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Addressing Concerns About Water District

March 28, 1991

Barbara I. Mee covers much in her five-paragraph letter (Times, March 21). Her concerns deserve a reply. First of all, the directors of the Upper San Gabriel Municipal Valley Water District are not public officials in the water industry. On Nov. 6, 1990, voters said they had enough of water industry presidents and representatives sitting on municipal water boards and retired them.

With that election, the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, which serves 80% of the San Gabriel Valley's 1 million homes, became the public entity it was supposed to be.

Within eight weeks, the new board aggressively put the district on sound financial footing, hired a full-time general manager and is about to embark on a major reclaimed-water project. Within months, the district expects to begin the process for massive cleanup of contamination of the San Gabriel Basin ground water.

You are absolutely right on one account. There is a "frightening lack of money necessary for the cleanup." That fact has made the job a challenging one, and is going to be overcome. The cleanup of the basin will begin even if it means levying a standby charge. That isn't appealing to me, but we must begin.

Our politicians tell us to go after the polluters, to go after state and federal funds. At present, the Environmental Protection Agency has no idea who the polluters are. And no state and federal funds are available.

The directors of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District are dedicated to begin cleaning up the mess that was discovered more than 10 years ago. Its actions during the next few months will benefit the entire San Gabriel Valley.

ANTHONY R. FELLOW

President, Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District

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