Pages

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Tea! More Tea! Move Down! Move Down!

In case you were idly wondering about the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s CDO Mad Hatter Tea Party and Torquemada’s Auto de Fe CDO prosecution of The Los Osos 45 . . . oh, that’s right, you’ve forgotten all about those poor people who were terrorized, branded criminals, had their freedom threatened with statutory jail time, their property put under threat, dragged through a ridiculous, abusive “trial” that kept changing whimsically when the Board and staff’s incompetence kept tripping them over their own feet . . . and you thought to yourself, What in hell was THAT hideously expensive (tax payers picking up the bill) farce all about, anyway? Was it about clean water? Was it about protecting the waters of the State of California? Was it about stopping pollution? Was it about septic tanks? What was it about?

Well, now we know. One of the CDO holders sold their home and called the RWQCB staff to ask what happened to their CDO since they didn’t intend to dig up their septic tank and take it with them, you know, their illegally discharging septic tank that was polluting the waters of the state of California, the one that was under a CDO?

Well, the reply finally came back and here it is. Let me translate it for you. (1) All pigs are created equal, but some are created more equal than others. (2) Septic tanks in the PZ don’t pollute. Only septic tanks with CDO’s on them do. And when the CDO-holding “criminal” residents sell their property and leave (and leave their “criminal” septic tank in the ground when they move) the new residents using the exact same tank don’t pollute and are not “criminals” and are of no concern to the RWQCB, which does not intend to enforce their CDO policies equally and fairly to all residents in the PZ. CDO’s were clearly a sick joke, a clear abuse of state power that was only intended as an intimidation tactic, and electioneering device, that had NOTHING to do with either “fair and equitable treatment” (not even among the 45 CDO holders . . more equal pigs) or “science” or, hell, even “clean water.”

From a Sept 23, 2009 letter to a Los Osos CDO holder, from Frances McChesney, Senior Staff Counsel, State Water Board

Enforcement of Cease and Desist Orders

Mr. Michael Thomas has asked me to respond to your emails with respect to enforcement of cease and desist orders (CDOs) regarding septic tanks in Los Osos. In particular, you have questions with regard to the following section of Mr. Harvey Packard’s letter to you dated August 18 2009

What requirements does a CDO impose when a CDO holder moves or sells the subject property?

The pertinent parts of the cease and desist order state the following:
3. Discharger shall inform any subsequent owner or occupant at the Site of this Order and provide a copy of the Order. The Discharger is liable for the use of the Septic System, while the Discharger owns the Site, including but not limited to the use of the Septic System by any tenant or any other person occupying the Site.

4. The property owner shall notify the Executive Officer and the Staff Prosecution Team in writing of any transfer of ownership of the Site within 30 calendar days following close of escrow or transfer of record title after transfer of ownership.

CDO holders are required to inform the new owner and the Water Board if they sell the property. However, the order is silent on the issue of whether the order continues in effect after the sale of the property. It is the enforcement team’s position that the order is no longer in effect upon sale of the property, either upon the original CDO holder or upon the new owner.

The Advisory Team agrees with the statements in Mr. Packard’s letter. The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) would consider the issue of the responsibility of the past and current owner to comply with a CDO only if the Enforcement Team brought an enforcement action after the property is sold, which, as Mr. Packard’s letter states, they do not intend to do. Therefore, the Water Board itself cannot make a decision or comment on this issue now, without a proposed enforcement action from the Enforcement Team. If the matter did come before the Water Board, I, as the Advisory Team attorney, would advise the Water Board that the existing CDO does not apply to the new owner or the previous owner once the property is sold. Water code section 13301, which pertains to the issuance of CDOs authorizes the issuance of CDOs against the current owner or operator, not the previous owner or operator. To enforce against new owners, the Water Board would need to issue a new CDO.

With respect to the existing CDOs, penalties only accrue from the date of any violation of a CDO, not back to 1988. If a CDO recipient is not violating a CDO, no penalties are owned or accruing at this time. In addition, enforcement of any CDO is not mandatory.

55 comments:

Watershed Mark said...

When under employed activist lawyers hear that they can buy a CDO home in the PZ that will position them for "Jackpot Justice" the Real Estate Agents and the WB will take notice.


Meanwhile California is broke...

Rick said...

Not to Monday morning quarterback it, but this should have been a 1983 case from the outset.

Watershed Mark said...

The County should/could have sought to rectify their (over)permitting of septic tanks when 90% federal grant funding was available through 1991 to build collection and traetment or wastewater.

