Somehow the cache for lter_ units in my site was empty. In looking at the MySQL database units-option:en and units:scope=2 were empty arrays. This cache is created from the deims custom module lter_unit. Specifically in the lib/LterUnitHelper.php
This a drupal_static(__FUNCTION__) . There is not a way for the cache to expire and get reloaded. I add the following code to check if the cache data is empty and reload the database if it is.
$cache = cache_get($cid, 'cache_lter_unit');
I will make a patch file and post it later.
I would also like to have the option of take my own file of units since this is only the scope=2 units.