November 20, 2017 
 Monday 
 
 

Forum
Topic:
Water and Arsenic: which came first?

       

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 By SCOOP

01/06/2009  12:46PM

How about this article in the Sacramento Bee!!
January 3, 2009
Headline: “Kern inmates forced to use tainted water”.

Here’s the scoop. Kern Valley State Prison opened in 2005 with local water registering higher in arsenic than the new federal limits. The government shelved a $629,000 filtration system and did not notify the staff and inmates. “Its not that major of an issue,” said Kelly Harrington, the prison’s new warden. The administrators say the health hazard from arsenic (from chemicals used in industry and farming) is insignificant and they will get around to it in the next few years. The prison’s chief medical officer, Dr. Sherry Lopez, said there was no immediate danger from the lockup’s water, based on an email from a poison-control expert who said arsenic is “much more a regulatory problem than a public health problem.”

Oxygen is a poison; plain water can kill, so can chocolate, meat, vitamins A-B-D and E. It’s all about dosage, the amount and time line of ingestion. Let’s hope this new and fresh look at America and ourselves will examine the utterly false and misleading claims of arsenic, especially natural elemental arsenic as dangerous enough to waste millions of our precious dollars.
 By Rick

04/10/2004  7:58PM

As usual, Lynwood's words make important impact. (I could pontificate over theories of marketing strategies that sell someone's water to someone else, and visa versa, based on health issues and other parameteres, most likely BS angles to make people buy stuff, but in this case I won't.)

I told the CaRWQCB in my prescibed one-minute chance to "Dip one of your own mugs into the river in Sacramento, at the former Curtis Rail Yard, and drink, before you challenge the 1621 to comply within the very constraints your own political body doesn't dare adhere to" (I paraphrase, but the actual transcript of my testimony is available though access of the hearing, commented on below in a previous Forum entry.) Of course, it did nothing but make them tired.

Lynwood, I agree. In a true free/law-abiding society, there would be no pressure to change the natural ambiant levels of any indiginous mineral concentration in a water-course and therefore a water supply, unless its been mandated by the CRWQB, which in this case is the reason.

(I know you know this, but I repeat it here for new readers.)

But actually, there may be a positive, a heretofore unforeseen potential: the Original Sixteen to One Mine may become a model for new technological advances in altering nature's course, (the new installation a result of the court ruling mandating compliance of arsenic levels leaving the mine to be under natural levels)... (of course with absolutely no detectable trace impact downstream, but politics didn't care about that...)

Next thing you know, everyone's teeth'll be falling out, because we're more powerful than our creator.

Isn't that what they told us?
 By lynwood

04/09/2004  9:02PM

The following article was published in an obscure magazine, World Wide Drilling Resource in April, 2004.



Hard Water ‘Stops Heart Attacks’
Story from BBC News

Drinking hard water may protect against heart disease, researchers have claimed.
Researchers from the Geographical Survey of Finland looked at 19,000 men who had suffered heart attacks.
They found for every unit increase in water hardness, there was a 1% decrease in the risk of having a further attack.
Writing in the journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the researchers said the findings explained regional variations in heart attack rates.
They said the differences of up to 40% between areas could not be explained solely by lifestyle or genetic factors.
Mineral levels
The team looked at men aged between 35 and 74, who had had an initial heart attack in the years 1983, 1988, and 1993. They also examined national geological survey data on water hardness and trace elements, divided up into 10 by 10 kilometer grids.
Professor Jeremy Pearson, British Heart Foundation said, “It is not implausible that water hardness might affect disease rates.”
Hard water is any water, which contains an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals. The researchers looked at measurement levels of calcium, magnesium, fluoride, iron, copper, zinc, nitrate and aluminum from almost 12500 groundwater samples.
They suggest higher fluoride levels were protective, with every one milligram of fluoride per liter of household drinking water was associated with a 3% decrease in the risk of a heart attack.
But for every microgram of iron per liter, risk increased by an average of 4%, and for every microgram of copper per liter of water, it increased by 10%.
Writing in the Journal of epidemiology and Community Health, the researchers, led by Dr. Anne Kousa, said, “The large geographical variations and changes in the incidence of heart attacks in Finland cannot be explained by individual lifestyle or genetic factors alone. Environmental exposures must also contribute to the development of the disease.”
Small effect
Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, told BBC News Online: “There have been several studies going back more than 35 years examining the relationship between incidence of coronary heart disease and hardness of local water supplies, with inconsistent results.
“It is not implausible that water hardness might affect disease rates, since it relates to the levels of trace elements that may be important for nutrition. However, the contribution of drinking water to the total intake of these elements is usually low.”
He added: “This study concludes that the incidence of acute myocardial infarction is significantly lower in areas of the country where water is harder.
“However, it is clear that any effect that there might be is small by comparison with the well-known major risk factors, such as poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking and high alcohol intake.” END OF ARTICLE