Alon Perlman said...

A regulatory agency that applies enforcement as liberally and as capriciously as a mad hatter applies arsenic by naked hand to the felt inner band of a fuzzy fedora.
Ann finally lets the Cheshire cat out of the bag

I have been watching the Actual e mail exchange from its inception; Bill, Harvey, Ann as follow-up, etc, again, back and forth, preliminary understandings and indications of this very direction and wondering; when does the other shoe drop? I actually refrained from commenting, becuse you never know who is reading the blogs. IT IS NOW CLEAR THE WATERBORD WANTS OUT OF ITS OWN LEGAL QUAGMIRE.
The board as a board has not decided on their interpretation of the order, however until they do, the authoritative interpretation of the order is in the hands of “Senior Staff Counsel, State Water Board”. And the legal shoe is tapping out the same conclusion hinted at in Bill's first question! And is even positing its answer to a rhetorical question by a yet to be convened future hypothetical board meeting. A meeting that could only be convened in response to Staff's decision to pursue prosecution after sale which Mr. Packard has non-hypothetically noted that there is "no such intention". And why intend to prosecute when the legal advisor to the board has already noted, that such a future action would be advised against.
The Waterboard has brilliantly locked up its own chessboard into a rooking status quo.

Was it really that simple, All along.-
Regulatory relief by change of title.

Of course, we are talking about Legal pollution, if the CDO would attach to the actual pollution itself, it could not be separated from it so easily. But that would only happen in a rational pre brain damaged hatter world. One world where SCIENCE was applied to regulatory decisions. In such a world, it would not be appropriate to apply a regulatory remedy affecting 1% of the problem. (45 : 4500=1%). It would in fact be illegal to apply any remedy that incurs substantial cost (minimize the need for lawyers) that is not directly used to relieve the physical (pollution) problem.

Ann covers this precisely, but as well as translating it back to fake legalese. I would add that the criminal piggy buried septic tank also has its Juvenile Record wiped clean though its new foster parents ae informed.
In such a world however, the regulatory tools and instruments would apply to the physical entity of the pollution or to the physical portal via which said regulated substance is coming into contact (verified by direct scientific testing on location) with our precious California waters.
Are you with me so far? I‘ve been dying to post this whole thing for weeks.

LET THE GAME OF MUSICAL (CDO) HOUSES BEGIN!

Don said...

Now about those CAO's and the pollution that has to be actually cleaned up. I believe that does follow the owner/polluter(s) and is the prefered enforcement instrument to follow the Notice of Violation I received. It said the next step was a CAO. Tell us more on that Harvey. Maybe Ann can ask him or the WB attorney since she is a party to the lawsuit.

Churadogs said...

Alon sez:"or to the physical portal via which said regulated substance is coming into contact (verified by direct scientific testing on location) with our precious California waters.:

Ah, but you're forgetting under oath testimony, and repeated asking and answering, Do you have any emperical first hand knowledge that Mr. Smith/Jones/Brown is polluting the waters of the State of California," answer NO. No scientific tests, nothing but assumptions and declarations and assertions. No proof. Which is why this turned into a Mad Hatter's Tea Party and Kangaroo Kort run by Torquemada. An embarassment.

Don sez:"I believe that does follow the owner/polluter(s) and is the prefered enforcement instrument to follow the Notice of Violation I received."

You'd think, wouldn't you, that unless a homeowner dug up their septic tank and took it with them to their retirement home (put it in the parking lot, sort like you did with that giant tank in your front yard, if you're the Don who did that) then the CDO would stay with the tank, the property and hence transfer to the new owners who will be branded as criminals by the RWQCB the moment they flush their toilets. But no. Not a bit of it. My some transubstative miracle (listen, Lo the beating of angel wings) criminal discharges disappear -- poof! -- the moment one transfers paper title from one CDO afflicted person to another, who is miraculously, with the stroke of a pen, CDO-free!

One interesting giveaway word used: owner/operator. CDOs of this sort were intended to be used on sewer plant operators and large businesses discharging and were never really set up to be used on individual homeowners who were deliberately trapped (by the RWQCB) into an automatic no win situation:And individual homeowners who can't build a community treatment plant on his own and yes is forbidden by the RWQCB from building any individual onsite treatment system, even one that works and does not result in polluting the waters of the state of California.) Hobson's Choice on steroids with the result is you lose you home and/or go to jail.

