RWQCB Set to Air Proposed Discharge Prohibition for La Paz
• Developer’s Attorney Says Order is Wrong
BY BILL KOENEKER
BY BILL KOENEKER
A showdown has been scheduled on Feb. 4 between the owners and consultants of La Paz, a proposed Civic Center retail and office complex, and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board about the status of a La Paz discharge permit for its wastewater treatment plant.
The regional board is being asked by the staff to approve an order specifying waste discharge requirements that prohibit discharge from the proposed development by Malibu La Paz Ranch LLC.
Tamar Stein, an attorney for La Paz, said they will argue that since the septic prohibition in the Civic Center has not yet been approved by the state board, the regional board has no authority to cite the prohibition. “We have not had the final word on that,” she added. “The proposed order is just wrong.”
At the same time, La Paz has pending before the state board another issue arguing they are already permitted.
La Paz attorneys insist due to the state’s permit streamlining act, which applies to time limits for processing permits, the La Paz permit should be deemed approved as a matter of law because the RWQCB did not hear the matter within the time required by law.
Stein was asked if such arguments would be put into play at the regional board hearing.
“We are currently working on our strategy. It may be a two-pronged approach or three pronged,” she said.
The tentative order sought by the RWQCB staff insists the application is incomplete. The staff contends the applicant changed plans and submitted designs for a zero discharge wastewater system. But the staff contends the plans did not appear to show “such a system.”
“The applicant continually failed to provide the information needed for the application,” or what is called a Report of Waste Discharge, or ROWD, according to the RWQB staff. .
The staff contends it repeatedly informed La Paz officials that the ROWD is incomplete and the staff needed more information.
Nearly at the same time, the regional board was moving forward with a septic ban in the Civic Center where La Paz would be located.
Then just weeks before the hearing, the zero discharge wastewater system was eliminated by the staff as an exemption to the septic prohibition.
La Paz officials have called foul and insist the RWQCB’s tactics and delays are calculated to force La Paz into the septic prohibition ban.