I wonder if the sellers of bottle water are behind the misinformation about drinking water that puts fear in the minds of the mindless. Scoop reports that the mine will eliminate the low levels of dissolved arsenic (an important naturally occurring element on earth) from Kanaka Creek? The fish, plants, and insects in that drainage are as healthy as any in the California mountains. I bet the Rockies too. I say…don’t do it. Leave it alone. How can this BS be stopped? About the miners’ prayers for the old miners and their women, I like it.
 By gfxgold

07/30/2003  7:40PM

I haven't heard much lately about the ongoing battle of water quality in the sierra's. I did, however, run across a story about the EPA trying to levy fines against the city of Portland, Oregon. It's a case of the EPA seeing a problem where there is none. In fact, the city's project is trying to correct a water problem! Go to: www.opb.org and click on the story, "City Says EPA Forces Delays on Big Pipe Project." It shows that no matter who you are, there is always someone who wants to protect you from yourself and take your money for doing it! This time it's the taxpayer who loses by having to pay for both sides!
 By Michael Miller

04/30/2003  11:28PM

State Water Resources Control Board
April 30,2003

Gentlemen, thank you for considering our disagreement with the
Central Water Control Board. Bill Walker of Walker and Associates is more qualified than I to explain the science of water at the mine. He and four staff members have visited the site about six times. The regional staff has one or two visits in the past five years. No State staff has ever inspected the mine. Walker has affirmed and expanded the company’s position, consistently expressed to both boards since 1998. The regional staff presented its board stale data, untrue facts; broad opinions as if they were facts and lost many of the test results the company sent them.

It is always difficult for oversight boards to vary from staff recommendations. You are the leaders, unencumbered by a bureaucratic regime. I ask you to adopt the Walker recommendations for monitoring at the Sixteen to One mine. To provide you the confidence to do so, I will introduce a recent New York Times essay which was also in the Sunday Forum page of the Sacramento Bee. Its title is “Ethical Awareness for Sciences and Leadership”. The values of honesty, creativity and full disclosure are the hallmarks of good science.

Mr. Lawrence Krauss writes, “Confronting misconceptions, deliberate or not, our own or others’, is probably the single most important factor driving progress in science, and in a broader sense society. Scientists must not allow nonsense to remain unconfronted, regardless of whose sensibilities we offend. Once we allow empirical truth to be blurred with impunity in one important area of human activity, we jeopardize the very basis of a healthy democracy.” He closes with, “A democracy, like science, functions best only when all actions are open to question, and when we require the highest levels of accountability.”

The record of our application and appeal is detailed; but the water issue is not complex. The baseline charts in the Walker report could have been easily compiled by the regional board staff. The charts represent scientific proof: increased monitoring is an unreasonable burden with no public benefit. I defer to Mr. Walker. END OF ORAL PRESENTATION.

The State Water Resources Control Board ignored the Walker report and stuck to its own staff recommendations. Significant changes were made to the draconian and unscientific document prepared by the lower board and its staff. I am grateful for this; however, the State Board sidestepped a real opportunity to correct a flawed document.
 By Rick

03/24/2003  8:51PM

Having just now read the new News article from the Union, I am pleased that Mike Miller has now prevailed in awakening the CRWQCB back into reality, something that many of us have been writing about here in the Forum section for quite some time now. Pleased that due process seems to be forthcoming from those politically appointed bodies I've been railing against for the last number of years.
Go figure. Finally!

Mostly, I wonder what we as Forum contributers can do to bring our perspectives to light before an assault on freedom ever starts; in essence, to prevent it from ever happening to begin with.