Yes, Alon, the cat is out of the bag. And yes, this should have been looked at in 1983. It's rotten to the core, the whole system. Too much mercury went to the brain of the Mad Hatters in charge of the asylum. And 45 people paid an awful price. It was simply wrong.

Watershed Mark said...

Ann skillfully wrote: (listen, Lo the beating of angel wings)

It’s the legally permitted discharge and the 1,000 plus additional permits after the PZ was so very arbitrarily “established (?)” that has those 1,000 Angels (units) dancing on the head of a pin and 'Cause we're not sure how this goes…

Where are those under employed lawyers when you need ‘em?

The “low” that is the third ingredient that makes the “perfect storm” is that government has no money to pay for anything so it must be borrowed before it can be loaned.

Don’t forget that there is always that pesky “wild card”…

Mike said...

If I'm not mistaken, 45 households have not paid a penny in Fines... sort of like Ann Calhoun not paying her portion of the PZLDF lawsuit...??? BTW...were Fines ever levied...???

Hasn't the RWQCB backed off while the County of SLO gets a sewer project designed and land purchased and permits obtained and maybe some construction started...??? Why the continual hand wringing and tearful cheerleading over a non-event...??? Just build the sewer and all the RWQCB warnings will be a thing of the past... but if something positive isn't done, don't you think some enforcement action to cause LO to halt the leaching of human waste into our drinking water should be taken...??? Something positive, not just jawboneing by a bunch of wantabe sewer lawyers and engineering experts...??? I don't see the gran-conspiracy around every corner... I do see a bunch of extremists pushing for some solution out of the community inwhich the waste is created...

M said...

Off topic maybe, but it is sadly funny that after the article in the tribune the other day about Warren Jensens dismissal of all the charges levied by Lisa, in the commentary section talk about piling on. Alot of posters names that we don't see on this site. Although the "butt sisters" comment sounded very familiar to one of this sites frequent posters. I never have quite figured out the need to be so vitriolic when your side has won. I guess that's why I always like the way Harold Jackson with the then L.A. Rams, upon scoring a touchdown pass would simply drop the football in the end zone as though it were normal business.
Sorry, I got carried away. My original intent was to show that after the County spent a bunch of money on the Gail Wilcox affair, there is hardly a peep about money spent.
Sincerely, M

Watershed Mark said...

Too bad MIKE little mouse wasn't "served up" a CDO.

Perhaps he would understand better the toll the randomly picked CDO receipients know.

Tell us again MIKE little mouse: Why was vacuum collection not studied in a $7MM review of alternatives.

The bell and spigot Paavo RFQ'd will leak Human Waste into the ground whereas the legally permitted septic tanks do not.

Mike said...

You Mark, fit in the "wantabe" catagory... since you don't live here and have no sales of water treatment services, you are simply to be dismissed as a snakeoil sales person with no engineering expertise in water treatment or law...did you ever have beef in the baloney you tried selling...or was it all dog and horse meat...???

Watershed Mark said...

MIKE little mouse,
Didn't your parents teach you it is impolite to answer a question with a question?

To answer your question, I sell only first quality beef, chicken, pork.
The tripe you attempt to boil here is really putrid on that I am certain.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

After your stint trying to sell your balony in LO, we don't believe anything you post... and apparently neither does the County!!!

It sounds as if you are still selling meat by-products. Is that why no one will take you seriously as a water treatment "expert"...??? You only dabble in various "products", none of which you are an acknowledged "expert"... just a bottom of the barrel sales hack with no experience in anything except stocking shelves and yet you somehow expected us or the BOS to give you any respect as some self proclaimed sewer expert... Hell, Mark, even Ann is more honest and respected than you...!!!!!!!

Now go wipe your tears and post your next cutnpaste article on the next 10 or 20 postings... Yup, you are and will always be, just a wantabe who will never be part of the LO community... go crawl back under your rock...

Watershed Mark said...

I'm glad you watched the video I posted above.
As I have stated previously MIKE little mouse, I'll be here until the end or should Ann ask that I no longer contribute.

Of course you are welcomed to your opinion and I enjoy helpong you illuminate your closet bias, gags bits and business- buddy.

Watershed Mark said...

Of course you are welcomed to your opinion and I enjoy helping you illuminate your closet bias, gags, bits and business- buddy.

Why wasn't vacuum studied?

franc4 said...

Mike.......to someone alot smarter and savy than you, you said: " go crawl back under your rock...". you forgot to add, "Richy, Gordon, Stosh and I are lonely under here."

