't care.

  5. Cory,

    Please forgive this personal anecdote:

    In 1997, from the Belle Fourche reservoir, I watched the full moon rise over Bear Butte as the sun disappeared behind a thunderstorm erupting on the western horizon.

    The Hills, bathed in moonlight, said to me, "I am Living Rock, I am Water. All Life begins here."

    Only those closest to me have ever heard this, until now.

  6. Steve Sibson1/29/2010 7:51 PM


    larry just confirmed that it is the environmental extremists who use ex post facto to take away property rights.

    What side are you on now?

  7. Hey Stevie,

    God is an environmental extremist; Monsanto wants to sleep with you.

  8. Could we please stop this crappy exchange?

    Get it? Crappy? Septic Tank? I kill me this morning!

    Now had I said "Corny", then it would have been pushing it, or would it?

  9. Steve Sibson1/30/2010 12:20 PM

    "God is an environmental extremist"

    God put man above nature. You have it backwards and have commented blasphemy.

  10. You've said some silly stuff, Steve; but, that's the silliest yet. It did make me laugh out loud, though.

    You have my phone number. I'll buy.

  11. Steve Sibson1/30/2010 3:16 PM

    larry, read Genesis and stop mocking God. Repent while you have the chance.

    As a Christian, I do beleive that we are to be good stewarts of what God created. So larry, I do appreciate your concerns. Now let us discuss "how" do we go about correcting wrongs.

  12. Cory goes above and beyond to bring ideas that matter to his readers; you have a blog that seeks to bring perspective to yours.

    "How" is already working.

    It would seem that your mission to spread the Word of God (in ways that can be off putting and unwieldy) employing the metaphors that you hold so dear, are largely unwelcome.

    Madville Times serves a community of scientists, physical and otherwise, who want what Cory offers.

    Reconciling American capitalism with a Christ-like life is difficult enough for you guys; imagine what it must be like for non-believers.

    I am not a scientist; but, my quest to find God led me to science.

    My parish priest had me convinced to go to the seminary until he was decapitated in a car crash in 1968.

    I don't like men, as a general rule, Steve; I think 99% of us are lying, cheating bastards.

    I prefer the company of women; the tiny town where I live is home to numerous Lesbian couples all of whom are goddesses in my eyes.

    They are lawyers, unversity professors, artists...I am humbled to be welcome in their homes.

    They serve on the fire department, are civic leaders, and vote as I do, in a solid Democratic bloc.

    The woman with whom I live is a doctor who specializes in womens' reproductive health. Think I'm radical? She is changing the world as I type this.

    Steve, God dwells in us all; Jesus was (is) a revolutionary; I heard His voice that night in 1997;

    He told me to save the Black Hills for the good of ALL the species that draw water there.

  13. "Reconciling American capitalism with a Christ-like life is difficult enough for you guys; imagine what it must be like for non-believers."

    What American capitalism? That was destroyed over 100 years ago by the non-believers.

    And the thought that God is not welcome here due to some conflict with science is misguided. God created science. The atheists are recking it. Just as they have capitalism, the Constitution, and America in general.

    Steve Sibson

  14. Barb Lindberg1/30/2010 10:48 PM

    Boys...boys... boys... how unhappy you must be to write in such manner. Wow - how does God get involved in septic systems? Give it a rest.

    Dear John, first of all - please make sure it's the neighbors poop that's effecting the other neighbors drinking water. Do you know there's not a case of record that can prove that. It'd do you good to study about them a little before joining the parrot group.

    Dear Larry. I was impressed that you had knowledge of the ponderosa pine. Because it releases a very high content of nitrates in it's decaying process. However, we have had many fires here in the Black Hills within Pennington County. As a result, high nitrate levels can be stored in the ground for up to three years depending on the intenseness of the fire. Plus those good old bettles that our enviormental group will not let our forestry take care of.... well they speed up the process of the decaying of these tree and end up sterilizing the under ground. Of course all those nitrate just disappear right? It's only septic systems that flow from one septic to another septic to another septic and join there forces to create this synergy of contaminates. Did you know that the monitoring wells the USGS drilled was as shallow as 5 feet.... yeah five feet!

    Did you also know that Dr, Foster Sawyers report shows that three of the monitoring wells that they did was at the lagoon in Hill City just minimal feet away from the lagoons pits? Of course they're going to show nitrates.... they're in a poop field for crying out loud. Did you also know that when put under pressure, Foster Sawyer falsely reported to a waste water committee that his report included humans and animals together - yeah, like as one. That was because his report stated that the highest probability of contaminates in water sources was from animals. When questioned on that, he lied and said that animals included humans - two legged ones. He would not budge, but repeated that bogus statement three times. How stupid.

