Koff, Koff, Koff, are those the Air Pollution Control District Officers I see in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?
Below is the most recent revision from the RWQCB on the April 28 CDO Dog & Pony Show. There’s a few very interesting points to note. One is in the Notice of Revision below where it states, “The Prosecution Staff intends to continue working with APCD on this issue, and, if necessary, study potential impacts of pumping requirements.”
IF NECESSARY? STUDY POTENTIAL IMPACTS? Hello? Isn’t that something that should have been done BEFORE issuing the CDOs?
The second thing of interest is in section B: Interim Compliance Requirements, wherein the RWQCB is NOW considering something that should have been done YEARS AGO: (1) have the contents of the Septic System pumped and (2) obtain a report by the County of San Luis Obispo, a septic tank pumper or other inspector approved by the Executive Officer, that either describes recommended repairs to the Septic System or states that no repairs are necessary. And etc.
In other words, the RWQCB – now – is recommending that all the tanks in the prohibition zone be . . . inspected. Hello? Isn’t that something that should have been done BEFORE issuing the CDOs? Isn’t that something residents have been hollering about doing for years while the RWQCB and the County turned a deaf ear? You know, under Resolution 83-12, form a Septic Management District and inspect and repair all the tanks? Hello?
And, finally, please note that “The County of San Luis Obispo” – the Runaway Bride in all this -- NOW appears in the suggested interim compliance requirements. And here we’ve been told that the county has no involvement with Los Osos, noooo, no way, no how. Not our tanks, not our problem, buh-bye.
Still missing, of course, are “potential impacts” on removing millions of gallons of water from the watershed and other issues that, “if necessary,” still need to be resolved. A prudent regulatory agency would have postponed the hearing in light of these, uh, unresolved potential impacts, but not our stalwart RWQCB. Nossir! The CDO hearing will march forward blindly into the great unknown. Theirs is not to wonder why . . . . .
NOTICE OF REVISION TO PROPOSED CEASE AND DESIST ORDERS
R3-2006-1000 THROUGH R3-2006-1049
The Prosecution Team of the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Coast Water Board, or Water Board) has decided not to recommend bimonthly septic tank pumping at this time. We have consulted with the Air Pollution Control District. APCD representatives are concerned that bimonthly pumping of approximately 4300 septic systems may cause significant adverse impacts. The Prosecution Staff intends to continue working with APCD on this issue, and, if necessary, study potential impacts of pumping requirements. We may recommend the Water Board require a pumping regime in future orders after further consideration of these issues.
At the April 28 hearing, the Prosecution Team will recommend the Water Board wait until it has additional information before considering this requirement. A copy of the revised Cease and Desist Order template is attached. This revision does not change the scope of the hearing, unless the Chair issues a revised hearing notice or hearing procedures. The Central Coast Water Board may still decide to consider issuing pumping requirements at this time.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
CALIFORNIA REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD
CENTRAL COAST REGION
895 Aerovista Place, Suite 101
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
CEASE AND DESIST ORDER NO. R3-2006-____
OWNER AND OCCUPANT
[ADDRESS], LOS OSOS
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
TO CEASE AND DESIST FROM DISCHARGING WASTES
IN VIOLATION OF A BASIN PLAN PROHIBITION
PRESCRIBED BY THE CALIFORNIA REGIONAL WATER
QUALITY CONTROL BOARD, CENTRAL COAST REGION
The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Region (hereafter Water
1. ___________ own(s) and operate(s) an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system
(Septic System) at (Site) in Los Osos, California. The Site is a residence. The Septic System
consists of a septic tank that discharges wastewater to an on-site subsurface disposal facility.
_____ is/are referred to in this Order as “Discharger.”
2. The Site has no wastewater disposal facility other than the Septic System. Waste generated at
the Site includes human waste and wastewater from toilets and from domestic activities such as
bathing, laundry, dishwashing and disposal of garbage.
3. This waste is discharged to the Septic System. Liquid waste then discharges from the Septic
System and eventually to groundwater.
2. The discharge of waste from the Septic System violates a prohibition of waste discharge from
individual sewage disposal systems set forth in the Water Quality Control Plan, Central Coast
Basin (Basin Plan). ). The Water Board adopted the prohibition on September 16, 1983. The
Basin Plan prohibition specifies, in part (page IV-67):
“3. Discharges from individual and community sewage disposal systems are prohibited
effective November 1, 1988, in Los Osos/Baywood Park area depicted in the prohibition
boundary map included as Attachment “A” of Resolution 83-13”.
CDO No. R3-2006-«R32006» -2- April 28, 2006
The prohibition boundary map is contained in Appendix A-30 of the Basin Plan. The Site is
within the prohibition area.
