July 31, 2023
Update from Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg, District 3: Avila Beach, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, and Edna Valley
Welcome to the Hot and Happening Summer of ’23! I am happy to share a few of bigger items in District 3.
First, the extension for plant operations at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is still ongoing and a final decision will likely be made late fall. In the meantime, Pacific Gas & Electric application for the decommissioning of the plant continues to work its way through the process. On Friday, the Diablo Canyon decommissioning Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) was released for public review. This is a massive, five-volume report, compiled with input from PG&E’s application, County Planning and Building Department and Aspen Environmental. This EIR, currently in draft form, is required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to study and report on the “environmental impacts” likely to occur when dismantling a nuclear power plant. The issue areas are: Aesthetics; Air Quality; Biological Resources; Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise; Commercial Fishing; Cultural Resources; Energy; Environmental Justice; Geology, Soils, and Coastal Processes; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Hazardous and Radiological Materials; Hydrology and Water Quality; Land Use and Planning; Noise; Public Services and Utilities; Recreation and Public Access; State Tide and Submerged Lands Possessing Significant Environmental Values; Transportation; Terrorism; Tribal Cultural Resources; and Wildfire. The entire process, required by law, is being paid for by the applicant, PG&E.
The release of the Draft EIR initiates a 60-day public review period, from July 28 – September 25. County staff will discuss the Draft EIR at the August 9th Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel meeting and also has scheduled many in-depth and informational meetings on decommissioning, the future of the Diablo lands and other related topics. You can learn more at their website.
A County Planning Commission study session on September 5th is also scheduled and once the Draft EIR public review period closes, a Response to Comments document will be prepared and any necessary edits to the Draft EIR will be made. It is anticipated that the Final EIR will be completed and released in early 2024 and all of this will then be brought to the County Planning Commission for its consideration. It is anticipated this will occur in early 2024.
Big, wonderful news …we are making big moves to increase efficiency, streamline services, and with every desire to save taxpayers money along the way! On Tuesday, July 25th, the County of San Luis Obispo, under the leadership of intern CAO John Nilon, myself and Supervisor Paulding are pursuing the implementation of Lean Six Sigma, a program used by some of the most successful organizations in the private sector that uses statistical analysis to increase efficiency and reduce waste. The Department of Planning and Building will serve as its champion and be the first to put it into action, and then it will subsequently be rolled out to all departments and every employee will have an opportunity to participate.
Mr. Nilon is familiar with Lean Six Sigma from his previous years leading Kern County. Many governments have implemented the strategy as a way of addressing the growing demands and challenges. This year's budget process made it clear we need to find the most effective use for our resources so we can get the biggest bang for our buck. Mr. Nilon has said "this methodology can save organizations money, improve morale, boost performance, and elevate the services we provide to the people of San Luis Obispo County." Customer service is critical, no matter if you are in the private or public sector and the Lean Six Sigma process will benefit you, our constituents.
Speaking of serving and doing more with less, I had the tremendous privilege of visiting the nonprofit, Meals That Connect, to learn how they serve SLO County seniors, and was I impressed! Meals that Connect is serving nearly 1,000 high-quality, nutritious meals daily for seniors everywhere throughout SLO County. This critical nonprofit relies on 400 volunteers who deliver meals to homes as well as serve hot meals at several dining sites, like the Oceano Senior Center daily, Monday-Friday.
In the last three years, Meals that Connect has been faced with the rising costs: 45% increase for food and 75% increase for gas) and an increase in need among our senior population. As a non-profit, they rely on federal funding, grants, and generous donations to financially support their program. Their staff is dedicated to this work, and it is very evident by the longevity of the committed individuals that have been working and volunteering there. One of their staff, Irene, has been with the program for nearly 40 years! If you are interested in learning more about their program, visit their website. Meals that Connect has an upcoming fundraiser called “Pickles for a Purpose”. It’s a fun event and Pickleball Tournament for two days at the fabulous Templeton Tennis Ranch on September 9th and 10th. I will be there as we all win when we help our seniors!
Enjoy the rest of our beautiful Central Coast summer!
San Luis Obispo County
District 3 Supervisor