    Did you also know that the report given on E coliform in the Black Hills was quoted from a report made in Arkansaw? Like what does Arkansaws climate have that shares with ours. Of course E coliform is going to live there for 120 days. It's hot, humid and never freezes.

    I agree the chemicals you quoted CAN BE dangerous. But frankly Larry, I want to SEE THE PROOF. Give me the actual data evidence that these septics are leaking and polluting sub waters and harmful to any nieghbors drinking water in Pennington County.

    Stop making accusations unless you can back them up with evidental facts. We're tierd of being hood winked. It's just not going to float here anymore.

    "Fringe Calvinist cults"? Really Larry - grow up. Why do you guys always have to resort in name calling when a touchy spot's revealed. It's so unintellegent - and totaly negates any possibilities of truth you may have previously said.

    "Silly Rabbits.... don't you know tricks are for kids?" Signed Barb Lindberg

  15. At least Barb and Larry are talking about the environment. (And sorry about the initial misspelling, Barb!)

    I agree that environmental decisions should be based on reliable data. So suppose we get data that says septic tanks are failing and polluting the water supply. Barb, would you then support the county requiring homeowners to rectify the problem with a new tank?

  16. Barb, perspicacity is clearly NOT your strong suit.

    I write as interested party in the Rapid City Journal; my specialty is mycology, all my sources are cited there.

    I lived in the Hills for thirty years and interviewed old timers who said when Ellsworth sunk wells, hundreds of historic wells went completely dry.

    Call Dr. Perry Rahn; expect an earful.

  17. "At least Barb and Larry are talking about the environment."

    lary brought God into this discussion with this:

    "God is an environmental extremist; Monsanto wants to sleep with you."

    I will not stand still when God is mocked and lies are told. larry was responding to this point:

    "larry just confirmed that it is the environmental extremists who use ex post facto to take away property rights."

    And Cory may have just confirmed that with this:

    "I agree that environmental decisions should be based on reliable data. So suppose we get data that says septic tanks are failing and polluting the water supply. Barb, would you then support the county requiring homeowners to rectify the problem with a new tank?"

    So Cory, if you say yes, then you are pushing ex post facto laws. And don't you have to correct your previous statements on posts regarding this proposed legislation?

    Steve Sibson

  18. Pennington County is just one government. entity struggling with.lawsuits pending in septic system inadequacies; holding tanks that would need to be pumped and treated at other locations must be considered.

    I believe that property owners should dig up offending systems, that real estate transactions should include groundwater tests to determine whether existing leach fields on the property contain environmental contaminants and be mitigated before ownership is transferred.

    This isn't just about nitrates, it's about phosphates and heavy metal oxides; we are killing the fungi that break nitrates down with the antibiotics we give to cattle.

    This tea party group doesn't recognize the data anyway; they think "tort reform" will protect property rights and then howl loudly when they need lawyers.

    Read Ms. Lindberg's post again; she blames the proliferation of the pine bark beetle on environmental groups.

    As I have noted at length: the Black Hills as a bioregion
    includes at least
    three times more private ground than public ground.

  19. Steve, btw; Ms. Lindberg brought God into the argument and had the temerity to think I don't know the code.

    Note the 316 in her post.

  20. Barb Lindberg1/31/2010 4:59 PM

    Wow - perspicacity, temerity? I definately need more coffee before I calmly address your "mind set". Really Larry, temerity? Please. You definately do not want to go there with me. Regardless of your perception of my "code".... it IS where I have posted factual evidence to support my statements.

    Dr. Perry Rahn - absolutely a great guy. When I finished my first report, which I quoted him, I specifically made an appointment with him for coffee to discuss such. He's a cool guy, very intellegent, and I respected the time we shared together. He actually commended me on my report. We laughed, because most of it was "his words".

    You see IF you'll read all of Dr. Perry Rahn's data, you too will see that he NEVER SAYS ONCE that water pollution is coming from septic systems. He does say that the nitrates they did find, which were very minute, COULD come from probable sources, such as animals, agriculture and humans.

    I presume that NONE of you actually own private land where you HAVE a septic system. If you did - your "perspicacity" would also not be so flawed.

    There are three layers in a septic tank. 1. anything that floats - called scum 2. Sludge, which is anything heaviler than water - this is what the bacteria in the septic "decomposes "naturally". 3. In the middle is a fairly clear water layer, which contains bactria, chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorous that act as fertilizers, AND is largely free of solids.

