Multiple Environmental Organizations Call for the Removal of Kevin McKenny as Humboldt County Planning Commissioner

Epic Northcoast Environmental Center, Humboldt Baykeeper

Press release from EPIC and Humboldt Baykeeper:

EPIC, the Northcoast Environmental Center, and Humboldt Baykeeper call for the resignation of Humboldt County Planning Commissioner Kevin McKenny. As reported by the Lost Coast Outpost, in a Notice of Violation dated January 9, 2018, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Board placed Mr. McKenny on notice that he violated numerous federal and state laws. He is accused of grading within a floodplain, removing riparian vegetation, placing slash and waste into riparian areas, and draining a federally recognized wetland adjacent to Third Slough, a Humboldt Bay tributary just outside Eureka city limits. Mr. McKenny has acknowledged his “mistake.”

But this is more than a mistake. From the site inspection report, it appears that Mr. McKenny deliberately sought to drain the wetland with the apparent intent to develop the site. Further, Mr. McKenny appeared to use heavy machinery to fill other areas of the wetland. Mr. McKenny was previously warned that his activities violated the law, yet he continued his harmful actions.

The allegations against Mr. McKenny are serious. His conduct is not befitting an individual on the Planning Commission, particularly as the County moves to enforce violations of the its cannabis land use ordinance. Therefore, our organizations call for his immediate resignation. Should Mr. McKenny fail to resign, we ask that the Board of Supervisors remove him from his position.

It is estimated that 90% of the wetlands in Humboldt County were destroyed before their importance was understood and protections put in place. Wetlands improve water quality by filtering polluted runoff and provide critical wildlife habitat.

Mr. McKenny knows that draining, grading, and filling wetlands require permits from at least four agencies—including Humboldt County. The Planning Commission’s responsibility is to protect public health, safety, and welfare. We deserve Planning Commissioners who understand and respect local, state, and federal environmental protections.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

14 comments

  • Now that’s a big big big whoppsie

  • If EPIC, Baykeepers and NEC are all against him… I’m for him !!!

    • I second that! Those three organizations must be low on funds, they’re trying to justify their existence again.

  • local observer

    Lost Coast only included select photos. here’s the NOV with all the photos (all 71 pages). the discharge pipe to third slough was intentionally hidden as shown in the photo. based on the amount of staff time and severity of the violations, he should expect a fine in the 300-500K range. its interesting to note that not one photo shows signs of previous homeless use.
    https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/northcoast/board_decisions/adopted_orders/pdf/2018/180109_BJT_er_2725LucasSt_NOV.pdf

    • I don’t have the engineering knowledge to judge the other issues but I lived very close to there and there are camps in those woods with plenty of trash and many trails.

      • local observer

        I don’t disagree with that. on street view you can see a homeless guy coming out of the trail that goes into the woods adjacent to McKenney’s property. the problem I have with McKenney’s statement that homeless moved from the devils playground to this property and why he did the grading is not supported by any facts. it was always a clearing and homeless people don’t like clearings that are in wide open view of the road. he clearly lied that he did it because of the homeless. and why would he put in drainage if it was just to clear out the homeless?

    • Thank you for posting those documents and photos. Really interesting! And scuzzy! The guy’s a veritable miniature Trump!

  • Very curious. WHICH SUPERVISOR APPOINTED MR. McKENNY?

  • “Wetlands improve water quality by filtering polluted runoff”
    So does round gravel and sand. Add charcoal from the burnt forests that the environmentalists protect to death and you have a bonafide water filter system.
    I don’t understand the accusation against him on that, in light of the pictures with round gravel as ‘proof’ of wrong doing.
    Was this his own land or was he clearing for somebody else, or what is the deal here?

  • honestworkingman

    ah! behold! weed greed strikes again.

  • So he cleared his own land of a bunch of weeds and brush then drained a bug infested swamp. Wow what a monster. He should go to prison for that. After all there is no one else in Humboldt that the county should go after.

  • If its his land he should be able to improve it.
    The agency’s against it should buy it if they like swamp land so much.
    Whats happened to our free country?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *