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Curtailment Violations ~ Innumerable Illegal Commercial Cannabis Operations

Press Release: SCCAM-Shasta, Siskiyou, and Lassen County Citizens Against Marijuana

Current letter from team member in Siskiyou County California,
the epicenter of illegal marijuana production in the United States.

Erik Ekdahl, Deputy Director, [email protected]

Joaquin Esquivel,

Julé Rizzardo, Assistant Deputy Director, [email protected]

Roberto Cervantes, Office of Enforcement,  [email protected]

Mayumi Okamoto, Office of Enforcement, [email protected]

Debi.Ores, Water Board, [email protected]

Megan Dahle, Assembly, [email protected]

Senator Dahle, [email protected]

Megan Dahle, Assembly, [email protected]

Erin Ryan, Congressional Doug LaMalfa Representative, [email protected]

Subject: Curtailment Violations Order WR 2021-0082-DWR 

Erik Ekdahl, et al:

Citizens within the Shasta Basin have been watching the numerous trucks extracting water and hauling to the innumerable illegal commercial cannabis operations placing countless complaints in the SAVE Water database but never does anyone get a response nor an acknowledgement.  We have notified your agency repeatedly of the violation of the curtailment order dated 06/29/23, Order WR 2021-0082-DWR letter since it was implemented which defines the application number SG005957 & SG005445 in Attachment A as being curtailed which are two egregious violators. (Figure 1.)

Figure 1.

The following is the number of hauling we currently have processed from the curtailed sites above of 4,500-gallon haulers we have been tracking from 06/30/23 – 07/28/23 of violations.  There are 20 days in which water levels at the Shasta River Yreka gage were below the 50 cfs threshold as required for survival of the endangered Salmon species.  (Figure 2.)  Based on the data we have been “able” to acquire there has been at least 3,654,000 gallons of water transported to the Shasta Vista illegal commercial size growing greenhouses. There are other water trucks from other areas providing water to this area but outside our ability to gather data.  As we have stated multiple times there are only 84 permitted parcels in this area all others are only illegal growing facilities.  So not only is this a violation of Order WR 2021-0082-DWR letter but is a wasteful abuse of our most invaluable resource and at the expense of the public trust.

Hauling trucks – Shasta River Data 06/30/23 – 07/28/23
Figure 2.

We have been told in last year the Water Board’s practice is to independently investigate a complaint.  Even though the citizens were able to provide valid data in the form of videos, drone footage, several witnesses willing to speak on their observation, and thousands of photos with license plate numbers to support legitimate legal decisions as a data-driven evaluation. All this information was not considered nor addressed and witnesses never contacted.  

We believe an investigation was never completed.  In order to determine the violation(s) independently by the Water Board it takes an investigator to actually come to Siskiyou County and see for themselves.  If this was completed there would be no doubt of the validity of the citizens claim and there would have been documentation to this effect of the investigator’s observations within subsequent paperwork, there was not.

On the flip side unfortunately, the farmers and/or ranchers have been targeted by the Water Board.  Those who rely as income on the agriculture were investigated and fined for daring to keep their stock watered or to ensure they have affordable food to feed their stock by watering a field.  These were the ones faced with hefty fines not the wasteful abuser for illicit purpose at the expense of the environment. 

The lawful has been become the victim of the advancement of illegal cannabis operations who violate every rule/regulation/law both defined by the State or by the County.  Again, these two sites are violating Order WR 2021-0082-DWR this year for 34 days now.  At what point will these be investigated and enforcement be applied? 

Ginger Sammito

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