Human health impacts of wastewater snowmaking to be heard at 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, CA
From: Jeneda Benally
What: COURT DATE, CARAVAN, PRESS CONFERENCE, RALLY
When: Saturday, January 7th, 2012 Caravan launches from Flagstaff.
Monday, January 9, 2012 – Court Hearing (see schedule of events below)
Where: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal
95 Seventh Street, San Francisco, CA
Why: The San Francisco Peaks, a holy mountain near Flagstaff AZ, are in danger of being used as a toxic recreation area exposing citizens to hazardous contaminants!
Citizens are fighting the United States Forest Service in a legal battle to protect children from hazardous endocrine disruptors and to protect this sacred site from desecration. On January 9th, 2012 The Save the Peaks Coalition et al vs. the United States Forest Service will be heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, CA. The case argues that under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, the Forest Service failed to adequately consider the impacts associated with ingestion of snow made from reclaimed sewer water in its Environmental Impact Statement.
The Forest Service approved reclaimed sewer water for the use of snowmaking at a local Northern Arizona ski resort in 2004. The reclaimed sewer water in question is from Flagstaff’s Rio de Flag Sewage Plant. Since May, the owners of Arizona Snowbowl, with the support of the U.S. Forest Service and the Flagstaff City Council, have already laid 7 miles of a 14.8 mile wastewater pipeline and have clear-cut over 50 acres of rare alpine forest.
According to Howard Shanker, attorney for the Save the Peaks Coalition and the other plaintiffs, “The Forest Service failed to adequately consider the impacts of potential human ingestion of snow made from reclaimed sewer water as required by applicable law. Our government should not be approving such projects without some sort of understanding of the anticipated impacts. By approving treated sewage effluent for snow making without adequate analysis, the government essentially turns the ski area into a test facility with our children as the laboratory rats. That is unconscionable.” Mr. Shanker, a former congressional candidate in Arizona Congressional District 1, represented a number of tribes and environmental organizations in prior litigation over Snowbowl’s proposed expansion and threatened use of treated sewage effluent.
“It is deplorable that the United States Forest Service would allow known endocrine disruptors to come in to contact with our most vulnerable citizens, our children”, states Berta Benally, a plaintiff in the case. “At one point DDT, BPA and asbestos were all considered safe. Years later, after many people have suffered, we now sadly know that they are hazardous!”
The Save the Peaks Coalition is planning a caravan to the San Francisco Court of Appeals on January 9th. Anyone interested in participating can email email@example.com.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
7:00 AM, Sunrise Gathering/Ceremony *Photo Opportunity*
To Be Determined, San Francisco
8:00 AM, March to Courthouse *Photo Opportunity*
95 Seventh Street, San Francisco
9:00 AM, Prayer Vigil at Courthouse *Photo Opportunity*
95 Seventh Street, San Francisco
More info: TrueSnow.org
(Also on Facebook)