And You Thought “Stand Down” Actually Meant Stand Down?
Ah, those were the days. Remember when Assemblyman Blakeslee asked all the Sewer Warring parties to “stand down,” i.e stop doing whatever it was they were doing until his Bill could possibly sort things out? And a whole lot of people thought that that meant that the RWQCB would indeed “stand down” and reconsider their Mad Pumping Scheme and Prosecution of The Los Osos 45? Bwahahahahah.
Here’s some of what Chairman Young wrote in his leter to The Los Osos 45:
“Having read the brief submitted by designated parties, and consulted with the Board’s Counsel, I have determined that the Prosecution Team shall be required to present its entire case from the beginning. All previous evidence and testimony prepared or presented by the Prosecution Team, including proposed Cease and Desist Orders, staff technical analysis, agenda materials and supporting documentation shall be stricken from the record. . . . “
In other words, The Los Osos 45 are going to have to start all over again. Only this time, if they’re not able to act on their own behalf, they’ll have to show up with an attorney or give someone full power of attorney in order to help them at the hearing. And if they can’t afford an attorney? Tough. That’s the RWQCB’s version of “standing down.”
One description of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. “Prosecuting” the hapless Los Osos 45 will not clean up so much as one teaspoon of water, will waste huge amounts of time and resources both for this community and for the Board itself.
In addition, here’s a simple alternative to what they’re doing, besides what I’ve suggested in my letter --i.e. formation of a formal Septic Management District --an even easier-to-accomplish proposal: Submit proof of installation of any one of a variety of onsite systems that can meet or exceed the mitigation discharge numbers that the RWQCB thinks (guesses) will result from their destructive, pointless Mad Pumping Scheme, and your name will be put on the CDO reserve list. Every year thereafter, until the community’s wastewater system is built, submit proof of your onsite’s sytems inspection and servicing, and your name remains on the reserve list. Anyone not choosing to do the above will get a CDO order and will be free to waste their time and energy and the time and energy of the RWQCB for a “trial.”
Meantime, mitigation can begin immediately instead of everyone wasting time and energy on what the Bay News is now openly calling a “kangaroo court.”
Or would that proposal be too easy to accomplish and be a faster way to actually start cleaning up wastewater, which I thought was the whole mission of the RWQCB in the first place? I mean, they do have the words “Water Quality” in their title, don’t they?
My Letter to the Chairman. You might want to send one of your own.
August 16, 06
Jeffery Young, Chairman
Regional Water Quality Control Board
895 Aerovista Place Suite 101
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-7906
Dear Mr. Young and Boardmembers,
I see in your letter of August 4 that the Los Osos 45 are once again in limbo and/or soon to be put in double jeopardy while you and your board reconsider and resubmit whatever procedures your new CDO prosecution team decides on. In this brief window, I would plead with this board to stop and reconsider this path entirely.
So far, I have seen absolutely no evidence that CDOs on individuals do anything to help mitigate nitrates in the Los Osos upper aquifer. The mad pumping scheme that was originally proposed was clear evidence that Mr. Briggs acted in anger and haste and simply didn’t think that thing through. Furthermore, CDOs are simply the wrong method to accomplish mitigation until a wastewater project gets back on track, the process of which is already moving full speed ahead with the Blakeslee bill moving through the Assembly and the Project Update completed and ready to be handed off to the County.
More futilely still, CDOs simply waste your Board’s time, your staff’s time and resources and endless pots of taxpayer’s money to “prosecute” a faux “trial” that results in what? More expensive (real) trials later, all of which unfairly punish individual citizens for the collective failure of their government.
For years, Los Osos residents have been lied to (and about) and misled by their elected government (please see enclosed). As the rescinding of the “2001 Statement of Overriding Considerations” makes clear, the citizens were misled – an environmentally preferred project “out of town” was ALWAYS a reality and could have been built years ago except for the ginned up “misidentified” and “misleading” findings in the SOC. And the misled citizens were not alone -- the SWB, the RWQCB, the SLO Planning Commission, the SLO Board of Supervisors, and the Coastal Commissioners were also given this misleading SOC with a straight face.
But guess which group you’re (again) planning on punishing? That is simply wrong.
You now have a few moments to stop and ask a critical question: Will groundwater mitigation while the new project gets built occur faster with endless show trials or with an immediate turnkey of Resolution 83-12?
Right now, against enormous odds, (deadly kneecapping and monkey wrenching of all kinds) the CSD and Wastewater Committee citizen volunteers are busy putting in place something that citizens have been requesting from the County, from the former CSD and from your Board for 30 years – A Wastewater Management District, one that can collect revenues fairly from the whole community, one that can identify hotspots for immediate treatment with suitable “Pirana-type” onsite systems, one that can identify and replace any failing tanks and so forth. Instead of unfairly singling out hapless citizens, your Board can help create a coherent plan that will actually result in cleaning up groundwater while the new project gets built.
And since you apparently like the whole notion of CDO’s here’s a suggestion: Front page headline’s in the SLO Tribune: “RWQCB Gives Choice To Los Osos: Vote to Assess Yourselves To Form a Wastewater District Now or We’ll Start The Individual CDO’s Again, And No, Being Dissolved Won’t Save You.”
Then please instruct your staff to sit down with the CSD and County staff (so far as I know, they still hold the MOU and need to be on board) to get that measure on the ballot so we can start work to actually clean up water now instead of continuing on the sickening path that does nothing to water, but instead brings to bear the full might and power of state regulators to force 80 year-old people to live in constant fear that if they can’t afford an attorney and aren’t up to being Perry Mason themselves, you’ll take their homes away from them.
All of you on this Board have been given a second chance here, one brief moment to do the right thing. Please don’t fail.
Los Osos, CA 93402
c.c. SWB, Assmbly Blakeslee, Sen. Maldonado,
Gov. Schwarzenegger, Rep. Capps, LOCSD, blog posted.