Imagine: it took another expert witness in a court to substantiate what the Original Sixteen to One's own geologist was telling the CRWQCB in court almost two years ago (thanks Jason, too bad they weren't listening the first time) and somehow now the CRWQCB sees that natural elemental occurances actually effect natural water impurities.

As if the Original Sixteen to One was always lying about it, no regards to legitimate and timely reports required and delivered (thanks once again, Jason) . . . now the CRWQCB covering up its past incompetent obstructionist methodology.

But hey: they are.

I hope.

And I keep my fingers crossed, seeing all the perseverence come to fruition. If this new realistic assessment of ambient arsenic in Kananka Creek is being re-evaluated without the CRWQCD's previous stance of obstructionist politics, (looking instead at solutions as an objective--go figure) and forthcoming as actual progress, we have one more reason to applaud the fact that Truth always prevails.

Works every time it's tried.
 By Michael Miller

03/17/2003  4:43PM

Oops.....Thanks for telling me about not giving the date for the State Board meeting. It is March 19, 2003. Also the word "no" was omitted from the last message, right after the sentence, "I think it is a good idea".
 By Michael Miller

03/15/2003  11:15PM

CALIFORNIA STATE WATER BOARD will meet in Sacramento at 9am to approve, reject or modify the permit proposed by the Central Valley Regional Water Board. It calls for 1450 annual tests, ignoring the decade of monitoring performed at the mine.In the history of water laws formulated via the Porter Cologne Act and Basin Plan [Yes there are laws establishing water regulations. I think it is a good idea] company or individual has ever been called to perform 1450 annual tests because of BACKGROUND natural elements.

Rae will send you info if you can attend the meeting. A large vocal turnout could be interesting. Even if I am the only one, the facts in evidence are enough to support a contention the laws are not being carried out as the California Stat legislature intended. It is called, Legislative Intent and is gaining the recognition the electorate expects.
 By auriferous

05/19/2002  9:46PM

I thought that it would be a good idea to relate to you an excerpt of a phone conversation I had with one of the staff engineers at the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

I had called at the request of the mine to try to get some information and assistance regarding the new monitoring requirements to which the 16-to-1 is now subject under their new NPDES permit.

During the course of the conversation, I asked (as I had done in front of the board) how they can justify requiring an arsenic limit that is below the background arsenic concentration of Kanaka Creek. In addition, I asked how they proposed reducing the arsenic discharge from the many abandoned mines in the watershed.

Now, there are a number of possible responses that could have been put forth by this single representative of the board. Some of them could have made sense, and some of them could have been B.S. The one that I got was downright shocking.

The response was:
It is one of the long-term goals of the regional board to eventually have every abandoned mine that is discharging water into a natural watercourse be permitted with a NPDES permit. What this means (and I asked for clarification on this) is that if anyone, from a private citizen to the federal government, owns land from which there is a discharge of water from an abandoned mine (or other point-source of pollution), that owner or some other responsible party will be required to apply for a permit to discharge. All that is necessary for this to happen is for the board to discover a mine that they didn't know about before. How do they find out? Anyone can report it to them or to any of the agencies that the board uses to perform its investigations (DFG and local law enforcement are two examples).

What are the effects of suddenly needing to file for a NPDES permit? Essentially, you will need to perform site assesments and water sampling, develop a mitigation plan to reduce or eliminate any pollutants deemed detrimental to the natural watercourse (including turbidity, taste, odor, color, floating material, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, biological oxygen demand, pH, temperature, pesticides, and any other constituents as determined by state or federal statute).

Remember, ANY ACTIVITY THAT DISCARGES WATER TO LAND, SURFACE WATER, OR GROUND WATER is subject to this permitting process.

Good luck.
 By Michael Miller

05/17/2002  2:50PM

This letter could be included in a number of categories on the forum. Later it will join the yet-to-be-developed corporate correspondence archive.

