September 10, 2020 Enforcement Committee Meeting Summary

Four members of the Enforcement Committee – Chair Scharff, Commissioner Gilmore, Commissioner Techel, and Commissioner Vasquez – attended the virtual September 10, 2020, BCDC Enforcement Committee meeting. The public was able to participate by submitting written comments by email prior to the meeting, by phone, or by accessing the meeting via a link posted on the Commission’s website. View only access was also provided via Facebook Live.

At the meeting, the Committee received three briefings. The first briefing focused on the recent hire of John Creech as an Enforcement Analyst and on enforcement program case resolution progress since August 12, 2020. Ms. Njuguna informed the Committee that there are 254 open cases and that 9 new cases have been opened and 12 cases have been closed since the last report. Ms. Njuguna also reported that in collaboration with the State Lands Commission, BCDC staff submitted a letter of intent applying for federal funding to abate the Tug Polaris.

In the second briefing Adrienne Klein provided an update on the progress towards resolution of one of the oldest cases involving a 1985 consistency determination for the beneficial reuse of dredged material at the Rich Island Duck Club, a managed wetland. Ms. Klein informed the Committee that the violation is related to the failure to reuse or remove dredged material within ten years as previously required. Ms. Klein provided the Committee with details on the new plan negotiated among the parties to enable beneficial reuse of the remaining material, which will result in resolution of the enforcement case.

In the final briefing, Chief Counsel Marc Zeppetello presented the proposed amendments to Chapter 13 of BCDC’s regulations, which address the enforcement process. He highlighted various proposed changes to the regulations, including changes to clarify the language and harmonize it with the statutory provisions and modern practice, as well as other changes. These changes included the proposed increases in standardized fines and a new Administrative Civil Penalty Policy with accompanying guidelines on the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects to partially offset civil penalties.

For details on each briefing, contact Priscilla Njuguna (415-352-3640, priscilla.njuguna@bcdc.ca.gov). The next meeting of the Enforcement Committee is scheduled to be held from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM on Thursday October 8, 2020. It is anticipated to also be an online only virtual meeting with no physical location for attendees and participants to congregate. We are also planning a special workshop with the environmental justice working group, a broader group of Commissioners, stakeholders and interested parties to address how providing maximum feasible public access is impacted by homelessness encampments and related issues that are encountered in areas within BCDC’s jurisdiction.