Truth or campaigning: Who supported what when?

The proposed Mercer-Fraser hash refinery near our Mad River water supply is a point of contention in the media.

I read the recent letter from Ryan Sundberg with skepticism (“Sundberg: At no time did I support the permit app,” Times-Standard, May 10, Page A4). He states that “At no time did I support the permit application.” This is confusing because in the Mercer-Fraser letter to the county it says, “With the assistance of Supervisor Ryan Sundberg, MCMP met with the Water District on multiple occasions to discuss the Project. In a show of good faith towards resolving the Water District’s concerns, MCMP voluntarily placed limits on the Project and revised its operations plan to satisfy the Water District.”

So Ryan worked to smooth things over to get the permit approved, but now denies ever supporting it?

Ryan complains that letter-writers have implied that the application would be resubmitted at a later date. Perhaps that is because of this statement from the same letter: “ ... MCMP and Mercer-Fraser have decided to formally withdraw the Project from further consideration by the County at this time.”

Ryan claims that the industrial re-zoning of the parcel in the GPU had nothing to do with the Mercer permit application for the refinery, which had been submitted nearly two years earlier. But other zoning designations would have complied with Mercer’s traditional gravel mining without risking our water supplies.



Ryan’s appointee to the Planning Commission, Ben Shepherd, led the charge to approve this project, while another on the Trinity River awaits approval.

Gary Rees, McKinleyville