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Acton Takes Action | January 9, 2024 – Today, Ruthie Brock, Chair of the Acton Takes Action Community Task Force (ATA), sent out an activity report email to bring everyone up-to-date as to what is happening in our fight to prevent lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) facilities from being developed and built in Acton. If you didn't receive the email, read on for the full report:

Hello everyone!

I wanted to provide an update on our Anti-BESS opposition efforts. Some of you may be aware of much of this if you are on NextDoor or Facebook where we post regularly, but there may be news here you haven’t yet heard, so please read on.

On December 19th our appeal of the Notice of Exemption to CEQA for the Humidor BESS project went before our LA County Board of Supervisors. 40 'Acton Warriors' volunteered to ride the bus to downtown LA to address the Board. Everyone did such a great job and I couldn’t be more proud of all who participated. Even those who did not sign up to speak did a tremendous job helping to show a great presence for our opposition.

While the appeal was not upheld by the Board, this outcome was not unexpected.

As you remember, we are suing LA County over this Humidor BESS project approval, so their steps must not undermine their approval that was issued back on August 1 of last year. Had they agreed with us that the Notice of Exemption to CEQA was issued inappropriately, it would have shaken the foundation of their approval position on this project. I hope this explanation makes sense to you all?

There was a victory on Dec. 19th however. The victory was that Acton finally was able to make our voices and concerns heard! And even though there were many times I knew the supervisors were not even listening to us because they had a predetermined position and vote, all of our words... even those we didn’t have the time to read in the one minute we were each allowed... were entered into the record transcript, which will be added to our law suit record! So approximately 25 to 30 minutes of our commentary was added and will be part of our upcoming legal challenge against the Humidor BESS.

Next, a trial date setting hearing was supposed to have taken place on Dec. 21, but because our legal complaint needed to be amended and rewritten to reflect the results of the appeal, all attorneys representing all parties agreed it was best to postpone. And as far as I’m concerned the longer we can drag this out the better! They won’t start building this project until they know the results of our lawsuit, unless they like throwing money away! The trial date setting hearing was postponed until May. It’s during this hearing we will be given an actual date for our trial.

Currently I am doing my best to continue to "agitate and ankle-bite" Hecate Grid (developer of the Humidor I BESS facility to be located in East Acton) and LA County – including the Fire Department. Considering my husband served 30 years on LACounty Fire, it saddens me and angers me to see how Fire Chief Marrone, and his Deputy, Fire Chief Yanagisawa, have just become "yes men," and I refuse to let them think it’s going unnoticed. Because it’s NOT.

Back on October 7th, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill SB38 that mandates a program requiring that battery energy storage system owners provide an emergency response and action plan in coordination with local fire authorities. This plan must be provided to the county in which the project will be located as well as to the city. I wrote to Hecate to make sure they knew WE were aware of this new state-mandated builder/owner requirement, and requested that they furnish this plan to our Acton Town Council as the entity representing the interests of the people of Acton. I requested the information be provided to Acton Takes Action as well since this should be public information. And, I copied Supervisor Barger, the Director of Regional Planning Amy Bodek (including all senior Regional Planning staff) and Deputy Chief Yanagisawa. If I had been able to obtain the email for Fire Chief Marrone, he would have received it as well! Unfortunately, they keep his contact info under lock and key, but I’m fairly certain Chief Yanagisawa would have passed it on to him. (UPDATE: Since this report was published we did get Chief Marrone's email address and a email letter was sent to him on January 10, 2024. See the cross links below to read that letter.)

I have recently reached out to Congressman Mike Garcia as well as Senator Scott Wilk requesting in-person meetings. We are working a new angle in our efforts to stop this Humidor BESS project in Acton in addition to our legal challenge in the Superior Court, and when the time is right I will update you all on this new plan. For now we need to keep this under wraps, but I can assure you this is a powerful new tool to help kill this Humidor project and any that may try to follow.

In the meantime we continue to collect donations for our WAR CHEST to fund our legal fees!

Thank you so much to those of you who have donated... and have reissued your donation checks payable to SAVE OUR RURAL TOWN. It’s been a fiasco since the law firm Hanson Bridgett declared they would not accept the checks due to them possibly being perceived as a "donation" to their firm instead of to the legal fund one of their attorneys was representing. Trust me, I have several new gray hairs over this!

If you have not yet reissued your donation check, please do!

Make the new check payable to SAVE OUR RURAL TOWN (please do NOT make payable to Acton Takes Action). Save Our Rural Town (SORT) is the filer of our lawsuit and will collect the WAR CHEST donations and then make direct payment to the law firm of Hanson Bridgett LLP on our behalf.

Please MAIL donation checks to:
Acton Takes Action
3807 Sierra Hwy Suite 6-4397
Acton CA 93510

You do not need to send a new donation form, I will update your original form and then send you an email confirmation once I receive your new check.

If you have not yet contributed to our WAR CHEST, please help our community out by doing your part! CLICK HERE to download and/or print the check donation form with complete instructions.

Thank you everyone!
Chair, Acton Takes Action

Please take a moment to catch up on the recent ATA letters sent to Chief Marrone, Deputy Chief Yanagisawa, Hecate Grid, Supervisor Barger, and more. The full text of the new SB38 legislation is also available. Cross links are listed below.

ATA Letter to LA County Supervisor Barger Regarding Another CA City Council Votes NO to BESS Facilities. Click to Read

ATA Letter to LA County Fire Chief Marrone Regarding Comments He Made about the Hecate Grid Humidor BESS Project at the Dec. 19, BOS Meeting. Click to Read

ATA Letter to Hecate Grid Regarding Hecate's Humidor BESS Project Compliance with CA Bill SB38 Click to Read

ATA Letter to LA County Deputy Fire Chief Yanagisawa Regarding Cargo Ship Carrying Burning EVs held Offshore of Alaska Port Click to Read

CA Bill SB38. California Battery Energy Storage Facilities Now Required to Have Approved Emergency Response & Emergency Action Plans Click to Read

LACoBOS December 19, 2023 Meeting Votes to Deny SORT Appeal on CEQA NOE for Humidor BESS Project No. PRJ2023-001496-(5). Agenda Items 72 & 98-A; Start Time: 3:06:59, End Time 4:11:39 Click to View

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