This Blog has previously reported on clean-up efforts and lawsuits over perchlorate contamination in the Inland Empire area of California (east of Los Angeles). See Posts of July 9 and 18, 2005, under the category "PERCHLORATE". The latest round in this saga occurred when, on September 22, 2005, an administrative law judge of the California Public Utilities Commission denied Fontana Water Company a dramatic rate increase (23.6 to 77 per cent, depending on how one interprets press accounts of the administrative proceedings) which the water provider said was needed, among other things, to clean up perchlorate-contaminated drinking water wells.
Apparently, however, the administrative law judge's ruling is not the final word on the matter. According to the Fontana Herald News of October 6, 2005, the judge ordered a "public participation hearing" to occur on November 17, 2005 for further discussion of the water rate issue. Commenting on the upcoming hearing, Mayor Mark Nuaimi said:
"We urge residents to attend the community meeting, where they will have the possibility of making their voices heard, so that the judge sees that the increase is just wrong," said Nuaimi. "This is our chance to let the Water Company know we are not going to give up. We will win in court and there will be no rate increase."