Notice From RWQCB re April 28 hearings.
Note the date on the following email regarding the CDO hearings on April 28. I also received a 5 page document (which should be posted on the waterboard site as “Prosecution Staff objections Regarding Designated Parties Evidence …”) from Lori Okun, Senoir Staff Counsel, objecting to all kinds of things the CSD as “Designated Party” was planning on submitting in their evidence list as well as a note that “incorporating by reference” would also be objected to.
Which means that individual citizens will have to have the legal know-how to figure out, in less than 24 hours, which bits of their evidence may be tossed out even though they don’t have the documents in hand, just a coded numbers list and they’re expected to have that straightened out before the hearing or else their fifteen minutes to present their case will be spent trying to figure out which coded bit of documents won’t be allowed and so forth. This is known as a fair hearing.
Furthermore, the Prosecution Staff Evidence Objections is full of claims that all kinds of things are now irrelevant, just because the RWQCB’s prosecution team claims they’re irrelevant. Which means individual citizens will have less than 24 hours to figure out what part of their defense is now “irrelevant,” on the mere say-so of Lori Okun. Which puts me in mind of Alice in Wonderland’s Through the Looking Glass: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”
And then, on page five, the howler: Prosecution Staff objects to all documents that are newspaper articles, press releases, blogs or letters to the editor submitted by any party. This is not the type of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs. There, all such documents should be stricken.
Do you hear that Tribune, the RWQCB does not believe that responsible persons are accustomed to getting information from their newspapers, not even when the Staff of the RWQCB regularly uses the Tribune to publicly threaten, announce, convey, comment and inform on all sorts of matters of concern to the community.
Even better, see the press release below, sent out by K.Blackshear @ waterboards.ca.gov addressed to . . . MEDIA, and note in her press release, she even cites a Telegram Tribune article, WHICH NO RESPONSIBLE PERSON WOULD EVER RELY ON WHILE CONDUCTING SERIOUS AFFAIRS, right?
April 27, 2006 Designated Parties, Interested Parties, and Media: [emphasis mine, this email is a press release] CEASE AND DESIST ORDERS AGAINST INDIVIDUALS IN THE LOS OSOS PROHIBITION ZONE: THE SCOPE OF THE APRIL 28 HEARING HAS NOT CHANGED A Telegram Tribune article from Tuesday, April 25, correctly states that the prosecution team of the Regional Water Board has dropped its intention to recommend that Los Osos residents be required to pump their septic tanks periodically at this time. See the article here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispo/14422087.htm However, everyone should understand that the prosecution team is not deferring its recommendation for enforcement action on this matter. The April 28 hearing regarding the Cease and Desist Orders will occur as scheduled, and the Water Board may still consider periodic pumping requirements. The prosecution team simply makes a recommendation. The Water Board itself decides what action to take after considering all evidence and comments. The prosecution team's revised recommendation does not change the scope of the April 28 hearing. Any inference that there have been any "conclusions" in this case would be a disservice to the residents of Los Osos who may be subject to proposed enforcement actions at the hearing. The Regional Water Board may still order Los Osos residents to stop prohibited discharges from septic tanks; the Regional Water Board may still order residents to stop discharging from septic tanks within a relatively short period of time; the Regional Water Board may still, in disregard of the prosecuting staff's latest recommendation, order periodic pumping as originally proposed. In other words* no doors have been shut. As stated in the prosecution staff's notice posted on Monday, April 24, the scope of the hearing has not changed. Also, as a reminder, Water Board staff is divided into two teams for this case: the prosecution team and the advisory team. The Water Board must separate itself and its legal and policy advisors (advisory team) from inappropriate contact with the prosecution team in order to preserve its adjudicatory objectivity.
Sincerely, Michael ThomasAssistant Executive Officer (advisory team)