Letter: Linda Water District fines are arbitrary; should be contested
The Jan. 14 Appeal-Democrat article, "Linda Water District hit with $123,000 in fines," illustrates ongoing and arbitrary state regulatory enforcement actions that local government agencies face.
The Linda Water District is completing a two-year process of building and bringing online a new $65 million state of the art water treatment plant to replace its old 1950s vintage infrastructure.
In the article, Wendy Wyels, Environmental Program manager with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board, stated that while "no environmental studies had been performed" and that "little to no harm was done to the environment" the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board cited the Linda Water District 41 times for failing to meet arbitrary permit standards.
Where these citations were designed to generate fines since the environment was not harmed — the violations were so minor as to not compel an environmental investigation and the permit limits were later raised anyway. Wyels stated the Linda Water District's new water treatment plant is now expected to consistently reach discharge limits.
The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board appears to be more interested in punishing the Linda Water District for past minor, technical violations rather than protecting the public or the environment. I encourage the management of the Linda Water District to contest these fines and the excessive, overzealous enforcement they represent.
The Linda Water District deserves praise not punishment.
Retired Linda Water District manager