Mike said...

...sorry to unintentionally bother you Franc...you still don't live in Los Osos do you...??? How's the wife...???

Churadogs said...

Mike sez:"I don't see the gran-conspiracy around every corner.."

that's because, Mike, AS USUAL, you missed the point of the posting and the RWQCB's letter and the implications of the letter vis a vis the whole CDO scam.

M sez:"I never have quite figured out the need to be so vitriolic when your side has won." Actually, Los Osos lost on that one, as it has lost on so many other critical issues. As for the vitriol, it's interesting isn't it, that "voice" of the soul that comes through even "anonymice" posters. Fascinating. What was interesting about Cuddy's Trib story was this, "In addition to being partisan, the documents Schicker submitted can't be used in court" . . . and "Jensen outlined the four types of conflict of interest possible under California law, and said Schicker had not proved Ogren guilty of any of them." Uh, since when does a citizen bringing forward a complaint or a request for an investigation have to "prove" someone guilty? Isn't that what happens AFTER an investigation takes place? And since when is the standard to see if there are, for example, ethical issues or conflict of interest standards that have been crossed, been morphed into requiring court-of-law proof for the government agency responsible to look into the matter? Interestingly, when an employee simply brought forth one concern over Wilcox/Edge, with no paper trail at all, ker-BLAM, they were put on leave and a private ivestigator brought in. In this case, the messenger is shot, both by the County and the Tribune, and the whole thing is declared "opinion," (including Bruce Buel's letter acknowledging his back-dating of that MWH contract at Paavo's request -- hardly an "opinion"?) so that the entire issue can be mooted. I always find that very interesting.It's especially interesting in our, uh, Newspaper of Record.

Watershed Mark said...

Ann,
You make several terrific points:

In the Wilcox/Edge issue it was deemed necessary to use an external investigative device while Paavo's $128MM+ did not.
I opine they could find a lawyer who would touch it.

As vacuum was never studied and he will not step down as the lead in the county's process, the stench of waste fraud and abuse is now a very big part of the county's current study process, which makes a BOS vote to "take" the project problematic.

It's hard to believe that only Paavo Ogren can lead a public works project as he never has.
He has bungled his first one by not studying vacuum in a $7MM study of alternatives and ejecting STEP/STEG prior to his RFQ after carrying that technology so far forward.

It would be far more expedient and less costly to the county if Paavo were simply replaced.

Why is the BOS so interested in keeping Paavo in charge?
Why wasn't vacuum studied?

Watershed Mark said...

franc4,

I see that you "get it" and appreciate your kind works.
It takes a super citizen to see the forrest for the trees, no matter where one lives.
You must have the requisite knowledge and healthy distrust of government that seems missing in MIKE little mouse.
His misplaced anger illuminates his emotions which leads to the stupidity he exhibits as proclaims his love of a big leaky, expensive and energy intensive pipe buried deep in his drinking water aquifer.

I'm so sorry my question: "why wasn't vacuum studied", is so bothersome to MIKE and some others.
Too bad they do not have an answer that will work.

Watershed Mark said...

His misplaced anger illuminates his emotions which leads to the stupidity he exhibits as he proclaims his love of a big leaky, expensive and energy intensive pipe buried deep in his drinking water aquifer.

MIKE little mouse,
Just for fun, why not try to answer the question about vacuum?

Watershed Mark said...

In the Wilcox/Edge issue it was deemed necessary to use an external investigative device while Paavo's $128MM+ did not.
I opine they could NOT find a lawyer who would touch it.

Watershed Mark said...

Thinking about the total liability to the BOS between the two issues it seems prudent to simply eliminate Paavo from the equation.

Watershed Mark said...

Chairman Gibson may want to recuse himself from any vote to "take" the project.

This "thing" is big and getting bigger.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"And 45 people paid an awful price. It was simply wrong."

There's also this:

Those 45 households are COMPLETELY innocent.

Gets worse.

The REAL guilty party here is the State Water Resources Control Board's Division of Financial Assistance for illegally cutting that $6 million check to the LOCSD back in 2005, AFTER I officially challenged that loan because it was illegally funding an elaborate, multi-million dollar park for Los Osos.

Had the State Water Resources Control Board's Division of Financial Assistance simply comprehended my ultra-tight argument, and NOT made that $6 million mistake in 2005, the Tri-W embarrassment would have been stopped in its tracks in 2005, and the treatment facility would have moved east of town then.