    The water goes out into a drain field which is down graduiant from the septic tank. The pipe is generally 4 inches in dia and buried in a trench that is 4 to 6 feet deep and 2 feet wide. Gravel fills the bottom 2-3 feet of the trenches and dirt covers the gravel. Water coming from the septic tank slowly is absorbed and filtered by the ground in the drain field. Natures biomat in the drain field works!

    Now this might be a moment for some of you... but if you have not pumped your tanks and it fills up with sludge and then plugs your drain field pipes.... let me tell you something - YOU CANNOT CONTINUE to use your system at all! It all backs up into your HOUSE! You have to dauh.... "fix it" or move out! To add thought: tanks have to have at least 4 feet of soil underneath them before bedrock and of course are all surrounded by "soil" or ground on all sides. A State approved septic system inspector comes and signs off on your system installation in the beginning, with perc tests ect, while it is "open" and finally closed So just think about that. Think about the process. End of story.

    That is "lesson one". There are other known fables we can address after you chop this one up. So don't get ahead of me and all theological and rude. Let's just get past this first step. Don't deviate or get mean or accusing. I don't want to argue about what old timers have "said"... let's look at the process and probabilities of septic systems being "able to contaminate someone else property or water source. By the way we have had almost 200 people test their water wells for drinking.... NONE have come back as contaminated or even close to the EPA 10 ml/l -NONE!

    You see, this "teaparty" identity DOES recognize data - will you?
    Talk'n back at ya.... Barb

  21. I can't speak for where Larry poops, Barb, but never presume on the Madville Times: I own private land. I have a septic tank. I think septic tanks are superior to centralized systems for energy usage and personal responsibility... when they are properly installed in suitable ground and properly maintained.

    That said, my question remains, regardless of where I poop: Suppose we get data that says septic tanks are failing and polluting the water supply. Barb, would you then support the county requiring homeowners to rectify the problem with a new tank?

  22. Here we are: back at nonpoint source.

    Burden of proof? County commissions are the first line of political defense and tend to be underfunded.

    Solution? The EPA hammer.

  23. Barb Lindberg1/31/2010 9:42 PM

    Larry.... Just getting ready to answer caheidelberger's question and seen yours. Thought you might check this out about EPA. As far as the CC as first line of defense? hummm don't think so. BUT I do agree they are underpaid. You might find this puzzling - but I am not against our County Commissioners. They do have a heavy weight to carry. They ARE good people and most of the time attempt to do the right thing. But some of our Commissioners have become arrogant, rude and power stricken. I do not enjoy coming against our C Commissioners or Planners.... however when it effects priviledges and endangers rights such as this - issues and facts superceed friendships and emotions.

    Will attempt to explain now to caheidelberger's question.....

    Title 40: Protection of Environment
    * 144.1 Purpose and scope of part 144.
    (a) Contents of part 144. The regulations in this part set forth requirements for the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program promulgated under Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (Pub. L. 93*523, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq. ) and, to the extent that they deal with hazardous waste, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (Pub. L. 94*580 as amended; 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq. ).
    (b) Applicability. (1) The regulations in this part establish minimum requirements for UIC programs. To the extent set forth in part 145, each State must meet these requirements in order to obtain primary enforcement authority for the UIC program in that State.
    (2) Section 1422 of SDWA requires the Administrator to list in the Federal Register* each State for which in his judgment a State underground injection control program may be necessary to assure that underground injection will not endanger drinking water sources* and to establish by regulation a program for EPA administration of UIC programs in the absence of an approved State program in a listed State.
    (3) Section 1423 of SDWA provides procedures for EPA enforcement of UIC requirements.
    (3) Part 124. The public participation requirements that must be met by UIC Programs, whether administered by the State or by EPA, are set forth in part 124. EPA must comply with all part 124 requirements; State administered programs must comply with part 124 as required by part 145. These requirements carry out the purposes of the public participation requirement of 40 CFR part 25 (Public Participation), and supersede the requirements of that part as they apply to the UIC Program.
    (2) Specific exclusions. The following are not covered by these regulations:
    (ii) Individual or single family residential waste disposal systems such as domestic cesspools or septic systems.

  24. Thank you, Barb; you have my phone number.

    I said commissions were underfunded, do not infer that I meant commissioners were underpaid; they are elected officials and reflect the will of the electorate.

    I can't speak for Cory and Madville Times.

    You cited EPA boilerplate available to all; it is the agenda of your organization that I find suspect.