December 2, 1998


Senator Tim Leslie
1200 Melody Land, Suite 110
Roseville, CA 95678


Dear Mr. Leslie:

Sadly, I report to you that California’s administration of the Porter Cologne Act is ineffective, out of control and not serving the interests of California. The State Water Board, and its advisor, Mr. Walt Pettit, Executive Director, and Mr. William R. Attwater, Chief Council, and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Central Valley Region (CRWQCBCVR), its staff and its administrator, Mr. Carlton, are acting like a coalition of autocrats. This behavior is associated with the Kremlin style of government, third world dictatorships, or even worse the Gestapo. These present California regulators lost the concept of due process in their quest for administrative control.

During the past twenty-five years my career has focused in the noble occupation of traditional underground gold mining in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. An awareness and understanding of the mining industry does not come easily. Through my work I have been in practical contact with numerous governmental agencies. From Agricola who was solicitous for the reputation and recognition for the importance of the mineral industry, to the former governor Jerry Brown, who recognized the value of mineral resources and endorsed categorizing and preserving California’s mineral lands, responsible leaders and soothsayers know that mining is a calling of peculiar dignity and benefit to the general public. Individuals appointed to State and Regional Boards must work harder to understand the gold mining industry and go beyond clichés and simplistic characterizations. Andre Agessi was wrong in his popular TV commentaries. Perception is not everything. The essence of facts are more important than perception as we work towards managing the lives of Californians and the bountiful water we share in our state.

Our water quality regulators have misplaced their legislative mandate for intellectual integrity while administering the law. The rules are spelled out in our Porter Cologne Act. They are also violating the disciplines of scientific inquiry for gathering data and the principles behind the State and Federal constitution. I am asking you to aggressively become involved in ending an odious arrogance of publicly paid people who have lost their intellectual integrity.

My company continues to be victimized by employees of the state. Thirty-nine hard working employees and their dependents face unemployment due to poor research by the department of Fish and Game and the staff of CRWQCBCVR. Our plight down the road is easy to follow. Poorly researched data was provided to and gathered by the CRWQCBCVR staff, who disregarded the rules of evidence. One of the greatest perpetrators of illegality was the attorney advising the CRWQCBCVR. Ill informed regional board appointees slept through a Red China type judicial hearing where witnesses were not allowed to present evidence. State Water Board appointees to the CRWQCBCVR dutifully approved lower decisions without inquiry. A smattering of public attorneys forgot about constitutional rights and legal procedures to dutifully protect the fraternity of government employees (whose beliefs were erroneous at the outset). We pay via taxes for all of this abuse as well as pay to defend ourselves.

You and your fellow elected officials have the only power to protect Californians from the abuse of career public employees. You do this by holding those at the pinnacle of power responsible for their actions. Jim Maughn and Adrian Griffin of water quality failed to follow the Porter Cologne Act; Dennis Messa of the department of Fish and Game prepared a report of opinions not an investigation of facts; Ed Carlton failed to administer his staff and failed to discharge his duties; the politically appointed regional board failed to conduct a proper public hearing; the State Water Board failed to seriously review the quality of its underlings; State lawyers failed to exercise their professional code of behavior in conducting a hearing.

Ours is the last and only producing underground deep vein gold mine in California. We are very fragile. We need objectivity, not ill informed clones pandering the party line from those we elect or pay to regulate us. This is what the CRWQCB and the State Board is demonstrating.

Time is of the essence. Please get involved. All of the above mentioned people have forced us into another hearing in January. If our request for a proper hearing by the State and/or Regional Board is denied, we will appeal the decision. If we lose the appeal, we will file a lawsuit against the department of Fish and Game and CRWQCB and name those individuals culpable. Spending money with lawyers does not improve the water quality. I seek an interview with the Chairman of the State Board, the Regional Board and Mr. Pettit or any of the board members. My many attempts for a meeting, which I can document, have failed. There are excuses why they cannot meet with me, but the excuses are weak. They are hiding behind a bureaucratic self-proclaimed shield.

I am available to discuss this further with you or your staff. I am available to meet with any of the water regulators upon short notice. My phone number is (530) 287-3223.

Enclosed is my most recent letter to the shareholders of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. for your reading pleasure.

Sincerely yours,



Michael Miller
President
 By Rick

05/08/2002  10:19PM

Lynwood:

Your clarification below brought welcome relief to my previous misunderstanding, as my initial interpretation to your topic titled "ADMINISTRATIVE 'LAW' " left me with the impression that such 'LAW' should be heeded, rather than challenged. How wrong I can be sometimes....

