Many diverters or pond owners are getting letters like the one shown below, reducing or denying a Request For Additional Time. The letter looks threatening, because that is how letters from regulatory agencies (bureaucracies) have to look. Keep in mind that the Water Board won’t start issuing fines the day after the deadline. Usually what happens next is a 30-day letter to cease and desist, or correct a deficiency, or face fines of $500 per day.
What should you do?
- Call and email Jeff Yeazell to let him know what progress you have made, and what your plan is. If something terrible happened and you let the Water Board know, they can change the deadline.
- Beef up your justification, and ask Jeff Yeazell and Kathy Mrowka for mercy.
- Do Something Wrong, Instead Of Nothing!
- Read and apply Reasoning With Regulators, Benefitting From Bureaucrats – Update
On August 10, 2017, I sent Kathy an email asking about Alternative Compliance Plans for diversions in closed basins:
I have a client whose water rights are all in one closed basin. This owner owns all the lands where the water flows, either naturally, or when diverted from streams. The end effect is, whether the diverter actually diverts or not, all the water ends up only on his land.
There are reservoirs involved. The water rights could be in the range of 5,000 to 10,000 AF.
The argument is, since nobody else is or could be affected, there is no benefit to the State of measuring this water.
What are your thoughts on Alternative Compliance Plan for every water right on the ranch? Would the Water Board put this on the bottom of the pile for places to look at, or toward the top?
Kathy’s answer was:
“Hi Shawn –
The measurement regulation does not have an exception from measurement based on location of the water source. Any alternative compliance plan would need to identify the proposed measurement frequency and proposed measurement methodology. It would also need to include an explanation and substantiating documentation of alternative compliance. Absent substantiation of the specific basis for reduced performance standards, the plan must state how compliance with the measurement regulation will be achieved. You ask for my thoughts on submitting an alternative compliance plan for each of the ranch water rights. You should only submit plans which satisfy the regulatory standards.
You ask whether the Division would put this on the bottom of the pile of items to look at. Jeff and I have been actively looking at the alternative compliance plans submitted thus far. We coordinate our actions with Lily. We are actively evaluating the plans because we feel an obligation to let people know how they have done with their proposals.