  25. Barb Lindberg1/31/2010 11:05 PM

    Hey caheidelberger.... Such a loaded question... So first, let me clarify - that this is my opinion as a person - deal?! Question is:

    Suppose we get data that says septic tanks are failing and polluting the water supply. Barb, would you then support the county requiring homeowners to rectify the problem with a new tank?

    My answer would be "No". I would not support county ordinances requiring homeowners to rectify the problem. Primarily because it would be extremely difficult and highly improbable that there is sufficient "tanks" that are leaking and discharging to create that kind of dilema. Seriously. Drain fields are more apt to point to that problem - honest! But, here's the answer you're probably searching for: Here's my reason why.

    First I don't believe we Police - we Educate. When the Government enters in to always police things... we are always vunerable to power in the wrong hands. Point being... what we see right now. (oh my, - I just know that'll send some gernades off...} but it's true.

    I believe we should take more time to educate people to a point of stewardship and responcibility - not lord over them or control them. How captivating. How small minded.

    People might be igornant of how to maintain their septic systems . Maybe someone has just bought some acerage and never had a septic system before. How many realtors ect. educate new home owners on what they just "bought"? Where's the info on that? Oh but we're really good at telling them what it's going to COST. Taxes, insurance, interest, payments...

    In a recent public town hall meeting that I was holding on this issue, a very concerned elderly lady came quietly to vist afterwards. She proceeded to tell me with tears in her eyes, that she was probably one of the "bad people" the county was speaking about. I was surprised and asked her why she said that. She continued to tell me that her husband had passed away almost 14 years ago. Until this night, she had NOT KNOWN that she needed to pump her septic tank! Apparently, because it was just her on this property, her tank had held "it's own" for all those years. She was so concerned and sadden that she could be part of the problem.

    I assured her that I'd help her find her system and we'd work it out. Well the short end was this.... I went to her property and her drain fields under snow and her tank lid is grown over with dirt and grass and frozen down. However, no signs of sepage. I promised her as soon as the weather permits, we'll get it opened up and for sure pump it and make sure things are okay.... it'd be fine, she'd be fine and not to worry. She has the money to do it - just didn't know she needed to.

    She cried. Not that this matters to anyone else. But the truth of the matter is, the majority of people are good and responcible people. They will take care of what they know to take care of. SHE just didn't know.

    So take over her rights of stewardship because she was just ignorant? {I don't mean to be disrespectful in that} No.... EDUCATE so people know what's expected.

    We're always going to have the "slackers". You have em around you - I have em around me.... they're generally in every sphere of influence. BUT they are NOT the majority.

    see part two - Barb Lindberg

  26. Barb Lindberg1/31/2010 11:06 PM

    Part two: IF a private landowner has sewage that I feel he is not being a steward of and that I think he is polluting MY water. I need to first go to him and tell him. Not blast him....but explain to him the problem I believe he is causing. IF he does not hear me and I truly believe he is polluting my water THEN the Laws of Civil Procedure are my remedies. NOT COUNTY ORDINANCE. If I take him to court, and my evidence PROVES that he indeed has compromised my water. The law of torts will legally and financially remedy my cause with generally attorney fees included. Tremble damages if it's proven he continued to do so after my request and was found guilty. Civil Procedure protects me from the bad apple.

    We don't have to throw away the whole bushel because one or two apples appear to be rotten. Deal with the rotten ones - leave the rest alone.

    It would do well instead of all the money the County and City has wasted in this effort to instead draft educational material on septic systems and submit them to property owners of concern.

    Why do we always have to move to the extreme and "take away" or police things. I feel that's a move for power not protection. It's under currents reek of a whole different agenda than the "republic".

    The truth of the matter is Septic Systems in Pennington County and probably most other counties, are NOT the problems of water pollution. They just aren't. For crying out loud.... if you do the math with volume verses contaminates that waste water treatment plants discharge and ARE ALLOWED BY THE STATE to do so, verses the volume of waste water from septic tanks of private well contaminants - you'll realize what a farce this is.

    So again, I said all that to say this.... No I would not be in favor to have county ordinances to rectify the problem. There's a better, more acceptable way. EDUCATION

    So there you have it.... Pretty simple. Not alot of three syllable words, but shadows common sense. Novel idea - simple/common sense... quite frankly, I long for some of that logic.

    I'll close with that - I think it's feeding time at the zoo. Barb

  27. Barb Lindberg1/31/2010 11:42 PM

    Wow Larry.... I think you're crabby and stout. I didn't mean to "infer" anything....