4. On January 27, 2006 and February 28, 2006, notice was provided to the Discharger and other
affected persons regarding the Water Board’s consideration of this Order.
5. The Water Board, on April 28, 2006, in San Luis Obispo, California, held a public hearing and
heard evidence regarding this Order.
6. This Order includes monitoring and reporting requirements pursuant to Water Code Section
13267. The Water Board needs the required information in order to assess compliance with the
Basin Plan and this Order, and to ensure that pollutant loading within the prohibition area is
minimized to the extent possible. The Discharger is required to provide this information
because the Discharger is the owner and/or operator of the Septic System. The staff report that
accompanied the draft order includes additional evidence in support of this requirement. The
Water Board adopted the prohibition in 1983, and it went into effect in 1988, and the
Discharger has incurred little or no costs since then to comply with the prohibition. The burden
of any monitoring or reporting required by this Order is reasonable in light of the severe
pollution that has resulted from operation of septic systems in the prohibition area, and the long
history of violations of the prohibition at the Site.
7.If the Discharger elects to comply with Part B of this Order by pumping the Septic System, this
Order includes minimal monitoring and reporting requirements that will have negligible costs.
If the Discharger elects to propose an alternative system, the Discharger will incur additional
monitoring and reporting costs, as described below. A reduced scope of monitoring and
reporting will not adequately protect water quality because alternative systems are difficult to
operate and maintain, and do not achieve adequate pollutant reduction if not properly operated.
The Water Board needs the required information to ensure optimal operation of alternative
systems. Moreover, the Water Board adopted the prohibition in 1983, and it went into effect in
1988, and the Discharger has incurred little or no costs since then to comply with the
prohibition. The burden of any monitoring or reporting required by this Order is reasonable in
light of the severe pollution that has resulted from operation of septic systems in the prohibition
area, and the long history of violations of the prohibition at the Site.
7. The technical report required by Section A.43.b or 5 4 (as applicable) is necessary to determine
that any alternative to connecting to a community sewer system meets applicable legal
requirements, including the septic system discharge prohibition, and to assess compliance with
Paragraph A.1 of this Order.
9.8. Alternatives proposed to comply with this Order may be subject to permitting requirements,
including the requirement to obtain waste discharge requirements. Nothing in this Order
relieves the Discharger of the obligation to obtain any necessary permit or waste discharge
10.9. This enforcement action is being taken for the protection of natural resources and the
environment and as such is exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental
CDO No. R3-2006-«R32006» -3- April 28, 2006
Quality Act (Sections 15307, 15308, and 15321, Chapter 3, Division 6, Title 14, California
Code of Regulations, “CEQA”). In addition, the Septic System is an existing facility and this
Order allows no expansion of use beyond that previously existing so this enforcement action is
exempt from the provisions of CEQA (Section 15301, Chapter 3, Division 6, Title 14,
California Code of Regulations).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, pursuant to Sections 13260, 13267 and 13301 of the California
Water Code, that the Discharger shall comply with the following requirements:
A. CESSATION OF DISCHARGE
1. Discharger shall cease all discharges from the Septic System no later than the earlier of (i)
January 1, 2010, or (ii) 60 days after the availability of a community sewage treatment
2. The due date in Section A.1 cannot be extended except by an amendment to this Order by
the Water Board.
3. This Paragraph 3 applies if a community treatment plant and sewer system will be available
to the Discharger no later than January 1, 2010. The Discharger shall submit the following
information no later than the earlier of (i) June 30, 2009, or (ii) 180 days before the
expected completion date; either:
a. A statement that the Discharger agrees to connect to the community sewage
treatment plant within 60 days after the sewage treatment plant becomes available;
b. A technical report proposing an alternative method of complying with Paragraph
A.1. The proposed alternative must be adequate to cease discharges from the Septic
System by the date in Paragraph A.1, and must include a proposed monitoring and
reporting plan. If the alternative involves a discharge of waste that could affect
waters of the State, the report shall be in the form of a report of waste discharge.
“Waters of the State” is defined in Water Code Section 13050(e). “Report of waste
discharge” means a report that complies with Water Code Section 13260 and, if
applicable, Water Code Section 13376.
4. This Paragraph 4 applies if no community treatment plant and sewer system will be
available to the Discharger by January 1, 2010. By June 30, 2009, the Discharger shall
submit a technical report proposing a method of complying with Paragraph A.1. The
proposed alternative must be adequate to cease discharges from the Septic System by the
date in Paragraph A.1, and must include a proposed monitoring and reporting plan. If the
alternative involves a discharge of waste that could affect waters of the State, the report
shall be in the form of a report of waste discharge. “Waters of the State” is defined in
Water Code Section 13050(e). “Report of waste discharge” means a report that complies
with Water Code Section 13260 and, if applicable, Water Code Section 13376.
