From informal discussions with IMCC it appears that the Regional Board has seen the light that the brine in the salt body is POISONOUS and that therefore, there is no recreational body contact will lead to ingestion.
Therefore, they seem to have decided that the "Beneficial Use" of REC-1 does not apply.
We thank all of you who signed petitions and wrote letters to the Regional Board. Your voice was heard. You did influence their decision. Afterall, 1,800 people all saying the same thing can't be wrong.
IMCC understands the importance of the Gem-O-Rama to all show participants. They have committed to allow the usual Searles Lake Gem-O-Rama field trips to occur again this year.
Nothing new from Regional Board after the statement below
Statement from 22 September 2001
(Note: the statement below was inserted using the copy command to duplicate the electronic file received from the board staff on 07Sept01)
The California Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) is aware that each year the Searles Lake Gem and Mineral Society, in cooperation with IMC Chemicals, hosts the Gem- O-Rama. This activity occurs on (and in) the Searles Lake Playa. Surface and ground waters of Searles Lake are waters of the State.
The Regional Board's mission is to protect, restore and enhance the State's water resources. Part of this mission is to designate appropriate uses (called beneficial uses) for waters of the State. These uses are listed in the Regional Board's Water Quality Control Plan.
The Regional Board has received many letters and petitions concerning the use designations for the waters of Searles Lake and how they affect the Searles Lake Lake Gem and Mineral Society's annual Gem-O-Rama. IMC Chemicals hosts some of the Gem-O-Rama activities at their facility on Searles Lake.
IMC Chemicals and Regional Board staff have been meeting together regularly. Discussions about the designated uses of the waters of Searles Lake will be continuing for some time as part of these meetings. In the meantime, Regional Board staff support the continuance of Gem-O- Rama activities.
For more information about the Regional Water Quality Control Board
and the Lahontan Region, please visit our website (http://www.rb6v.swrcb.ca.gov).
|IMC Chemicals Corp.
P. O. Box 367
Trona, California 93592-0367
|California Water Quality Control
Lahonton Region (Region 6)
15428 Civic Drive, Suite 100
Victorville, California 92392
web site: Lahontan Region
Searles Lake Gem and Mineral Society
P. O. Box 966
Trona, CA 93592-0966
Phone (760) 372-5356
FAX (760) 372-4799
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