This report summarizes the progress of enforcement case resolution in the first quarter of 2021. It also summarizes actions undertaken by the BCDC staff since the last Committee meeting held on March 24, 2021.
During the first quarter, staff closed 60 cases, opened 36 cases, and issued 2 after-the-fact permits. At the Committee’s recommendation the Commission issued one cease and desist order to resolve a violation involving unauthorized fill in East Lagoon in White Slough in the City of Vallejo in Solano County.
In addition, staff settled three cases the first with Lind Tug and Barge Inc for $132,279 for unauthorized oyster shell mining, the second with Chevron for $2,000 for deviations from the BCDC approved dredging operation plan, and the third with Lind Marine for $1,000 for disposing of dredged material at a location other than the approved site with consideration given that the site where the dredged material was disposed allows for material that is less clean than the material that was disposed. Staff also received $1,000 in standardized fines from Landry’s Inc. The total balance of the Bay Clean Up and Abatement fund, as of March 31, 2021, was $659,045.46.
Caseload is the sum of all cases, including active cases, pending cases, and old cases.
Active cases are the cases actively being pursued.
Pending casesare cases within the case management process that have not yet reached the “resolution” milestone. These milestones are defined to include assignment, investigation, negotiation. Cases are pending for various reasons, including but not limited to pending permit applications, pending monitoring reports, pending site remediation, and pending enforcement cases/permits with other state and local government agencies, etc.
Old cases are all cases opened in 2016 or earlier, before the Enforcement Committee began regularly meeting and hearing cases, and that have been previously defined as the
“backlog”. The Oldest cases are a subset of old cases and this term is used to describe cases opened in 2000 or before.
Closed cases are cases that have been resolved. Cases are resolved for various reasons, including, but not limited to, no violation being found, BCDC reaching a settlement with the violator, orders being issued, or a judgment being rendered after litigation.
- The caseload at the end of the first quarter of 2021 was 185 a 26 case decrease from the caseload on December 31, 2020. Thirty-six (36) cases were opened this quarter, which is 13 more than the 23 cases that were opened during the same period last year. As more cases progressed into the pending case phase, 4 cases were active cases. The temporary reassignment of one of BCDC’s three enforcement staff had an impact on the case resolution rate, reducing the resolution rate on some of the old cases.
- Sixty cases were closed in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 13 cases closed in the same period in 2020. Fifteen of those cases were closed without any violation having been found. In 33 cases were resolved after respondents produced, or enforcement staff independently obtained, documentation proving that the violations had been resolved and 12 cases were duplicative reports of existing cases.
- The process of integrating simplified case status codes onto the enforcement tracking system was completed. A review of cases to assure correct updated status code is ongoing.
- Of the fifteen grouped cases, one case was closed based on documentation indicating the violation was resolved, leaving three open grouped cases. The remaining cases have specific information missing that has been requested from the respondents to enable case resolution.
- There have been ongoing discussions to resolve the oldest cases, with periodic updates to the Enforcement Committee on the progress being made. On February 24, 2021, the Committee received an update about the progress in the resolution of the oldest cases the next update will be during this Enforcement Committee meeting.
Future Agenda Items
- The Enforcement Committee will receive briefings to assist in the resolution of complex cases including the Richardson Bay matter.