11/19/17 - Humboldt Baykeeper and the Humboldt Waste Management Authority recently reached a settlement agreement in a federal lawsuit that claimed the waste company was allowing polluted stormwater to enter Humboldt Bay and the Palco Marsh.


Humboldt Baykeeper’s pollution claims contested a November 2016 inspection by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board...




County staff has responded to concerns about potential onsite wastewater system impacts to impaired watersheds in the Clam/Moonstone Beach area, saying a mix of public outreach and monitoring will address them.


The impacts relate to elevated fecal coliform levels at Luffenholtz Beach, Clam Beach, Trinidad State Beach and Moonstone Beach, which were listed as impaired in 2013. Other watercourses, including Little River, Widow White Creek, Strawberry Creek, Campbell Creek and Jolly Giant Creek were added to the impaired list in 2015. 


Whether the areas added later will be adequately addressed was discussed during the Nov. 7 Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisors considered the county’s Local Agency Management Program (LAMP), which outlines how state onsite treatment standards will be complied with.


During the discussion, Supervisor Mike Wilson noted that Humboldt Baykeeper has commented on the county program’s lack of specific inclusion of the water bodies added in 2015. 


State standards cite 600-foot wastewater system setbacks from impaired water bodies but there’s some leeway. Carolyn Hawkins of the county’s Department of Environmental Health said the county proposes to monitor feeder streams – such as those from the 2015 list – instead of requiring the setbacks.


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Humboldt Baykeeper warns of chemical runoff on former mill sites


The Arcata-based soil company Royal Gold LLC recently settled a federal civil lawsuit filed by Humboldt Baykeeper that alleged the company allowed harmful chemicals at its Glendale soil mixing facility to contaminate the Mad River and the nearby Mill Creek.


The company agreed to make a variety of infrastructure changes to prevent contaminated runoff from entering soil and groundwater.



Here in Humboldt, we have front row seats for climate change. Sea level rise in one direction. Stronger and more frequent wildfires in the other. Responses are all over the spectrum from President Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord to Governor Brown saying “California is all-in on de-carbonizing our economy.”  In this installment of KHUM In Depth, we talk with experts and local community members who are working to assess how Humboldt will be affected by climate change and what we could and should be doing about it now.


We talk with environmental engineer, former Harbor District Commissioner and current County Supervisor Mike Wilson as well as Humboldt Baykeeper’s Jennifer Kalt about challenges we face along the populated coast when it comes to sea level rise.  Janet Upton of Cal Fire tells us from her Sacramento office how hotter, dryer summers have changed the wildfire landscape in California and what the state is doing to address these changes.  Climate Vulnerability Assessment expert and lecturer at Humboldt State University, Michael Furniss, speaks about steps we are taking on the local and state level to curb carbon emissions.  We also talk with Katie Gurin from our local chapter of 350.org about the organization’s focus in combating climate related issues in our community.