The city of Mission Viejo Web site boasts that, according to the
FBI, it is the “safest city in America.”
What is obscured is that this city contaminates both the Aliso and
San Juan Creeks with pathogenic bacterial counts equivalent to those
found inside a toilet bowl during use, according to Orange County
Health Department testing.
City officials there refused to implement a new permit, which
regulates urban runoff, and are spending hundreds of thousands of the
local coffers to litigate. The city has evidence some are, especially
minority children, harvesting crawdads from the storm drain systems
to be taken home and eaten.
So the city officials, akin to Nero of Rome, fret over a clouded
issue in a non-scientific mode during the degradation of the public
resources. Meanwhile, locals swim and play in tributaries that are
little more than open sewers of contaminates also containing
pesticides, herbicides, PCBs (noted by EPA last year), etc. Is this
any way to run “the safest city in America?”
* ROGER VON BUTOW Clean Water Now! Coalition & South Orange
County Watershed Conservancy.