(SANTA CLARITA, CA) – Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) brought together a coalition of local, state, and federal stakeholders on Wednesday to move forward on a plan of action for bringing clean drinking water to Santa Clarita.
Numerous drinking water wells in Santa Clarita are sitting unused because they are contaminated with potentially harmful chemicals known as perchlorates, which are believed to come from the Whittaker-Bermite site in Saugus where munitions were manufactured, stored and tested during World War II and the Cold War. Efforts to clean up the site have persisted for over a decade, and Rep. Knight says the time is now ripe to take an unprecedented step in removing the contaminants in the Eastern Santa Clara River Basin, which would be a vital source of water for the drought-stricken Santa Clarita Valley.
“Advancing solutions to our state’s drought is a top priority for me, and one of the best ways to do that is increasing the amount of clean water available right here in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Knight.
On Wednesday afternoon Rep. Knight gathered stakeholders for a tour of the site and a discussion of the next steps in remediating the site. Attendees included members of the Castaic Lake Water Agency, City of Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar, Assemblyman Scott Wilk, and representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers including the recently-installed Commander of their Los Angeles District, Colonel Kirk Gibbs. Rep. Knight indicated the group must work together in the coming months and years on initiatives to provide clean water for the region.
"I want to thank Representative Knight for his leadership on this issue,” said Matt Stone, General Manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency."We appreciate his help in bringing Colonel Gibbs to the site and his efforts to advance water supply options within our community."
“This coalition of local, state, and federal officials is crucial to achieving the longstanding goal of cleaning the Eastern Santa Clara River Basin, which is now within our reach,” continued Knight. “I am thankful to the participants in today’s tour and I am excited to work with my colleagues to bring water security to our community.”