Your perspective is right on the mark. Let's not exclude the total picture while we're at it: not only is the Original Sixteen to One under assault, the full scope of our Freedom is slowly succumbing to the forces of the ignorance that manifests through the guise of 'public good' so well exemplified by the MSHA debacle.

Truth: Law is not established by appointment, while 'Administrative Law' by appointment should be opposed at all cost. Thanks Lynwood for the explanation so well said.
 By Rick

03/28/2002  9:53PM

All of the above. In that order.

The reason The 16-to-1 has the proverbial target pasted to its back has virtually nothing to do with arsenic (refence the article re: Water Board Decision) but instead to its vulnerability as a political football, its unfortunate subjugation to unchecked politically appointed czarism and a reluctance for the general public to step forth and bridge the challenge of apathetic banality when Constitution issues arise. Generally, apathy wins and ignorance flourishes.

In this case, you are right to again point out that arsenic abounds along the divide, that floods (as historically, non-existent data excludes rational and embraces conjecture instead, the power of persuasion shifting to the pea-brain mentality of the knee-jerk idiot) occur for the same Godly explanation that makes rocks-in-river-courses round. (PS, don't go movin' no rocks around when the river ain't flowing just as they think it should . . .might just inflict a little all-too-ready-to investigate damage to the round edges of round rocks; I remember boulders the size of Nevada County's longest school-busses crashing into the bridge on the Middle Fork.)

Nut-shell: The mine is a target for publicity and sickly-derived political gain, despite the quantitative validity of whatever any dreamed-up unsubstantiated claims can evoke. Unfortunately, this slams critical thinkers like a ton of muck-in-the-head . . . which is the motive nature of scare-tactic environmentalistic farce.

Unfortunately, the threat exists in a cloak that few have the guts (as you honorably do have Gonzo, and please spread your concerns for us all) stomached enough to respond in a public forum.

This reminiscently reminds me of the maverick idiot who battled not only society but all the knowledge to eventually yield to flight: "You're dreaming if you think that will fly." Yet as fortune had it, scepticism defeated, today we summarily dismiss with a toss-of-the-hand the same obstacles that beforehand kept mankind's feet glued to the ground. No politics then, simply skepticism yeilding to truth.

Today's skepticism maskerades as 'The Most Pressing Global Concern That You're An Idiot To Ignore: Our Earth,' yet as truth proves, when the proverbial stone is overturned (make sure no one's looking) we humans may be in charge of discretionary pollution, but damned if we can't, and shouldn't, play God.

Which any political bureaucrat invloved in this debacle won't admit they're doing . . .
 By Rick

03/04/2002  3:21PM

Evidence of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board's true objectives was on display at the hearing, as Jason has pointed out. Perhaps we've stumbled onto the real reason "Control" is hidden in their name . . .

Imagine the reaction to these next three words (in fact, try it on some of your friends) and you will discover the agenda: "Mine, Discharge, Arsenic."

Without a shred of facts, the political implication stands naked for all to see . . .it sounds as if some fly-by-night, out-of-control, gross-poluting, earth-ruining criminal is trying to kill children and feed old ladies catfood.

I've given these words to some friends a few times since the hearing, asking for what course of action they initially felt by the words, and what do you know, every person has said "Shut them down if they're using arsenic and contaminating the drinking water."

Yet when I went on to explain how they've been intentionally misled, providing the fact that no arsenic is used, that aresenic occurs naturally all the way to the Yuba River confluence, that the arsenic in Kanaka Creek is below 10ppb at the spot where it exits the mine's property (13ppb above stream while standard is 50ppb), that the Board defined "drinking water" as any surface water in the State, that the Board admits that even if the mine weren't operating the arsenic level in the creek wouldn't change, that indeed the data was misplaced somehow, that operations without a milling process most likely would bring new light to the Water Board's staff's recomendations . . . .

. . . then those three words didn't seem so dirty. Jason's testimony pointed out a crucial fact that was blatantly ignored: Kanaka Creek has 303d status, already designating it by the Water Board to be non-drinking water (again, the ambient level of arsenic--that level already upstream of the mine--is above their standards already!). It just didn't matter. The facts didn't matter.

