Press release sent to the Lecuadia Blog.
ENCINITAS CITY COUNCIL FAILS TO STOP POLLUTION OF SCHOOL PLAYGROUND FROM DOG PARK
City Officials Violate Storm Water Ordinances and Clean Water Act Allowing Pollution From Orpheus Park To Runoff Into Paul Ecke Elementary School Playground.
Concerned community members to hold press conference at Orpheus Park, 482 Orpheus Avenue, Encinitas, CA 92024
Wednesday, February 10 at 8 a.m.
ENCINITAS-After voting to expand hours for off-leash dogs at Orpheus Park, the City Council and city staff continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence that it violated its own policies in doing so and is causing harm to school children at the nearby Paul Ecke Elementary School.
The City’s Storm Water Management Ordinance and the Federal Clean Water Act are being violated by the City itself.
The pollution caused by expanding off-leash dogs at Orpheus Park is documented in several photographs and videos accessible on YouTube:
In part, the ordinance reads:
“(B) Eliminating pollutants in Storm Water to the Maximum Extent Practicable, including pollutants from both point and non-point sources; (C) Prohibiting activities which cause, or contribute to, exceedance of state and federal Receiving Water quality objectives. (D) Protecting Watercources from disturbance and pollution.”
The ordinance defines a pollutant as... “animal waste…fecal coliform, fecal streptococcus, and enterococcus bacteria and other pathogens that pose a threat to human health…”
Clearly, the presence of dog urine and feces, as documented in the videos cited above meet the definitions in the city’s own Storm Water Management Ordinance.
By approving expanded off-leash hours for dogs at Orpheus Park, the city has exacerbated an existing problem. The runoff from the park leads directly into the playground area at neighboring Paul Ecke Elementary School.
The potential harm caused to children by the pollutants is of great concern to parents and school officials.
Despite numerous complaints to the City Council and Parks and Recreation Department by community members who live around Orpheus Park and whose children attend Paul Ecke Elementary, nothing has been done to rectify the problem, or even acknowledge that it exists.
However, the City Council is prepared to expand off-leash hours at Hawk View Park and Glen Park in Cardiff during its meeting tomorrow, February 10 at 6p.m.
Without further discussion on the environmental impacts of pollutants caused by increased off-leash dog activity at Orpheus Park, the council is proceeding in an irresponsible manner, violating its own ordinances.
Orpheus Park is the most heavily use Dog Park in North San Diego County and has been in operation for over 14 years. The recent expansion of hours has tripled the amount of hours for off-leash dog use.