CDO No. R3-2006-«R32006» -4- April 28, 2006
5. Nothing in this Order authorizes discharges from the Septic System at any time, whether
before or after the date in Paragraph A.1.
B. INTERIM COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS
1. The Discharger must either pump out the contents of its Septic System no less frequently
than once every two months, or propose an alternative that will achieve comparable water
2. If the Discharger elects to comply with Paragraph B.1 by pumping:
a.The Discharger shall commence pumping no later than 60 days after the date of this
b.By three months after the date of this Order, the Discharger shall (1) have the contents of
the Septic System pumped, and (2) obtain a report by the County of San Luis Obispo, a septic
tank pumper or other inspector approved by the Executive Officer, that either describes
recommended repairs to the Septic System or states that no repairs are necessary. If the
Discharger disagrees with any repair recommendation, the Discharger shall provide
justification to the Executive Officer no later than four months after the date of this Order
explaining why the repairs are not necessary. Unless Water Board staff agrees, in writing, that
any recommended repair is not necessary, the Discharger shall provide documentation no later
than February 1, 2007 that the Discharger has complied with these pumping, inspection and
repair requirements.repairs have been completed in the first annual report required by
c.The Discharger shall provide receipts or other written evidence that the Discharger
has complied with these requirements. The Discharger shall provide these receipts
to the Water Board no later than February 1 of each year, commencing with
February 1, 2007.
3.If the Discharger elects to comply with Paragraph B.1 by a method other than pumping the
contents of its Septic System every two months:
a.The Discharger shall submit a written proposal for the alternative compliance method
no later than sixty days after the date of this Order. The proposal shall include a
proposed schedule for installation of the alternative method. The written proposal
shall include a proposed monitoring and reporting plan.
b.The Discharger shall comply with the requirements of Paragraph 2 until the
alternative compliance method is approved in writing by Water Board staff and is
fully operational. Upon approval of the Discharger’s proposal, the due dates in the
installation schedule and in the monitoring and reporting plan shall become
enforceable requirements of this Order. The Executive Officer shall modify the
monitoring and reporting plan as necessary before approving the proposal and
monitoring and reporting plan.
CDO No. R3-2006-«R32006» -5- April 28, 2006
1. All reports, receipts, notifications and other documents the Discharger submits pursuant to
the Order (including Paragraph A.3 of this Order) shall be accompanied by a statement
from the Discharger stating: “I certify under penalty of perjury that the attached documents
were prepared at my request and under my supervision, and to the best of my knowledge
are true, accurate and complete. I understand that there are significant penalties for
providing false or incomplete information, including the possibility of criminal fines or
2. The Executive Officer may extend the due date for any interim or reporting requirement of
Section A (other than Section A.1) or Section B for up to ninety days for circumstances
beyond the Discharger’s reasonable control.
3. If more than one person or entity is a “Discharger” subject to this Order, compliance by any
of those persons or entities with the requirements of this Order constitutes compliance by
all Dischargers. Multiple submissions are not required. However, all named Dischargers
are responsible for compliance with all requirements of this Order, and will be subject to
enforcement for any non-compliance. Agreements among Dischargers regarding which of
them will comply with Water Board requirements is not binding on the Water Board and
does not protect any party from enforcement actions.
4. Discharger shall inform any subsequent owner or occupant at the Site of this Order and
provide a copy of the Order.
5. The property owner shall notify the Executive Officer in writing of any contemplated
transfer of ownership at least 30 days prior to transfer of ownership.
6. The property owner shall notify the Executive Officer in writing of the name of any new
occupant within 30 days after the new occupant takes occupancy.
7. If, in the opinion of the Executive Officer, the Discharger fails to comply with any
provision of this Order, then the Executive Officer may apply to the Attorney General for
judicial enforcement or issue a complaint for Administrative Civil Liability.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH PROVISIONS OF THIS ORDER MAY SUBJECT THE
DISCHARGER TO FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION INCLUDING ASSESSMENT OF
CIVIL LIABILITY UNDER SECTIONS 13268 OR 13350 OF THE WATER CODE AND
REFERRAL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND CIVIL OR
I, Roger W. Briggs, Executive Officer, do hereby certify the foregoing is a full, true, and correct
copy of an Order adopted by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast
Region, on April 28, 2006.
CDO No. R3-2006-«R32006» -6- April 28, 2006