AB95 Signed By Governor Into Law

Governor Sisolac signed into law AB95 . The cooperative opposed this bill on several fronts, domestic wells had been exempt from state water law and the cooperative believes this was an error by the legislature to give the State Engineer such administrative power. The legislature, State Engineer and Governor’s office chose to ignore the past supremacy of a domestic owner’s right to the water under their property and used this bill to overturn over 150 years of precedence.

So where do we go from here? Our goal now is to focus on critical management and preventing basin 162 from ever getting to the point where the State Engineer declares it. If the State Engineer were to declare critical management, then under this new law, you fellow domestic well owners ‘could’ have your yearly allocation of water withdrawal reduced from 2 ac. ft. to 1/2 ac. ft. And this would end the rural lifestyle you now enjoy, and have a severe financial impact as well as use you enjoy of your property.

We are all in the together as a cooperative. We need to grow our voice by inviting fellow rural residents, and domestic well owners to join our collaborative effort as members of the cooperative.

You will be kept up to date as to the efforts going forward to protect and preserve your domestic well and property rights. Stay tuned.

CALL TO ACTION! STOP AB 95 NOW!

NOTICE–

Assembly Bill 95, an act if passed that ‘could’ curtail by water by 75% fir domestic wells, will be taken up by the senate tomorrow, May 15th. It already passed out of the assembly. An e-mail has been sent to cooperative members intended as a call to action. Please contact the senate members and ask them to vote against this bill.

How To Be an Effective Citizen Lobbyist — Workshop

How to Be an Effective Citizen Lobbyist

The Nevada Legislature starts on Monday, February 4, 2019.
Learn how to effectively lobby the Legislature from your own home.
Your pocketbook and liberties are at stake. You can make a difference through your participation!
We make it simple!

Citizen Lobbyist Workshops
Presented by: Janine Hansen
State President, Nevada Families for Freedom
Janine Hansen: director@nevadafamilies.org

Pahrump:
January 26, Saturday, 2pm
Pahrump Museum, 401 E. Basin Ave.

Education opportunity for domestic well owners

Nov. 14, 2018
 
Education opportunity for domestic well owners….
 
The cooperative is developing a twelve month program aimed at educating those who want to protect their right to 2 AC feet of water and maintain their rural lifestyle.
 
It’s not a secret that the emphasis of government and developers to build out Pahrump on the back’s of our legal domestic water right to use up to 2 acre feet of water for our livestock, landscaping, gardens and etc.
 
We will be dedicating time during each monthly meeting to educate those in attendance to the point that they can discuss and credibly lobby against any attacks on their rights.
 
Water is a precious commodity in the world and due to mis-management of this resource by Nye county officials and the state engineer’s office, Pahrump was over allocated by tens of thousands of water rights. The former farmers were allowed to convert agriculture water rights for domestic use. This abomination has severely threatened the rural lifestyle and character of Pahrump. The assault has continued due to apathy of the residents and mis-information campaigns.
 
Domestic well owners are not the problem in Nevada, their rights equal about 40,000 acre feet of water in total at present. This is a drop in the bucket when considering the entire inventory of ground water in Nevada. With over 11,000 domestic wells in Pahrump the township has over 50% of all state domestic wells. With limited yearly recharge of the aquifer, a stress has been put on domestic wells.
 
Armed with the proper knowledge and resource our members going forward will be the driving force for a solution in the future, no longer will we be the victims when water plans are considered by government.

Nevada State Engineer amended order 1293A

Announcement from the Office of the Nevada State Engineer regarding Amended Order 1293A

The State Engineer has amended Order #1293, which prohibits the drilling of new domestic wells in Pahrump, Nevada, without the acquisition and relinquishment of 2.0 acre-feet of water rights. Amended Order #1293A, provides two exemptions to Order #1293:  There were 21 notices of intent to drill cards filed in the three day period leading up to the issuance of Order #1293 that were denied. The amended order allows those 21 to drill domestic wells without relinquishing 2.0 acre-feet. Additionally, anyone who filed for a building permit on a parcel that is zoned for a domestic well before the issuance of Order #1293 would also be able to drill a domestic well, with access to 2.0 acre-feet. More info at http://water.nv.gov.

