If you reside in the Community of Avenal on the west side of the Valley in Kings County, you don’t want to miss this!
(scroll to the bottom for bilingual flyer!)
The San Joaquin Valley Latino Environmental Advancement and Policy Project manages an environmental violations reporting system (ivan-kings.org) in Kings County under it’s Healthy Kings County Initiative. As part of the system, monthly Environmental Justice Network meetings (every second Wednesday of the Month at the Kings County Public Health Department Conference Room, Hanford, CA) are held where we discuss the reports submitted by the public with federal, state, regional and local agencies. The way it works is that when LEAP receives a report via the system we pass it on to the responsible enforcement agency where they take the item and work towards solving it through a clean up, some times a fine or through a more elaborative process that can take much more time and resources.
The drinking water concern is an issue regarding much more attention. We first received a report concerning the water on June 9th, 2015. Soon after we had it on our agenda for the network meetings. Valley LEAP conducts grassroots projects in many communities including Avenal where the water issue kept coming up in community engagements. Understanding the vulnerability of students to deficient water quality, Valley LEAP worked with the California Water Resources Control Board (CWRCB) to pursue the provision of bottled water for the short term to the school district. In turn, CWRCB engaged Self Help Enterprises to assist school district with application to submit for the resources to purchase the bottled water.
This process is an extensive one. But the timeline looks something like this;
June 9th, 2015 – Get water report in system
June 10th, 2015 – Begin dialogue on Avenal water quality. Discussion between all the agencies with LEAP to better understand the problem.
(Still getting this date!) Self Help is brought into the fold to work with school district. They submit application for bottled water
December 2015 – Application is approved
February 2016 – Bottled water is available for students at all the schools in the district (within Avenal)
June 2016 – Valley LEAP takes tour of City of Avenal Water Facility
July 27, 2016 – Open Community Forum to provide information to community, answer any and all questions
We hope that residents join Assemblymember Rudy Salas, California Water Resources Control Board, the City of Avenal, Reef Sunset Unified School District and last but not least Valley LEAP on Wednesday, July 27th to learn how our water works and what is happening to improve it. For more information contact Rey Leon by calling (559) 851-LEAP (5327) or email at rleon@valleyLEAP.org.