Here Come da Judge, Part Duh
Press release from PZLDF regarding the court hearing Wed, the 20th.
February 18, 2008
Gail McPherson, Citizens for Clean Water -805-459-4535 firstname.lastname@example.org
San Luis Obispo, Ca.
Regional Water Board Fights California Citizen’s Who Seek To Protect Homes from Regulatory Taking
---- Court to Hear Arguments Wednesday February 20, 2008 in San Luis Obispo.
The State has filed legal actions to try to stop the Los Osos Citizen’s appeal from proceeding. The lawsuit challenges enforcement orders against individuals which is usually reserved for corporations.
Los Osos Citizens’ filed a defensive lawsuit in May 2007 appealing actions they claim abuse water board delegated regulatory authority, do not comply with basic legal requirements, and violate individual citizen’s constitutional protections. The Water Board has continued its wrangling, insisting the Central Coast Regional Water Board doesn’t have to follow legal requirements of other agencies.
In a civil rights lawsuit filed by Shaunna Sullivan in behalf of the 46 individual homeowners, and the community at large, the State and Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board has been asked to simply vacate the orders they issued last year. The orders threaten to move 15,000 residents from their homes by 2011, and impose possible fines, up to $5000 per day, for each property-all the way back to 1988. These targeted individuals cannot build a commuinity sewer and have already committed liens on homes to pay for it. According to a spokesperson for the petitioners, "the lack of a mandated sewer is clearly a government failure. The orders meant to punish and intimidate individual citizens should be dropped."
Individual enforcement and threat of more orders followed one of the largest fines assessed in EPA history against the community services district in 2005.
($6.6 million fine levied against less than 200 homes.) The District was forced to file bankrupcy protection and turn the project over to the County in 2006.
The court documents filed opposing the citizen’s appeal, and arguments supporting the civil rights lawsuit will be heard in the San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Wednesday February 20, 2008 at 9:00 am in Dept. 2, Judge Barry T. LaBarbera presiding.
More Information: www.PZLDF.org
CV070472: Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund v. Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Sullivan & AssociatesShaunna Sullivan2238 Bayview Heights Drive, Suite CLos Osos, CA 93402(805) 528-3364 fax Shaunna Sullivan, www.Sullivanlaw.com
Central Coast RWQCB
Don’t Go Near The Water. No, I’m Serious. Don’t Go Near The Water
Interesting story in the L.A. Times a few days ago: “Our medicines are altering marine biology: Study finds chemicals from wastewater are ending up in coastal waters – and affecting hormone levels in fish.”
Yep, as our local SurfRider group has been saying about the Morro Bay sewage outfall – and a lot of research data is confirming -- our pass-through drugs, i.e. birth control pills, and other pharmaceuticals that end up in our pee and from there into various water sources as well as the ocean, and all of them are having an adverse effect on sea life, in the form of, for example, “ . . . male flat fish contain unusually high levels of the female hormone estrogen, possibly in reaction to one or more of these hormone altering chemicals. As many as 90% of these male fish were found to have produced egg yolk proteins, and one had actually produced eggs, indicating that the feminizing of fish seen in freshwater streams and lakes can happen in the open ocean as well. This evidence, scientists said, suggests that diluting pollution with a vast amount of seawater may not be an effective way to dispose of these new and little understood contaminants.”
And, “ Sewage treatment plants only remove 50% -70% of these chemicals . . .” and “ . . . sewage plants could remove virtually all estrogen with more advanced forms of treatment. Primary treatment, the type used in San Diego, doesn’t take out much estrogen as secondary treatment, use by Los Angeles Hyperion plant in El Segundo. Those plants, if upgraded to tertiary treatment, could remove nearly all of the estrogen . . .”
Furthermore, the story noted, “ The results showed that the chemicals and responses from the fish were widespread and not confined to areas near sewage outfalls, showing how easily the chemicals get dispersed. Besides elevated estrogen levels in male fish, test results showed altered thyroid hormone levels in the turbot. They also had depressed cortisone levels, an indication that the fish were worn out and are vulnerable to disease.”
On the bright side, if tertiary treatment is effective, then can we hope that communities from Morro Bay to everywhere will upgrade sooner rather than later? The flatfish will certainly thank them.