Artificial Nucleation of Clouds Planned For Spring Mountains

NOTICE OF INTENT TO MODIFY NATURAL PRECIPITATION Jan 8, 2018 NOTICE IS GIVEN THAT the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education on behalf of the Desert Research Institute, will conduct a program of weather modification by artificial nucleation of clouds with silver iodide and other appropriate nucleating agents to increase useful precipitation at certain locations in the Spring Mountains. The director who will supervise the proposed project is Frank McDonough, Associate Research Scientist, of the Desert Research Institute. The state of Nevada is funding this project. The area in which the ground based equipment will be operated is east of the city of Pahrump, NV between Highway 160 and Mt Charleston peak. The target area will be the Lee Canyon and Kyle Canyon drainages and we will be looking to increase groundw-ater reserves. The target area and the areas immediately adjacent are in the mountainous western regions of Clark County of Nevada. The project will be starting during the 2018-2019 winter season from about 1 February through 30 April with possible extensions through 15 May, and the project is projected to continue annually. A public meeting will be scheduled and a description of the project and mitigation measures of the proposed project to reduce any significant adverse environmental impacts may be viewed by public agencies and the general public. The meeting will be held February 2 from 2-4 pm at the Las Vegas Centennial Hills Library 6711 N Buffalo Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89131. Any comments related to the proposed project please contact: Jeffrey Dean, 5276 Texas Ave., Reno, Nv 89506. 775-677-3141. jeff.dean@dri.edu. Frank McDonough, Program Director of the Nevada State Cloud Seeding Program, Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512, Tel: (775) 674 7140; Fax: (775) 674 7007. PUBLISH: Jan. 12, 19, 26, 2018.

Michigan scrambles to address chemical contaminants in water


Michigan scrambles to address chemical contaminants in water

David Eggert, Associated Press

Associated Press
Michigan scrambles to address chemical contaminants in water

FILE- In this Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 file photo, a “No trespassing” sign is displayed at an old tannery waste dump used by Wolverine World Wide in Belmont, Mich. Some private wells in the area have tested positive for elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances called PFAS, also called perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs. Michigan, where the large city of Flint continues to recover from a lead-tainted water supply, is now racing to combat a new threat to tap water at sites across the state: chemicals long used in firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products. (Neil Blake /The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — While the city of Flint still recovers from a lead-tainted water crisis, Michigan is scrambling to combat potential health risks in other tap water that stem from chemicals long used in firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been detected at military bases, water treatment plants and, most recently, an old industrial dump site for footwear company Wolverine World Wide. The contaminants, classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as “emerging” nationally, have sparked enough concern that Gov. Rick Snyder created a state response team and approved $23 million in emergency spending.

The chemicals do not break down easily and can migrate from soil to groundwater. They were used in scores of U.S. industrial applications and have been detected in human and animal blood around the globe. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry says scientists are uncertain about how they affect human health at exposure levels typically found in food and water. But some studies suggest the chemicals might affect fetal development, disrupt hormonal functions, damage fertility and immune systems, and boost the risk of cancer.

At least 1,000 homes with private wells in the Plainfield Township area north of Grand Rapids — near where Wolverine dumped hazardous waste decades ago — have been tested for PFAS contamination in recent months.

Cody Angell, 28, who lives in the area, said he has had “sleepless nights,” even though his home is on the local water system that has been deemed safe. He’s concerned because the chemicals have been discovered in the municipal supply, and Plainfield Township for years pulled water from backup wells that have tested positive for the substances. He wonders if PFAS contamination caused his mother’s thyroid disease.

Angell said he lacks confidence in state regulators, pointing to their failures that led to Flint’s crisis. Environmental activist and legal consultant Erin Brockovich recently met with area residents, urging them to join a class-action lawsuit that alleges Wolverine illegally disposed of PFAS from Minnesota-based 3M’s Scotchgard product in the area. The suit seeks financial damages and steps such as targeted, more frequent medical testing.

Another lawsuit alleges that a family of four living near Wolverine’s unlined tannery waste dump drank highly contaminated well water for 17 years, causing the father to develop colon cancer, the mother to have a miscarriage and one of their children to develop a rare bone cancer.

The chemicals have been identified at 28 sites in 14 Michigan communities. Nearly half are on or near military installations, where the source is believed to be firefighting foam.

The $23 million will be used to hire new state employees to sample and analyze well water, buy lab equipment and help public health departments with unexpected response costs. Samples have been sent to California because no Michigan labs can test for the chemicals; state officials want quicker results.

“People are starting to get an understanding of a whole class of chemicals that … are in so many things. How much of that is getting into our systems? I don’t think people really know,” said state Rep. Chris Afendoulis, a Republican whose district includes the Wolverine dump area. He warned it could become “a nationwide problem.”

Of about 1,050 homes tested in neighborhoods north of Grand Rapids, 74 had PFAS levels above 70 parts per trillion — the U.S. government’s combined health advisory level for two PFAS in drinking water, set in 2016. Some houses had concentrations measuring hundreds of times higher than the lifetime advisory level. Results are not back yet for every home. Wolverine has provided affected residents with bottled water and whole-house filters and, at the state’s request, is investigating 20 reports of discarded barrels or leather scraps at five sites.

For now, the Snyder administration and majority Republicans in the Legislature are comfortable with the 70 parts per trillion standard — a non-enforceable and unregulated limit unlike the federal restrictions on other contaminants such as lead, asbestos and mercury.

