Yep, The Los Osos 45, those hapless citizens targeted and threatened and harassed and jerked around for the past 18 months by the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Kangaroo Court & Auto de Fe Public Hanging, have now gone public themselves. Here’s several press releases from PZLDF, with a link to the Insider Exclusive interview, and the Morro Bay Sun Bulletin “Viewpoint.”
In the Insider Exclusive interview is a clip of Matt Thompson, staff of the RWQCB, answering a direct question during one of the hearings by replying that he guessed he didn't think things through. Didn't think things through.
For anyone who sat through the apalling Mad Hatter Kangaroo Court Tea Party, Auto de Fey Hanging, Mad Pumping Scheme, Constantly Morphing Move The Goal Posts , More Tea! More Tea! Move Down! Move Down! CDO & CAO hearings, that phrase needs to be chisled in stone in letters twelve feet high and placed outside the offices of the State Water Board in Sacramento and in front of the RWQCB's offices on Aerovists Place here in SloTown. I guess we didn't think things through.
"Watch The Citizens for Clean Water" TV Show on The Insider Exclusive http://www.insiderexclusive.com/los_osos.htm
What happened in Los Osos is more than fighting over where to put a sewer. This story highlights several unprecedented actions including the FIRST default in the EPA CLEAN WATER ACT delegated State Revolving Fund Program. The default by the State Water Resources Control Boards' compromised money lending practices leads right to the Governors office.
This story goes to the heart of a broken system where regulators that were put in place to protect Americans are captured by the very industry they were meant to police. The SWRCB regulatory oversight and approval process stood by and enabled large consulting firms a free hand to fleece the community.
After voters stopped the highest per capita project in favor of a lower cost system, enforcement meant for industry was slapped against 46 randomly selected individual homeowners. Told they could lose their homes if they didn't hook up to a sewer --that doesn't exist, and required to "vote the right way" for an assessment, they are threatened with retroactive fines up to $5000 per day since 1988- The regional and state water boards have set dangerous precedents for coercion and regulatory takings in Los Osos.
A coastal comunity on the Central Coast half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, most suspect the enforcement and bloated sewer project costs are designed for gentrification of coastal communities. Voters forced to self assess a minimum of $25,000 each, through liens on their homes will force over 30 percent from the community.
The citizens appeal filed last week in Superior court on November 20th by Citizens for Clean Water and the Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund simply ask the court to vacate the Regional Water Boards punitive and misappropriated enforcement orders. The lawsuit, among other causes, challenges civil rights violations against the community and the 'sweeping under the rug' of the wrong-doing of the SWRCB board and industry consultants.
The California State Water Board money managing debacle, and the Regional Water Board’s enforcement against individuals with legally permitted and fully functioning septic systems, has always threatened a clean process for a sewer project. The California Governors' signing message bullies the families in the community to recover mishandled state and federal funds from Cal-EPA State Revolving Fund loan program. The lack of the up front studies on actual zones of improvement based on science, application of affordability criteria, and cost saving alternatives already developed, is a glaring example of the tainting of the project through continuation of the misplaced State Water Resources Control Board enforcement and retaliatory actions by water board officials against the citizens of Los Osos.
The appeal is the 1st amended petition filed last week in Superior court on November 20th simply seeks the courts to vacate the punitive and misappropriated enforcement [Note: the lawsuit can be viewed at the http://www.pzldf.org/ website, along with other documents and general information] The lawsuit, among other causes, challenges civil rights violations against the community and the 'sweeping under the rug' of the wrong-doing of the SWRCB board and industry consultants.
The viewpoint [below] in the Sun bulletin's addition of the Tribune explains the appeal of water board actions. The water board directed their staff to vacate the 46 random orders against homeowners, and to level the enforcement field. They have refused, and in fact the staff report to the board appears to saber rattle for placing orders on all 4400 homes, even with the overwhelming passage of the 218 assessment vote for $127 million.