So, the sickening bottom-line involved here, is that the State of California is punishing those 45 COMPLETELY innocent households, solely because of the State of California's $6 million mistake in 2005.

And, to make matters worse (and, yes, in this case, that's possible), according to State law, when a legal matter comes down to the People of California vs. Incompetent State Agencies, The Attorney General's office is REQUIRED to represent the Incompetent State Agencies.

Which means, in this astonishing case, the State of California is punishing those 45 COMPLETELY innocent households BECAUSE of the State of California's $6 million mistake in 2005, and they're using California taxpayer funded attorneys to punish those COMPLETELY innocent people.

Out-rage-ous!

By the way, that's ANOTHER piece of awesome fall-out that would result from County Counsel arguing my 2005 challenge today -- it would show that those 45 CDOers are completely innocent... as well as saving Los Osos millions of dollars.

Shark Inlet said...

How many of you remember the RWQCB hearings in Jan 2006? During those hearings the CSD was to be fined for not making progress on a WWTF.

The CSD, in their argument that they should not be subject to any such fines, said that individual homeowners should face CAOs and CDOs instead.

In short, the LOCSD told the RWQCB to fine us as individuals. I'm not gonna defend the selection of 45 at all, but the original stated intent was to treat everyone the same way ... but 45 properties were the first out of everyone to go thru the process.

To blame everyone but the post-recall board is revisionist history ... they are at least as much part of our troubled mess as anyone else mentioned (Stan, RWQCB, County, etc.).

Sewertoons said...

So Shark you are saying, Lisa, Julie, Chuck, Steve and John are responsible for INSPIRING the RWQCB to grace us with CDO's and CAOs/NOV's? I see how so many then have been SO wrong to JUST blame the Water Board - I had forgotten that nugget of information. Thank you for reminding us.

People make mistakes and should be FORGIVEN, but that is a little hard to do when those individuals always place the blame elsewhere. They don't seem to see the need to ask for forgiveness.

Sewertoons said...

ron, the "park in Los Osos" is also the fault of Lisa and your beloved Julie, as they insisted to the Coastal Commission that the park element be put back into the project.

M said...

Otherwise we would have simply had a sewer plant there.
Sincerely, M

Watershed Mark said...

SLOCO continued to issue septic tank permits even after the PZ was established.
To be fair they should be fined for at least the thousand they permitted since 1983 when the "prohibition" was established.

Sewertoons said...

ron, maybe you can explain how the millions in mitigation fees for taking ag land for a WWTF (you know - to put the plant "east of town") stacks up with the park mitigation in Los Osos?

Oh, you didn't know that we are going to have to mitigate for using those ag lands? Not sure yet if we'll have to mitigate 1:1 or 2:1, but there is a PRICE too for putting it out of town.

The hilarious part? The Bear Valley Alliance is asking for several mitigations if the park is put at Giacomazzi - you know what one of those mitigations is -- A PARK! Looks like Los Osos MIGHT get that park after all - just not in town.

Watershed Mark said...

But the the WB never proved the source of pollution and no one is doing any re-testing of the wells which were used to "proclaim" the PZ, while the Governments are all flat broke.

More tea?

Watershed Mark said...

The hilarious parts?
Vacuum was never studied and government is broke.

Shark Inlet said...

'Toons,

Two corrections and a question.

1 - I am not saying that the post-recall board gave the RWQCB the idea of CDOs and CAOs to individuals. I am saying that the LOCSD said that such actions would be an appropriate way of dealing with the district's lack of progress. (Pretty goofy, huh? They said that individual homeowners should pay fines for their lack of progress but that they shouldn't be fined as a district.)

2 - CCLO didn't ask for the park. They complained when expensive park elements were trimmed from the plan even though LOCSD and CCC staff agreed that these expensive items weren't really necessary. I get all warm and fuzzy every time I remember Julie complaining that there wasn't enough park in the park at TriW. It was a gamble to delay the CDP. Unfortunately, we all lost. Ron never seems to mention that it was his buddy Julie who asked for the expensive park stuff.

Finally, a question ... where is there information about this request for an out-of-town park? I would think that a park behind the cemetery would be no where as beneficial for the community as one at TriW. Why don't the Bear Valley folks ask for a park at TriW? At least a park there would actually be used.

Sewertoons said...

