Spillway project exposes double standard

Published: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 - 7:10 am

Re “Folsom Lake's drop exposes lost town” (Our Region, Jan. 1): The spillway project is the most impressive sight at the 80 percent-empty Folsom Lake. This incredibly over-engineered solution will cost more than the original dam, but the Corps of Engineers does not conform to environmental standards that regulate private industry.

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program regulations don’t apply at the spillway. Just 200 feet from Folsom Lake’s waterline, acres of terrain have been left ripped open by heavy equipment, with no erosion control measures to staunch the flow of mud into the lake, which feeds threatened fisheries and provides drinking water for the region.

Under threat of incarceration and huge fines that could bankrupt them, California developers spend millions to avoid much smaller storm water pollution risks. Why must small businesses be held to a standard that the federal government ignores?

-- Jim Bayless, El Doardo Hills

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