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Permit Sought for Sediment Removal

April 25, 1998|NICK GREEN

Seeking to head off a potentially disastrous environmental problem, Fillmore officials are seeking an emergency federal permit to allow sediment to be excavated from the Santa Clara River.

At a special meeting Wednesday, the City Council approved a resolution requesting that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issue the permit.

Rains last winter caused erosion that officials fear could lead to river flows endangering a closed landfill and the city's sewage treatment plant when bad weather returns.

"The river is on a new course," Mayor Don Gunderson said. "It raises the threat of exposing the closed landfill."

Also affected are a farm operated by the Fillmore Unified School District and a state highway.

City officials want sediment removed and a new channel carved in the riverbed before next winter.

State and federal agencies in recent years have been reluctant to issue permits for work in environmentally sensitive areas such as riverbeds. But city officials argue not doing the work could lead to an even worse environmental problem later if flooding washes sewage effluent or old garbage into the river.

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