Water Board Could Fine Paradise Cove
BY BILL KOENEKER
The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board is scheduled to meet on June 5 to consider assessing a $1.6-plus million civil penalty against the Kissel Company, owner of the Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park, for alleged violations of several of the board’s orders.
After a public hearing, when the board is expected to receive evidence and take testimony concerning the complaint, the panel is expected to consider whether to agree, modify or rescind the administrative civil complaint in the amount of $1,652,500.
According to RWQCB documents, the board also may meet in closed session on the matter.
The board’s action is being cheered by environmental organizations. “If the regional board approves the fine, it would be a big victory for Santa Monica Bay, as Paradise Cove Beach has routinely received failing grades on the Heal the Bay beach report card and the mobile home park is likely a main source of the pollution,” states a report from Heal the Bay.
For many years, Heal the Bay says it has pressured the board to issue fines for what it calls “egregious, continuous violations. We are ecstatic that this has finally occurred.” Members have been urging other enviros to attend the meeting to support the staff’s proposed enforcement action.
Another important public meeting is planned later in June that will be held in Malibu. Three members of the water board and its staff are scheduled to meet with Malibu city officials on June 17 to begin discussions about modifying the Memo of Understanding between the city and RWQCB for on-site wastewater treatment system permits.
The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Malibu City Hall. No action will be taken at the meeting by the board, according to RWQCB documents.
Last November, the board directed the staff to renegotiate the MOU after the city claimed it could issue a permit for its Lumberyard shopping center project and ran head on into the board and its staff, which argued it was not the municipality’s purview to do so.
Soon after, the staff recommended the board consider not only renegotiating the MOU, which is soon to sunset, but also to consider a prohibition of septic systems in the Civic Center.
The subsequent study of the MOU and proposed prohibition by the board staff also became the impetus for the Notice of Violations issued to Civic Center area properties by the staff several weeks ago, according to a RWQCB staffer.