Colfax, Placer sewer help on the way?

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Granite Bay) is wading into the high cost of sewer-plant upkeep for local government and highlighting the recent problems of Colfax. McClintock, an Elk Grove resident, introduced legislation Friday offering six measures he said from the House floor Thursday would protect communities like Colfax from going through the same nightmare the Placer County city has. Colfax’s problems revolve around requirements to discharge water that would be “certifiably cleaner than the natural stream water into which it is discharged,” McClintock told the House. “In Colfax’s case, this required a $15 million expenditure divided among 1,800 working-class residents who are now paying $2,500 per year just for their water connections,” the District 4 congressman said. The McClintock measures are: - Limit private-party lawsuits to issues of significant non-compliance rather than harmless paperwork errors - Shield local agencies from liability for acts beyond their control - Give local agencies 60 days to cure a violation before legal action can be initiated - Allow communities to amortize the cost of new facilities over a period of 15 years before new requirements can be enforced - Require a cost-benefit analysis before new regulations can be imposed - Limit attorney fees to the prevailing fees of the community. – Gus Thomson