“It is largely used for trying to communicate to the public the point at which if you’re below that, we don’t have public health concern. When you get above that, then that is when we start to say there are some people who may be at risk of harm from a lifetime of drinking levels above 70,” said Kory Groetsch, environmental health director at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “I like to think of it as a speed limit. If you’re doing 58 in a 55, your chance of anything bad is very small. If you’re doing 95 in a 55, your chance of something going wrong is quite high.”

Michigan Democrats are proposing legislation to establish a 5 parts per trillion limit, which would be the country’s toughest and follow states such as New Jersey, Minnesota and Vermont that have imposed stricter guidelines. They also are calling for legislative oversight hearings to investigate whether Wolverine and the state moved too slowly to protect people. On its website, Wolverine calls the federal advisory level “very conservative” and says there is no human study proving PFAS exposure causes illness.

Still, the EPA recently announced a “cross-agency effort” to address PFAS contamination nationwide, saying it will identify near-term actions to help communities, enhance coordination, boost research and expand communication about health risks. Snyder, a Republican, said the state is building a “good working relationship” with the EPA, but — echoing criticism from both sides of the aisle in Congress — said he wants a “better response” from the Defense Department.

The former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in northern Michigan has been on officials’ radar for some time. While PFAS levels in samples from private residential wells nearby were not higher than the federal advisory level, the state urged people to not use their water for drinking or cooking because of uncertainty about the duration or amount of previous exposure and other concerns.

“We’re at this point in dialogue with different branches of military, and it’d be good if we could get the Department of Defense to figure out the best way to respond and partner with us on helping address this issue,” Snyder said.

___

Land Patents, What Is A Land Patent

LAND PATENT FAQ, PART 1: WHAT IS A LAND PATENT?

Posted by CourthouseDirect.com Team – 10 April, 2013

Land patentFor many landowners, land patents are a vaguely defined or even foreign concept. These days, the vast majority of regular Americans own their homes or properties through a deed or title issued by their local jurisdiction. In exchange, they pay property taxes, respect local building codes, follow local laws, and generally fulfill the roles and duties of strait-laced citizens.

Holders of land patents may enjoy additional privileges to which regular deed-holders aren’t entitled. In laymen’s terms, land patents take land ownership to the next level. Indeed, these legal designations may provide their holders with certain privileges that aren’t typically associated with land ownership in the United States. What follows is a basic outline of the legal theory that underlies land patents.

Origins of Land Patents

The concept of the land patent originated in the early days of the American Republic. As has been well documented, the United States acquired its lands by entering into various treaties with its former owners. While it’s perfectly reasonable to pass judgment on the means by which early American governments obtained much of the country’s area, the fact remains that the treaties that established those governments’ claims to the land are technically in force to this day.

As the United States grew, the General Land Office was tasked with managing and disbursing the country’s treaty-acquired lands. By issuing land patents to landowners and settlers who applied for them, the office essentially transferred the rights conferred by the treaty to these individuals. These rights were held in perpetuity and said to take precedence over any subsequent legal strictures, including state laws and constitutional clauses.

Basic Principles

Over time, the General Land Office sank into obscurity and was replaced by the Bureau of Land Management. Today, the BLM continues to issue land patents to owner-occupants and absentee landowners for a variety of reasons. In most cases, these patents are issued to protect landowners’ mineral and drilling rights from state governments and resource extraction firms.

It’s important to reiterate that state constitutions and statutes are generally deemed to be subordinate to federal land patents. The reason for this is simple: As a condition of admittance to the Union, 49 out of 50 states signed so-called “enabling acts” that formally ceded their lands to the federal government. Since the Republic of Texas never officially ceded its lands to the U.S. government during the annexation process, it stands as the one “outlier” state. Accordingly, it’s questionable whether federal land patents have supremacy over patents and deeds that the government in Austin issues.

Legal Precedents

Over the years, various parties have charged that land patents are archaic instruments that can be abused by unscrupulous landowners and corporations. The legal spats that have arisen from these charges have produced a sizable body of legal precedence that supports the basic concept of land patents. Key court decisions include:

In each of these cases, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the supremacy of federal property rights over local and state laws. This is the nub of the legal theory of land patents.

Benefits and Inherent Value

For the private citizens known as freeholders, land patents offer several clear benefits. They may free landowners from responsibility for honoring liens on their property, including those imposed by the state for unpaid taxes. Further, they may permit their holders to retain the title to their lands in the face of state threats of seizure or eviction. They can also be transferred easily by means of inheritance. Perhaps most importantly, land patents permit their holders to dispose with their land as they see fit. This attribute can be particularly useful during disputes over mineral and drilling rights.

Still curious? You’re in luck! In our next post, we’ll cover the ways to obtain a federal land patent.