Eel River pot bust reveals costly mess
A month ago in Mendocino:
An elaborate 2,000-plant indoor marijuana growing operation uncovered this week near the Eel River in northern Mendocino County is the site of environmental contamination that may cost $1 million or more to clean up, law enforcement officials said Thursday.
Two Southern California men were arrested and an investigation continues at a site fouled by the dumping of diesel fuel and other petroleum waste into an open pit a half mile uphill from the river, according to Mendocino County sheriff investigators.
In order to maximize profits... the growers had installed machinery and equipment to extract THC, the potent chemical found in marijuana, from pot plant waste. He said the end product was being stamped into "cakes" that were to be sold....
...Deputies discovered two indoor grow rooms, $15,280 in cash, hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana packaging materials and scales, and several weapons including a military-type assault rifle.
... investigators also discovered that diesel fuel spewing from a leaky generator supplying power to the indoor growing rooms was being collected in containers and dumped into an open pit.
By Thursday afternoon about 750 gallons of dumped diesel had been removed from the pit, which might have originally served as disposal for an old outhouse.
"We don't know what it will take to clean everything up,"...
... the damage is believed to be so extensive that county officials Thursday called the federal Environmental Protection Agency for assistance...
...The case underscores mounting concerns among county residents about the extent of commercial marijuana operations and the effects on the environment, crime and rural neighborhoods.
County voters in the June primary will decide whether to repeal a local measure passed in 2000 that decriminalized possession of up to 25 marijuana plants, a move that helped foster Mendocino's reputation as a haven for pot growers. By Mike Geniella, The Press Democrat, Friday, 1/18/08
And here in Humboldt County - it's 99 plants. And we are known as a haven for pot growers.
Maybe I missed it - have we heard from the 'environmental' groups like Salmon Forever/Humboldt Watershed Council/"Riverkeepers" and friends of the Eel etc, etc, etc. condemning this kind of thing? Seriously. Something on the scale of CREG's outrage...