Shhhhh, Quiet, Insanity is Still At Work
There is a wonderful definition of Insanity – Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results each time.
The Regional Water Quality Control Board has announced – again – that they have postponed – again – the CDO hearings for the persecuted Los Osos 45. Instead of being held on Nov 2 & 9th, now the hearings are going to be held on December 14 & 15 from 8:30 a.m. at the RWQCB headquarters on Aerovista Pl. in SLOTown.
The reason for the delay – again – is that the paperwork and intricate official deadlines apparently weren’t met by the staff and board – again – and CEO Roger Briggs was going to be deposed before leaving town for months and that got muddled and changed around willy-nilly and since this is a complicated “legal” proceeding all the I’s &T’s have to be dotted and crossed just so and so forth, endlessly, endlessly.
There is a reason why these CDO hearings turned into such a mess right out of the box. Several years ago, the RWQCB’s own staff report on the pros and cons of various enforcement options DID NOT recommend using CDOs on thousands of individual citizens for some very, very sound reasons: Too costly, too time consuming, too unnecessarily legally complicated, too endlessly lengthy, & etc, while resulting in too little solid results. In short, a nutty, wasteful way to go.
Alas, the Board didn’t heed their own report and so wasted an entire year with all sorts of paper wrangling and ridiculous huffing and chuffing with the Air Quality Control Board showing up to inform them that their Mad Pumping Scheme wouldn’t fly, the CSD attorneys making the case of prosecution team bias, so the whole case had to be started over with a new Grand Iquisitor brought in, and Dr. Wickham informing the board that their Mad Pumping Scheme would result in an even bigger groundwater mess & etc.
Meanwhile, a simple, immediate actual groundwater remediation alternative was sitting under their noses a year ago:
Instead of CDO’s, the Board only had to send out registered, return-receipt requested letters to the homeowners in the PZ telling them that they needed to Pump/Inspect/Repair their tanks/leachfields and send official copies of the completed work to the staff by such and such a date. Those who did so would go to the bottom of the pile; those who failed to do so would be issued CDOs.
And the result? Los Osos could have had a WHOLE YEAR’S WORTH of repaired tanks and replaced old, poorly working leach fields resulting in an immediate beneficial action on the groundwater.
But what did we get instead? A whole year’s worth of paper shuffling and postponed hearings and unfairly targeted and harassed citizens and more postponements and expenditure of countless dollars and wasted time by citizens, the CSD and the RWQCB itself. During which time, not one drop of water has been improved, except by those folks who – on their own dime and under their own steam – have voluntarily pumped/inspected/repaired before even being asked to.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. Non-insanity: Trying something simple that’s actually working now, something that could work much better and faster with clear directions and guidelines from an outfit with the words "Water Quality" in their name, something that will actually benefit WATER, not paperwork.
Instead of announcing that the CDO hearings will be held in abeyance while the Board meets to vote on a change in plans, plans that would actually do something to the groundwater until the new sewer gets built, we get the official notice: The Mad Wasteful CDO Scheme has been continued until Dec 14th, unless there’s yet another muddle over paperwork or missed filing dates, in which case, oh, it’ll probably be postponed some more or there’ll be some legal filings over some miniscule detail and maybe more legal delays and so on and so on unto the end of time.
Meanwhile, the people in this community wait for some simple instructions to start work on something that will actually have a beneficial impact on groundwater while the sewer project moves forward
We wait. And wait. And wait.
Hellloooo, Earth to Regional Board . . . .