Hi Shark! Thanks for the update! The Bear Valley Land Stewardship Alliance has put this in their appeal letter.
You can find it here, off the County BOS agenda for tomorrow:

http://slocounty.granicus.com/AgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=54

Click on staff report pages 199-849. Look on page 102.

As to the park - the CSD owns Tri-W but due to its bankruptcy will need to use that property to sell to pay off debt - I can't imagine that I personally want to pay twice for it, even for a park. No, I see some commercial thing going in there - otherwise we are all stuck on a bigger chunk to pay from the bankruptcy.

The Bear Valley people are stuck with a plant they didn't get to vote on or will ever get to use - I say give them the park in their neighborhood.

M said...

Shark, can you document what you just posted? " I am not saying that the post-recall board gave the RWQCB the idea of CDOs and CAOs to individuals. I am saying that the LOCSD said that such actions would be an appropriate way of dealing with the district's lack of progress. (Pretty goofy, huh? They said that individual homeowners should pay fines for their lack of progress but that they shouldn't be fined as a district.)"
Sewertoons, are you now an official member of Bear Valley now? It sounds like you are pushing for a park there now. As if it's the least we could do. Who besides yourself is talking about a park at one of the out of town locations? If that's all they're asking for then I think we can work something out. Unless somebody keeps inviting them to file lawsuits.
And where did the name Bear Valley come from? I've lived here nearly 40 years now and I have never heard that term before. Sounds to me like a name somebody came up with to make people feel all warm and fuzzy about the injustice layed on them. Hey, at least they don't have to pay an arm and a leg for it.
Sincerely, M

Mike said...

It appears that should the WWTF end up out of town, that there is no readily available money to buy the property... Does the cash strapped County have a reserve...??? How about the LOCSD...??? Just where will the funds come from...??? Do you think Giacomazzi or Tonini are going to "give" the land to SLO...??? Both of those landowners realize they now have the upper hand and they don't have to let it go cheap... The Emmident Domain would also prove a long process and will not be for bargain prices.... Don't be fooled, there aren't a lot of choices... and we already own the Tri-W Site free and clear...

Selling Tri-W would possibly help, but until the enconomy kicks back in and property values increase, there will be no real funding to buy another, more expensive parcel...

The bankruptcy will not be paid off by any land sale...we're stuck with that cost will be, separate from whatever happens with the WWTF location...

Mike said...

M... do you know what "Los Osos" means in spanish...??? ever read any of this area's history...???

Mike said...

...and BTW, nearly all of Los Osos's streets are going to be dug up no matter where the WWTF is located... even if they put in the tiny (double walled so they won't ever possibly leak) vacuum pipes...

We should all be thankful the STEP is off the table as we could have planned on every street and every front yard beinging excavated with a hole (including shoreing) of approximately 15 feet by 20 feet by 15 to 20 feet deep... if you doubt that, go have a look at the tank at Don Beardon's and figure out if you think that thing would have even fit somewhere across your yard and also consider where the pipes would have gone...

Bev. De Witt-Moylan said...

Returning to the original thread for a moment...Though it has become popular folklore, it is simply not true that the CCRWQCB randomly selected 45 Los Osos residents for individual enforcement. In point of fact, they selected 45 families. Households.

In targeting 45 properties, the Water Board attacked hundreds of people. Contemporary correspondence and volumes of evidence presented to the CCRWQCB between 2006 and 2007 reveal that members of many CDO families suffered the random impact of over a year of CDO defense. CDO spouses came to the brink of divorce. CDO children had problems in school. CDO parents had problems at work. CDO families were distraught, distracted, and in conflict. CDO family life became nonexistent for many. Extended families agonized over relatives with enforcement orders.

Stress-related illnesses appeared, often in more than one family member. In addition to the daily costs of running a household, combined with expenditures for CDO defense and compliance, families took on medical and therapy expenses. The PZ CDO enforcement action has had a lasting impact on a large number of individuals. That the Water Board’s threats of eventual conviction and eviction affected just 45 people is a misconception. But this, as they say, is history.

Now in late 2009, as the enforcement hearings of 2006 and 2007 seem remote, and CDOers a quaint relic of a long forgotten era, the concept of random selective enforcement in the Prohibition Zone is becoming passé. Letting bygones be bygones, the CCRWQCB advisory team attorney asserts that daily fines dating back to 1988 are no longer a threat. She writes that CDO enforcement is actually not mandatory. And she announces that selling our home indeed kills the enforcement order, an order imposed because the CCRWQCB shrilly insisted that we were polluting the waters of the state and needed to cease discharging or pay severe penalties. She states that she would advise the Water Board to issue no new enforcement order our property upon transfer of ownership.

