BRAWLEY — The city of Brawley denied One World Beef a wastewater discharge permit explained through a press release issued Friday evening.
The press release was from Rosanna Bayon Moore, Brawley city manager.
“The city of Brawley has rejected One World Beef’s request to discharge to the city’s wastewater treatment plant starting March 1,” said Moore. “The reason: One World Beef (OWB) has failed to provide a plan and necessary technical information in time for the city to evaluate the request and prepare it for Regional Water Quality Board concurrence.”
“I think it is important for the community to know where the Regional Water Board stands on this project,” said Jose Angel, executive officer with the California Regional Water Quality control Board who contacted The Desert Review. “There are no water quality or nuisance issues associated with the wastewater operations. I am baffled as to why the city is attempting to use us to deny its permit for OWB. The city plant has plenty of capacity to take what OWB proposes to discharge into it and we believe the city plant should be able to handle it. It’s unfortunate when we don’t serve the public well and put at risk their livelihood.”
Moore said the city will consider modifying the existing industrial discharge permit once OWB submits a complete permit modification application and complete application for the biofilter water treatment system building permit, including missing information needed to meet normal professional standards. The duration of an interim solution cannot be determined without a genuine plan to construct the biofilter water treatment system. OWB was notified on Feb. 10, 2017 that it is prohibited from discharging to the city’s wastewater treatment plant until OWB provides missing technical information.
“OWB does not need to obtain from our office any additional concurrence for its request,” Angel insisted. “We are not going to be used for political purposes. We have no problems with the OWB proposal. The city manager knows this and has used her discretion previously to grant a similar request from the local hospital. They never required the hospital to seek concurrence or approval from our office.”
“The city keeps moving the goal posts,” said One World Beef president and CEO, Eric Brandt.
Brawley Mayor Sam Couchman said, “I don’t know the status of the permitting process, but we don’t want another million dollar fine. My duty is protect the citizens.”
“We have a great group of employees working hard to create quality products,” said Brandt. “We live here in this community and want to do everything right to protect the environment, while providing the much needed jobs. We thank the county, the IID, and everyone who has supported us in this endeavor.”