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Unhappy with PUC handling of chloramine health issues

Original post made by Renee Batti, associate editor of The Almanac, on Jan 10, 2007

The following letter was published in the Almanac's Jan. 10 print edition:

Thank you for the Dec. 27 article on chloramine.
I would like to address the statement by Tony Winnicker, spokesman of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, who said: "It wouldn't be productive or a good use of anyone's time to meet again [with Citizens Concerned About Chloramine] about the exact same issues and exact same thing when there's no new information on either side."
We are insulted by this statement.
There is information on our side that the commissioners have never heard in the first place. In fact, they have never heard a presentation from CCAC where we can share important peer-reviewed scientific data that we have gathered. One-minute comments "from the public" do not suffice.
Our group sent a letter in July to the PUC requesting a time to present our information to the commissioners. They never responded. The next and only letter we received was dated Dec. 5, 2006. There was nothing in there acknowledging our request. Instead, it was the same old "chloramine is great" story.
Board members from two of the major water districts in the area have sat down with us in meetings, listened to our presentation, and were happy to receive and read the very important material we have found. As a result, both the NCCWD (in Pacifica) and (the regional) BAWSCA members are much more informed about chloramine than the commissioners of the SFPUC.
It is clear from Mr. Winnicker's statement that the SFPUC is afraid of the information we have to offer. If they learn what we know, they will have to take some kind of action on the chloramine situation in the Hetch Hetchy water system, something they are loath to do.
The SFPUC may keep its head in the sand and try to keep everybody else's there as well, by attempting to control what the public does and does not hear about chloramine. It would be nice to have equal time with other agencies to make our presentation to the commissioners on our scientific data and its implications.
Hundreds of us have established a clear-cut cause and effect between our symptoms and chloraminated water by using water that is free of chloramine. This is an inconvenient fact that the SFPUC consistently tries to deny. It could be easily and inexpensively established that our symptoms are due to chloraminated water if the San Francisco Department of Public Health was willing to do a simple cause-and-effect evaluation of its own, instead of spending $100,000 of taxpayers' money on propaganda.
We are not going away. To learn more, visit
Denise Johnson-Kula
President, Citizens
Concerned About Chloramine
Florence Lane, Menlo Park


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