The CCRWQCB’s contemporary remedy for protecting us from enforcement while protecting the waters of the state in the PZ is deceptively simple - sell our property. Matt Thompson’s call in 2006 for us to “vacate the premises” takes on new meaning.

This novel approach to pollution in the PZ comes as a shocking revelation given the hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars many of us, the randomly selected, had invested in defending against and complying with the enforcement orders while facing for almost four years the dire consequences the CCRWQCB said awaited us should the WWTP stall. To escape enforcement it is true that we can’t live in our home anymore, but we have the consolation of being able to sell it rather than lose it outright to Water Board fines or condemnation. The new owners will be privileged to live on the property unmolested with no fear that they would face anything more than being left alone.

What was all that fuss about? It's surprising more taxpayers aren't interested in the answer to that question.

Aaron said...

Bev, you do realize Gail McPherson handed the names of people -- who would eventually receive CDOs -- to the CCRWQCB, right?

I understand that the CDO recipients have suffered greatly -- and you're right about the water's board enforcement -- but you need to understand that Mrs. McPherson put you and every CDO recipient on the chopping block to create the perfect victim.

Take back PZLDF if you want more control of your case.

M said...

Mike, of course I know what Los Osos means in Spanish. It means the Village Idiot or something does'nt it?
You would be amazed at what I know and have done with bears. I was simply saying that I have never heard of that group. The Clark Valley residents yes. Bear Valley, no. After reading their appeal, it sounds to me like they may have been coached a little bit by Tri-W proponents. One point I noticed was the Morro Bay National Estuary Program stating they preferred Tonnini over Giacomozzi because of the further distance from the estuary. But Tri-W is alright?
While trying to find some timelines on Tri-W like when it was purchased and stuff I came across Gordon's Coastkeeper's, or Coastwatchers, whatever it is lawsuit against the LOCSD pertaining to the disrepair of the fence and some grading and endangering the Morro shoulderband snail. I guess building a sewerplant there was not harmful? The fence was not there to begin with. What difference does it make now?
Sincerely, M

Mike said...

M, You may be reading too much into Mr.Hensley's "letter"... it was NOT as lawsuit, but was a legal notification, putting the CSD on notice that they need(ed) to take some action in consideration of the Endangered Speces Act or he could follow up with a suit to educate the CSD as a government agency. So far he has held off with a formal suit.

You should be aware that the CSD did have a legal permit for the fence and did consider the snails... Lisa was supposedly a knowledgeable biologist and yet she chose to do nothing... The CSD does have a liability and an expensive fence to maintain because they let the permit expire... They did that deliberately and with the knowledgeable Schicker playing her normal vindictive role... She knew what she was doing, now we, the taxpayers are stuck...

Sewertoons said...

M says:

"Sewertoons, are you now an official member of Bear Valley now? It sounds like you are pushing for a park there now."

No, I am not, and the alliance has been in place a long time but without a name. TW did not coach them, they have been silent and under the radar for some time. They probably would not have emerged if the Planning Commission hadn't changed the location away from the Tonini Ranch. I see lawsuits in the future of the Los Osos WWTF - and I don't mean silly ones like Sierra Club. I mean real ones that can stick.

I don't see how people who can say "I don't want it in my backyard" are the least bit surprised and totally unsympathetic to people saying the exact same words about their backyard. The Bear Valley Alliance DID NOT VOTE on this, are NOT ALLOWED to USE the facility, yet, it is supposed to go there. How arrogant of Los Osos!

So, as that is likely where it will go - we should afford them some amenity to make it more palatable for them, don't you think? We were going to have a park with ours at Tri-W, remember?

I second what Mike says - I was in the room the night the CSD decided to not continue with the permit. Shot themselves in the foot - and us in the pocketbook. Thanks Lisa, thanks Julie.

Sewertoons said...

Bev. De Witt-Moylan, I am so sorry for the grief this has caused you and the other CDO recipients.

Let us support the County in getting us a WWTF. If we get one, CDO's will go away and we don't have to sell to get rid of them. It is too bad about the cost of the WWTF, but as history has shown, delay only causes the price to rise.

If I were you, I would follow up on Aaron's statement above. He knows A LOT about Gail that I bet you don't.

Shark Inlet said...

M,

I think the best place to find the RWQCB hearings on the Los Osos fine is slospan.org. Look for meetings dated approximately January 2006.