So the only possible conclusion is as follows: the political clout non-critical thinkers bestow on the Gray Davis Administration through their false allegations, allows his Water Board to say "We're going after a gross-poluting mine that discharges arsenic and have succeeded."

You'd think the objective would be to regulate arsenic levels in the drinking water, not feel-good-politics. Yes, you read correctly: they don't care about the level of arsenic, because it's within their own standard. It's all a bunch of . . .
 By auriferous

03/01/2002  5:36PM

I think today's decisions were an affront to not only scientific principles but logical thought as well. The board decided to increase the amount of water sampling and reporting required when they cannot even maintain complete records of the data that the mine did submit over the past 13 years.

One good thing about the meeting was that it seemed to me that the board listened a bit more to our side, in stark contrast to the demeanor of the board back in 1997-1998.

Let's look forward to a fourm in which the mine can finally receive a fair hearing and where hopefully logic and common sense will be afforded more weight.

Jason Burke
 By Rick

12/30/2001  5:48PM

Try this one on for perspective:

Recent discoveries by the EPA revealed arsenic levels in Sacramento's Curtis Rail Yard somewhere between 25,000 and 46,000 PPB, yet where do we read of the quantitative distinction in Sacramento's major newspaper? Yes...last time I drove north on I5, the evidence of 'clean-up' shouts at you as you look east...and the site lies along the Sacramento River. The same River fed by Kanaka Creek. The same water ostensibly rendered 'poisonous' by leaky levels of arsenic delivered into the system by eons of natural erosion, 150 years ignored by the politically motivated environmental movement.

Let's examine the relative publicity surrounding both the Curtis Rail Yard and the miniscule 'green' (as much as I abhore the term, but for the sake of clarification I use it for relative perspective to those who understand only rhetoric), yes 'green' mining techniques employed by the Sixteen to One:

Thousands of miles of track have been lain with ballast support utilizing arsenic-laden waste from copper-smelting, a common form of refinement throughout the world...tracks lining rights-of-way that often follow river courses, the most direct routes of commerce, the sources of vast tax revenues confiscated by governments throughout the country. 25,000 PPM vs. possible naturally occuring arsenic levels of 25 to 500 PPM in Kanaka Creek.

Which of these 'atrocities' has received the distinction from the press?

Right...The small, insignificant one with the most accessible political potential...
 By goldengirl

12/07/2001  1:21PM

Well stated Rick!
 By Rick

12/06/2001  10:46AM

Private property rights, of course, do not include the right to pollute another's property, yet let's examine the issue recently brought to light by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

There are a number of things on the table, all in concert with each other. The formost: a non-elected board, appointed (politically motivated, of course) has redefined the definition of drinking water, redefined 'primary use' of water in Alleghany, redefined jurisdiction and redefined chemistry.

Arsenic is a natural element. Arsenopyrite is a naturally occurring ore: FeS2FeAs2 It happens to be associated with quartz deposites, specifically arsenopyrite, found in hard rock gold mines in California. The Sixteen to One has been told (through unchallenged regulation) to 'clean-up' arsenic dumping in Kanaka Creek, based on sampling of effluent discharge from 1999 when an entirely different set of circumstances existed: the mill was grinding up quartz with minute quantities of naturally occurring arsenopyrite (no longer running), samples taken ignored any dillution factor once added to the creek's naturally flowing volume, ignored the subsequent downsteam water volume from tributaries, ignored the fact that no one uses Kanaka Creek water for drinking water, ignored the fact that for 150 years mines along Kanaka Creek encountered arsenopyrite, and ignored the fact that the primary use of the water isn't defined as drinking water, anywhere from Alleghany to the Pacific Ocean.

I challenge anyone in the California Regional Water Quality Control Board to dip their mug into the Sacramento River and take a long drink. They won't, because arsenic exists from manufactured agricultural pesticides...in far greater quantity than a trickle of naturally occurring water coming out of a two inch pipe from an operation that isn't even operating!! Go figure.

What's at stake here isn't the health of those cited by the Water Board. Instead, what's at stake is our sovereignty to retain jusrisdiction of regional water rights that predate the existence of today's fear tactics, employed by the politically motivated environmental movement playing God.

Guess what? Water and arsenic were here billions of years before someone invented the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

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