Notice? What Notice?
The following email was sent from a person who owns property in Los Osos, but lives out of the area. I guess the recent RWQCB "notification" letter sent to everyone in the PZ has left some unanswered questions. Here's a few good ones, ones I'm sure others in the community may be asking as well. When Mr. Thompson replies, if this person cc's me a copy, I'll post the answers. (Posted with permission. )
Dear Mr. Thompson:
Yesterday I received a letter from Mr. Harvey Packard, giving your name and contact information, if I had any questions. The letter is a bit confusing, so I do have questions.
1. The subject of the letter is in bold and caps "Notice of Violation of Septic System Discharge Prohibition at ......"
a. Can you tell me how many property owners were sent this particular letter?
b. If this is a notice of violation, what rights do I have as a property owner in response to the notice?
c. How many days do I have to respond to the Notice?
d. How much time can the RWQCB wait until implementing enforcement proceedings? Does this Notice mean that enforcement action could be taken within 24 hours, years from now, without further notification?
2. In paragraph 1, it states "Ongoing monitoring shows that water quality and public health continue to be threatened by septic system discharges."
a. Is this monitoring of my septic tank? From my block? Of Los Osos/Baywood Park?
b. Can you give me a reference to this monitoring project, and how often sampling is done, and for how long, any ongoing activity and by whom?
c. Can you tell me how my health and the health of my tenants is threatened?
3. In paragraph 2, it states "...we are now enforcing the prohibition against all individual property owners and occupants in the Los Osos/Baywood Park prohibition zone."
a. How is your agency enforcing the prohibition?
b. What does that specifically look like?
4. In paragraph 3, it states "...we conclude that your property has a septic system that discharges waste within the prohibition zone."
a. How can you conclude that I am discharging waste from the septic tank without testing my specific system?
b. Would you allow me to install a system in place of the existing one which would discharge drinkable or close to drinkable water?
5. In paragraph 3, "...you are subject to further enforcement." What specifically does this entail?
6. Just to confirm, this is not a cease and desist order?
7. Paragraph 5, "...standard maintenance..."
a. What do you consider standard maintenance?
b. How often would pumping and inspection be required?
8. Paragraph 6, "Several parties have agreed to a settlement instead of the cease and desist order..."
a. Who are these parties? They must not be the owners who were sent cease and desist orders, as they already have an order. Are you writing about owners who haven't received the order who have come in voluntarily to agree to a settlement?
b. What does the settlement entail?
c. Can you please provide me with copies of the settlement agreements?
9. Paragraph 6, "The settlement agreement requirements are almost the same as those in the cease and desist order, except that we have agreed to meet and negotiate with the parties before we issue any violations of the settlement agreement requirements."It sounds like your agency would like all property owners to sign a settlement agreement, is this the case?
10. Paragraph 7, "...process is too slow."What process?
11. Paragraph 8, "...avoid further enforcement."What enforcement has already taken place, as "further" implies additional?
I look forward to your responses.