The enforcement has always threatened a clean process for the County project. The governors signing message to bully the community for the State's mistakes, the lack of the up front studies on actual zones of improvement, affordability, and cost saving alternatives already developed, is a glaring example of the tainting of the project through continuation of the misplaced enforcement and retaliatory actions by water board officials against the citizens of Los Osos.
Protect your homes and future.
Citizens For Clean Water-PZLDF
PO Box 6095 Los Osos 93412
The Sun Bulletin Viewpoint:
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH A 218 LAWSUIT--- Los Osos citizens’Legal actions to overturn water board enforcement against individual homes is NOT a SEWER LAWSUIT. In fact the petition to vacate the enforcement is NOT ABOUT THE SEWER. It is foremost and purely defensive lawsuit in behalf of individuals and the entire community.
The Los Osos homeowner’s legal appeal stops the regulatory abuses by the water board that has resulted in dangerous and unprecedented violations of individual constitutional & statutory rights.
The seriousness of the retaliatory actions by the water board against voters should concern everyone with property in Los Osos because it violates the water board mandates, and the civil rights of law abiding citizens. (and no one is asking for the right to pollute!)
It is true the water board could vacate the punitive orders at any time, but have thus far refused, making the citizen lawsuit mandatory. There will be another chance to vacate orders promised by the appointed members of the Regional Water Board, December 6-7, 2007, however staff has flatly refused, even with the recent passage of the 218 funding assessment.
In the post recall hearings against the Los Osos district, the record shows executive director Roger Briggs intended to “fine them out of existence” responding to calls from opponents to the newly elected board. The water board stated their justification for going after individuals was “the district is the same entity as the voters.” However, the same records show the water board always had the power to continue the sewer project, but instead justified punishing individuals. The ‘first 50’ were randomly selected by the water board and intended as an example to frighten and intimidate the voters.
The first Cease and Desist Orders were issued to the county in 1983, and apply to the lead agency for the project. Today that is the county. Incidentally, those with individual orders have approved, properly working, and legally permitted onsite septic systems. You guessed it, county approved systems.
Today the original 46 individual stop orders are equivalent to convictions, with a suspended sentence until 2011, or earlier if there is a 218 failure, or project delays. The Water Board can impose fines up to $5000 per day, and criminal liability with referral of individuals to the attorney general for further prosecution as they see fit. The orders do nothing to remedy water quality, and force a few to bear the burden of defending the entire community.
The reports of enforcement abeyance are false. Notices of violation have been sent to all properties in the Prohibition Zone. On May 11 two more orders were issued, and the Water Board stated all homes could be subject to fines retroactive to 1988, without the need to put Cease and Desist Orders in place.
The Superior Court Appeal filed by Sullivan and Associates is based on the unprecedented enforcement that raises constitutional issues of unequal treatment, violation of due process, violation of the 5th and 6th amendments, selective enforcement, environmental justice, and a lack of direct evidence against the individual properties. Stop orders have the long term effect of "taking" private property, restricting the ability to sell, mortgage or rent property.
The very basis of the enforcement has been a moving target, as Resolution 83-13 has been reinterpreted by prosecution staff during the hearings from what was adopted in 1983. This is also true for the arbitrarily drawn “line in the sand” called the Prohibition Zone. The records indicate this zone was never intended to be a scientifically precise discharge remediation area and is challenged in the lawsuit. (The remediation benefits are also apparently the subject of a 218 challenge as well by another group).
Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund (PZLDF) was founded to support Los Osos neighbors under regulatory attack who needed assistance. Some said the regulatory hearings make the IRS seem user friendly. The group has spent nearly two years of work to protect property and individual rights contained in the lawsuit. The Citizens for Clean Water-PZLDF formed as is non-profit organization that supports compliance with the water board regulations, and a sustainable project for Los Osos.
If you are a citizen of California you need to stop the regulatory abuses and help with the lawsuit. Please send a donation in any amount to PZLDF 6095 Los Osos Ca. 93412 or online at http://www.pzldf.org/.
Or Sullivan & Associates-A Law Corporation 2238 Bayview Heights Drive, Suite C Los Osos, CA 93402 (805) 528-3366.