No Sludge Evidence Provided; Mayor Says It's Time to Move On

Menifee Mayor Scott Mann released a statement Tuesday afternoon declaring Menifee Valley "safe" and urging residents to move on af...

Menifee Mayor Scott Mann released a statement Tuesday afternoon declaring Menifee Valley "safe" and urging residents to move on after Planning Commissioner Mark Matelko failed to produce documents regarding the application of sludge to agricultural lands in Menifee.

Mann had given Matelko a deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday to produce documents the commissioner said prove the application of biosolids (sludge) on many more sections of Menifee than is shown in Riverside County maps. Matelko and his wife, Janine, have been vocal advocates for additional testing of the soil, alleging there has been ongoing application of sludge on local agricultural lands -- a practice banned in 2001 -- that is a dangerous health threat to residents.

"The deadline for Commissioner Matelko to produce additional sludge records has come and gone," Mann said in a prepared statement. "The City of Menifee stands on the expert testimony provided at the City's Biosolids Workshop on March 5, 2013. Going forward, we know which parcels in the City that permitted Type A sludge was applied for agricultural purposes and we have in our Municipal Code a mechanism for additional soils testing should those areas be developed in the future.

"As previously stated by several regulatory agencies and press accounts, the Menifee Valley is safe -- your homes, schools, and parks are safe and always have been. It is now time to focus our time, energy and resources on other pressing issues, such as improving traffic circulation in our city."

In the March 5 biosolids workshop, several experts from Riverside County and elsewhere testified that there was no health danger to residents from any sludge that may have been applied in years past. That hasn't stopped the Matelkos and other concerned citizens from disputing the experts' testimony, as well as the sludge application map.

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  1. Let’s hope the council will in fact move on this time. The sludge zealots will continue to shout into the wind with their unfounded dogma: so be it. Let them have their three minutes and move on.

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