Mad Hatter Tea Party Scheduled Again
It’s déjà vu all over again. The Regional Water Quality Control Board has posted their upcoming CDO hearings on May 10th, as well as staff recommendations for proceeding to a mass CAO auto de fe for the rest of the community. Totally missing from the staff report is information that I had sent to Paavo Ogren and Supervisor Bruce Gibson over a month ago. So far as I know, they did nothing with that information. I have sent another email asking that they contact RWQCB staff immediately, because the material I had sent involves technical problems that have already shown up with the Los Osos 45 CDO requirements to Pump, Inspect, Repair. It was a potential major problem for one particular person. Multiplied by the 4,500 homes that staff is recommending be slapped with a mass CAO and required to comply within a three-year period, it may well result in another ”Mad Scheme” that will result in another train-wreck.
Once again, we’ve got the failure of the left hand knowing what the right hand’s doing, a RWQCB staff that isn’t aware of a potential problem of their own making and so is not letting their Board know that the ground-work for this plan hasn’t been properly completed, and apparently County authorities turning a blind eye to something that is directly under their authority to deal with and/or refusing to coordinate with the RWQCB so as to avoid another “Mad Pumping Scheme” mess.
Once again, the Devil is in the Details, so people in this community need to attend to the fine print and be aware of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE---------
Gail McPherson, PZLDF
805.459.4535 805-534-191 Mcp@charter.net
Notice Of Public Hearing:
Water Board Hearing Will Determine the Fate of Community
The Water Board targeted 45 of 4700 Los Osos residents last year in a regulatory 'test case' after the $163 Million Los Osos sewer project was stopped by voters. On May 10 the Regional Water Board is expected to rule that Cease and Desist Orders should be placed on the 2 more properties, decide if seven others should be heard, and determine the enforcement fate of the rest of the community.
Of the first 45 selected for prosecution the board has issued 13 orders. Twenty-three signed board approved settlement-Clean up and Abatement Orders. 14 parties filed appeals to the State Board earlier this year citing at least 94 reasons to vacate the orders.
Cease and Desist hearings for William and Beverly-De-Witt Moylan, and Charles and Norma Wilkerson were held January 22, 2007. They will likely join others including the Los Osos CSD in the appeal to the State in order to protect their property. Businesses, schools, and government facilities are all subject to enforcement.
The staff contends the only way to protect the groundwater supplies and Morro Bay Estuary is to hook up to a community sewer project. Few disagree with this. It is the enforcement action that many believe is counter productive to the community healing and working together.
Staff is also seeking to issues blanket Clean up and Abatement Orders to all remaining properties simultaneously without the benefit of hearings. This “Prosecutorial Efficiency” deprives citizens of their right to defend their property against regulatory taking, according to Gail McPherson of the Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund, a group organized to provide support, and defend property rights.
Differences in the Cease and Desist Orders and Clean up and Abatement Orders add huge risks according to the legal opinions of the Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund. Shaunna Sullivan of Sullivan & Associates is defending the appeal. Further, “any enforcement order that requires compliance measures that are not within the control of the citizen to comply with present unacceptable risks.” There is simply nothing to hook up to.
“Individuals can't build a project alone. They say they have already done everything possible to comply with the order, including pumping tanks to insure they are working properly, and paying for a sewer assessment, and have agreed to hook up when a project is available. Enforcement orders can destroy property values, and individuals may have to consider installing treatment systems on their own lots.” Says McPherson. This can hurt a community project.
Public officials, including Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee who put in place the legislation to move a project forward, and Bruce Gibson, County Supervisor for the area, and Paavo Ogren, the new project coordinator have expressed concern that enforcement may be counter-productive and can undermine the county project.
The meeting will be held Thursday May 10, 2007, beginning at 10:00 AM. at 895Aerovista Place, Suite 101, San Luis Obispo.
The public is encouraged to attend.
Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund meets every Monday at 7:00 PM at Washington Mutual Bank in Los Osos. Call 805-528-0229 for more information.
RWQCB: Michael Thomas 805/542-4623 Harvey Packard 805/542-4639
County: Paavo Ogren 805/781-5291
Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee 805/-549-3381
Listed below is the link to the Central Coast Water Board Agenda Notice for the Board meeting of May 10-11, 2007.
In the agenda you can click on the item of your choice for a staff report and attachments. Audio files will be added after the Board meeting.