By Michael P. Neufeld
UPDATE: Sunday, January 20 – 9 a.m.
Crest Park, CA – An administrative civil liability complaint of $60,000 has been filed against Arimol Group.
Following a hearing in Barstow last week, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (Lahontan Regional Water Board) issued the complaint against the Arimol Group, Inc., the developer of a housing project in Crest Park, in the Lake Arrowhead watershed of San Bernardino County.
The board issued a media advisory stating that the penalty was imposed because Arimol committed several violations associated with unauthorized discharges of earthen fill materials to streams, two natural springs, and a meadow within the Lake Arrowhead watershed.
The Lahontan Regional Water Board imposed the maximum penalty associated with six discharge violations. In addition to imposing the monetary penalty, the Lahontan Regional Water Board is requiring the Arimol Group, Inc. to repair the damage and restore the natural springs, streams and meadow around the site.
ROTWNEWS was informed, in an e-mail from Lahontan Regional Water Board Assistant Executive Officer Lauri Kemper, that the board retains the right to pursue further enforcement actions if restoration work is not completed.
“We need to send a message to all individuals that unauthorized bulldozing of creeks and springs is a significant violation of state law and the public trust and will not be tolerated,” Kemper’s e-mail sent from her iPhone said.
In a media release accompanying Kemper’s e-mail, Board Vice Chair Peter Pumphrey was quoted as saying, “This piece of property needs to be restored as soon as possible and as much as possible to its original condition.” Pumphrey, who lives near Bishop, is a retired attorney having been an environmental prosecutor for the Office of the District Attorney in San Joaquin County.
LAHONTAN REGIONAL WATER BOARD
The Lahontan Regional Water Board is a State of California office within the State Water Resources Control Board, an agency of the California Environmental Protection Agency. The board is charged with protecting and restoring water quality in California, east of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada crests, from the Oregon border through the Mojave Desert.
For additional information visit LAHONTAN REGIONAL WATER BOARD online.
Crest Park , CA – Alleged water quality violations could cost the Arimol Group $498,000.
On February 16-17, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board ( LRWCB) will hold a civil liability hearing related to nearly a half million dollars in fines proposed for the purported violation of state law at the company’s development, located on Meadowbrook Road in Crest Park.
The board’s enforcement hearing — which is open to the public – will be held both days in the Jackrabbit Room of the Hampton Inn & Suites, located at 2710 Lenwood Road in Barstow. The board will consider five unrelated items prior to the start of the Arimol hearing on January 16. A media advisory suggests the hearing on Item 6 could start as early as 1:15 p.m.on January 16, be postponed until sometime the next day or even rescheduled for a board meeting in another month.
The hearing — related to alleged violations of state and federal water quality laws — follows a civil liability complaint against Arimol and its owner, Bill Moller, dated October 26, 2012.
Board members will hear testimony from both the LRWCB staff and Arimol Group representatives. On December 20, Arimol submitted five evidentiary objections to the enforcement order. Those objections were answered by staff on December 26.
THE ALLEGED VIOLATIONS
The October 26 complaint states, “the violations are the result of unauthorized discharge of fill and waste to waters of the United States within the Lake Arrowhead watershed.
“The violations,” the complaint continues, “are also the result of failing to file and notice of intent and supporting documents and complete technical reports as required by Cleanup and Abatement Order No. R6V-2012-0008.”
A media statement issued by Arimol’s attorneys — Monteleone & McCrory, LLP (Los Angeles) — claims the complaint “is a complete failure of proof with regard to alleged violations.”
MEADOWBROOK ROAD PROJECT
Arimol’s plans for the property in Crest Park reportedly include operating drug rehab/sober living residences on about two acres.
Additional information about the hearing and alleged violations can be found online at LOHANTON WATER BOARD.