    I just got your message on my cell. Thanks for the call - but think I'll pass. I percieve we'd probably just have a spitting match and you have "bigger words" than I do.

    I really don't want to change your mind about anything. I think your pretty set already. And that's okay. But don't be mean. This is just a blog and nobody likes to have their collar bunched up by verbiage hands.

    I think you're a little rough on people and should be a little nicer - more people might listen instead of squinting.

    Hey we have a Citizens for Liberty meeting this Thursday at 11:30 at the Golden Corral. Lasts about a hour - maybe a little over. Instead of just prejudging "our agenda" ( personally I don't even know what you're referring to) But hey.... come check us out. Obviously I'll be there, so come intro yourself and we can go from there. Barb

  28. Ms. Lindberg, pusillanimity notwithstanding, I would postulate that multisyllablicity is hardly litigious; your summation is copiously illuminating.

    Saying that your rally is being held at the Golden Corral at the beginning of your testimony would have rendered as unnecessarywhatever followed.

    Thank you for your time.

  29. [Barb, why mock Larry's vocabulary? That has no impact on the validity of his arguments. And "stout"? He might be lankier than I!]

    Barb, your system of education and lawsuits is overly burdensome and irresponsible. If there is a source of pollution in my neighborhood, do you really want individuals to have to bear the cost of mounting an education campaign and the cost of civil litigation, just to get clean water? That seems analagous to telling individuals they have to buy their own snowplows and dig out the county roads themselves. When we have a shared resource, and we have evidence that someone is doing damage to that shared resource, it is everyone's civic responsibility to act to protect that resource. That's we we all act collectively. through our government, to solve the problem.

    Or consider this analogy: we have evidence that using a cell phone impairs a driver more than drinking alcohol does. We have tried to educate people, but bozos keep talking and texting at the wheel. They pose a clear threat to public safety. Your approach would be to keep educating... and then what? Honk? Tap the caller's bumper? Pass and slow them down? Great—government by road rage. A legal ban on drivers using cell phones, enforced by the police, is a better way to protect public safety.

    Also, suggesting that the county shouldn't act on one failing tank because one tank is unlikely to cause a major problem is irresponsible. When one house catches fire, we put it out. We don't wait for the whole block to catch fire. When one child skips school, we call parents and raise heck. We don't wait for all the kids to skip and pose a mass threat to the economy to start enforcing attendance.

    The dear old Granny story is a tearjerker, but it's also manipulative. Practically speaking, Granny would not have found herself in this predicament if the county had an inspection regime. The nice young man from the county would come out, point out the problem sooner, and she'd be educated and motivated to fix it. Problem solved more reliably than hoping Granny has some neighbor with the time and knowledge to explain the problem.

    The sanitary district that I chair has used education. We used tax dollars to send a pamphlet about septic tank maintenance two summers ago to every resident in the district. Many folks were grateful. Some, like Granny, had no idea how their tank worked or the actions they were supposed to take to keep it from failing.

    But when education fails—and it will, in some cases—we also need enforcement. Asking an individual homeowner to bear the cost of enforcement (hire your own engineer, your own lawyer to conduct the civil suit) creates an unworkable system. Some "neighbors" will act entirely selfishly. They will not be persuaded that they should bear the costs of their pollution. They will not care one whit for the harm they do to others. The government is us: we create it to handle problems exactly like this.

    A septic tank inspection regime would allow the county to educate homeowners, gather data, and act to address water quality isues where problems turn up. That's a net gain for everyone. The only people who "suffer" are folks who haven't been carrying out their civic responsibility in the first place.

    back to our agreements: yes, ex post facto laws are bad. If you did something yesterday and it wasn't illegal, you should suffer no penalty. But if you're acting in a way today that threatens public health and safety, we the people have every right to address that threat through the government we create to address such shared concerns. Your county commission should have the authority to outlaw dangerous action, require perpetrators to stop, and punish them if they don't.

  30. (By the way, what was the relevance of Title 40? Certainly there are rules that apply only to large wastewater facilities, just as there are rules that apply only to large businesses. But the existence of one rule excluding home septic systems does nothing to prove that counties or sewer districts should not regulate home septic systems.)

  31. " yes, ex post facto laws are bad. If you did something yesterday and it wasn't illegal, you should suffer no penalty. But"

    Cory is now in favor of ex post facto laws. Looks like hypocrisy is now in your court on this one. See it isn't just Republicans that do it.

    Steve Sibson

    PS: When are you going to publicly apologize to those you falsely accused of expanding ex post facto laws?


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