Environmental Press # 34

Subj: OOG: BUY AMERICAN Campaign (1 of 3)
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 12:34:56 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Jon V3
To: Jon V3

Dear Ocean Outfall Group (OOG), dedicated to ending the 301(h) waiver held by the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD);

This is the start of a new campaign within the waiver issue. This campaign is called BUY AMERICAN, and what it means is that OCSD should contract out an ultraviolet light disinfection system within the GWRS (Groundwater Replenishment System) to an American company, not an English or Canadian company. As you may know, OOG has always been for disinfection of the treated wastewater, even fully secondary treated wastewater. From the beginning, we have advocated the use of ultraviolet light as the disinfection modality, not bleach, which requires using the toxic material bleach, a chlorine derivative, to be added to the sewage stream, then dechlorinated with yet another chemical added to the wastewater. All these chemicals require money, truck traffic, and inherent risk of toxicity to the marine environment. On the other hand, ultraviolet systems are nontoxic to the marine environment, require very few truck trips after installation, and do not add to the sewage stream. Ultimately, OCSD should go to UVL, and now is the time to start.

 

 

As it stands, the UVL system selected for the GWRS is not an American company, but is a Canadian company based in London England. The American company who bid the job, Calgon Carbon Corporation, was outbid by Trojan Technologies, based in London, by some $2.4 million. The contract to Trojan Technologies is imminent. We are at the 11th hour. If we don't act quickly, Trojan gets the contract, not Calgon. OCWD (Orange County Water District) has been approved by an OCSD Committee to award the UVL contract to Trojan, not Calgon.

OCSD has already sent out $25 million to foreign companies for the GWRS, even though GWRS is funded by local, state, and federal tax dollars. This contract is for another $10 million sent outside our borders. What is the matter with OCWD and OCSD? Don't they like American companies? The money they use to pay these foreign firms comes straight from a grant from Uncle Sam. All to save exactly $1 per 2.4 million Orange County residents served by OCSD.

Another advantage of Calgon over Trojan includes much fewer lightbulbs for Calgon (120 for Calgon, 3000 for Trojan).This alone should tell OCSD and OCWD, that, long term, Calgon will require less maintenance than Trojan. Can you imagine changing 3000 light bulbs? Yet another advantage is that Calgon already has a track record with OCWD, and the new equipment can be easily integrated with the old equipment. Calgon has also offered to match Trojan's price and even offered a discount for maintaining the currently installed system.

This matters mightily at the present time, because whichever system is selected, will probably be the ultimate system for the whole 240 mgd of OCSD discharge. We should tell OCSD and OCWD not to select the Trojan Horse, but to BUY AMERICAN. What more fitting time than the 4th of July which commemorates our freedom from England, back in 1776. I thought we stopped sending our assets to England back then. Why do we want to start now?

Send emails to Blake Anderson at BANDERSON@ocsd.com, and Letters to the Editor at the LA Times: ocletters@latimes.com. The Register is: letters@ocregister.com. the Daily Pilot is: dailypilot@latimes.com. The Huntington Beach Independent is: hbindy@latimes.com. A sample letter is below:

To The Editor:

Besides the substandard level of sewage treatment by the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) , the District is also poised, along with the Orange County Water District (OCWD), to award an ultraviolet disinfection contract to an overseas company, based in London, England no less, rather than to an equally qualified, perhaps more so, American company. Apparently, a London based company, Trojan Technologies, outbid the American company Calgon Carbon Company, by some $2.4 million, to provide a $10 million ultraviolet light system for the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), which will treat wastewater to drinking water standards and be injected into the Orange County groundwater basin.

However, the American company is willing to match the London-based company's price, and is also offering discounts on existing equipment. Moreover, Calgon, the American company, offers advantages such as lower numbers of lightbulbs, 120, over the foreign company, Trojan, estimates of 3000 lightbulbs, causing better maintenance over the long run. Calgon also can integrate the new equipment with the existing equipment, better than Trojan. All in all, it would appear better to buy American, and more patriotic too. What is the matter with OCSD and OCWD?

It's the 4th of July, Independence Day. Buy American. Don't buy a Trojan Horse from a foreign country.

Sincerely,

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