I don't remember anymore whether Lisa said it or Jon Seitz said it, but it was a district official who said that the district could not reasonably be fined for lack of progress ... but individual homeowners could be.

Shark Inlet said...

Aaron,

Your charge doesn't match my memory of what happened. I thought the RWQCB told us that they picked those names at random.

Mike said...

That's the way I remember the event also Shark... I'm certain it was a random drawing...RWQCB made a big deal out of keeping it fair and that was to be the first group with every property following until the whole PZ property owners recieved theirs...

I was hopeing Lisa and Julie would have volunteered to be the first since they were trying show us they were our community leaders...

Aaron said...

It really wasn't random if you look at most of the people who were selected. It's too coincidental. Some of the recipients have made frequent appearances at CSD and RWQCB meetings, denouncing their enforcement policies and the way they handled Los Osos overall (i.e. Chris Allerbe, Bruce Payne).

Some have had a history of challenging the CCRWQCB. Some have had close ties to the founding members of PZLDF. Some have volunteered for events held by McPherson over the years.

It's a very difficult situation that can't be put into words: the suffering of the CDO recipients. Have you ever wondered what it's like to experience the modern-day Scarlet Letter? It's horrible. My heart goes out to every one of those recipients.

Sewertoons said...

I hope more about Gail's involvement will eventually come out.

Shark Inlet said...

Aaron,

Even if the RWQCB did not randomly choose those who received CDOs and even if there is a convenient coincidence that the recipients are far more likely to be "agitators" than non-recipients ... doesn't mean that Gail gave a list of names to the RWQCB.

Frankly, I don't buy it. They said random. Unless you've got evidence of Gail's involvement, it would seem wiser to believe the selection was random. Innocent until proven guilty, you know.

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:"Which means, in this astonishing case, the State of California is punishing those 45 COMPLETELY innocent households BECAUSE of the State of California's $6 million mistake in 2005, and they're using California taxpayer funded attorneys to punish those COMPLETELY innocent people.

Out-rage-ous!"

Amen.

Inlet sez:"How many of you remember the RWQCB hearings in Jan 2006? During those hearings the CSD was to be fined for not making progress on a WWTF.

The CSD, in their argument that they should not be subject to any such fines, said that individual homeowners should face CAOs and CDOs instead."

that was Jon Seitz (who's the CSD's attorney, again) Interestingly, he did that to proect his client (the "entity" known as the CSD) by shoving the liability off on "the people." As an attorney, his duty was to protect the CSD (entity) at all costs, which resulted in 45 citizens getting hammered.(see Ron's comment above)

Toonces sez:"No, I see some commercial thing going in there - otherwise we are all stuck on a bigger chunk to pay from the bankruptcy.

The Bear Valley people are stuck with a plant they didn't get to vote on or will ever get to use - I say give them the park in their neighborhood."

A commercial development will require "mitigation," i.e. open space? public park? won't it?
And don't be too quick to think the Bear Valley people won't need to sewer. You're forgetting the "Stealth Basin Update" that's now in Sacramento. When it's signed, Roger Briggs will OWN the Bear Valley People.(I'm betting they never read the proposed Stealth Update requirements.)

Inlet sez:"Even if the RWQCB did not randomly choose those who received CDOs and even if there is a convenient coincidence that the recipients are far more likely to be "agitators" than non-recipients ... doesn't mean that Gail gave a list of names to the RWQCB.

Frankly, I don't buy it. They said random. Unless you've got evidence of Gail's involvement, it would seem wiser to believe the selection was random. Innocent until proven guilty, you know."

If the RWQCB deliberately targeted "activists," then they're even more incompetent than their MadHatter Tea Party indicated: They sent CDO notices to several people OUTSIDE THE PZ. Duh? And to Aron, what proof do you have that Gail sent the RWQCB a list of the 45 to be targeted? And for what reason? And was Sam Blakeslee and Christine Robertson, his aide, in on it to?

Aaron said...

Ask Harvey Packard. He'll show you the way.

Aaron said...

I'll clarify.

You should ask Gail and ask her what documents she's submitted to the CCRWQCB immediately prior to the CDO lottery selection. Earlier, I made it sound like she handed the RWQCB a list of names. Essentially, she handed in documents that compiled information and grievances made by the "agitators."

To be fair, the RWQCB did select a few random recipients (i.e. Wilkinson, Montara and Shipe), but not all of it was random.