LAKEPORT — At their Tuesday meeting, the Lake County Board of Supervisors heard a presentation from the Environmental Protection Agency on plans to clean up the Sulpher Bank Mine Superfund site. The Board also heard annual reports regarding levels of cyanobacteria at Clearlake and the external quality review of the Department of Behavioral Services.
The Department of Behavioral Services has shared for the first time one of its many annual audits, the 2021-2022 External Quality Review Final Report. Department Director Todd Metcalf said, “We want to bringing more of these audits to the board depends on our goal of being transparent and ensuring that the community and the board understand what we are doing. It’s going to show the good, the bad and the ugly, but we want to be transparent. The report reflects some declines in clinic wait times and staff morale. Metcalf said these issues are primarily caused by budget constraints and a lack of resources, which the department is beginning to combat with increased funding for employee support programs to combat burnout and high turnover rates. .
Another report heard by the Board came from the Water Resources Project Coordinator, Angela De Palma-Dow, regarding the annual levels of pre-season cyanobacteria found at Clearlake. Each year this report is made in preparation for more tourism and boating on the lake during the summer. Due to the drought, this year’s levels could be worse than previous years and the Department of Water Resources is maintaining public communication by posting signs around water entry points warning everyone of the level of danger. potential for that specific area. District 1 Supervisor Moke Simon suggested the use of geolocation for communication with the public and for county officials to notify residents and visitors of cyanobacteria levels. Simon said, “If we could just keep looking at these technological advancements as we move forward to deliver public messages.”
Carter Jessop, EPA’s senior manager for the Sulpher Bank Mine Superfund site, provided an update on the agency’s plans to clean up the site of toxic waste. Mercury located at the Bradley Mining Company site has continually polluted the lake water, damaging the entire ecosystem and rendering local fish and groundwater undrinkable. According to Jessop, the EPA is trying to “speed up” this operation with the first phase of cleanup beginning in 2024. District 2 Supervisor Bruno Sabatier added, “Once a site is listed, it should be cleaned up in five years, in 1996. which rose to 10.6 years. If we were listed in 1990, we are in the 32nd year and this is where the public, and myself included, are frustrated.
A schedule of upcoming and past meetings of the Lake County Board of Supervisors, along with previous meeting minutes, can be viewed online at http://www.lakecountyca.gov/Government/Boards/Board_of_Supervisors.htm