Voice: The county was not "slickered" on pipeline project

October 10, 2001

I would like to take exception with Imperial County Supervisor Joe Maruca's characterization of the North Baja Pipeline Project, which appeared in the Imperial Valley Press on Sept. 28.

In that article he is quoted as saying, "The North Baja Pipeline Project was dumped on us — slickered through the federal process."

Over the course of the past 18 months, members of the North Baja Pipeline project team have had roughly 25 meetings with various members of the Imperial County staff, including public works, construction

engineering, real estate, clerk of the Board of Supervisors, county clerk/recorder, assistant county executive officer, county counsel and civil engineering. In addition, we requested and were granted by Imperial County an encroachment permit, which has allowed us to survey pipeline routes in Imperial County.


We also held meetings with Imperial County Supervisor Wally Leimgruber and Planning Director Jurg Heuberger and appeared before the county Board of Supervisors to respond to questions about the project. In addition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had two public meetings, which were noticed in the local newspaper. At one of those meetings, on Aug. 23, Imperial County presented testimony on air quality.

At the state and federal levels we have met with representatives of state Assemblyman David Kelley, state Sen. Jim Battin and Congresswoman Mary Bono to brief them on the North Baja Pipeline project.

I hope this will set the record straight as to the North Baja Pipeline Project's approach toward the county and other constituencies. We take the public process we are undergoing very seriously and work hard to be inclusive.


Project manager

North Baja Pipeline Project

Portland, Ore.

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