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May 06, 2006

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Rex Maugham's Forever Resorts illegal landfill exposed to EPA!

May 6, 2006


To: California Environmental Protection Agency

From: Oscar A. Braun, Executive Director, CWP

Subject: Online Cal/EPA Environmental Complaint Form



I, Oscar A. Braun, Executive Director of the California Watershed Posse CWP , do hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge:


In the Summer of 2000, the California Watershed Posse    acquired a mobile home #95 at Lake Berryessa's Pleasure Cove Resort (PCR) for the purpose of establishing a Lake Berryessa CWP Watershed Protection Educational Center in Napa County.  In early 2001, the concessionaires at PCR initiated the abatement of 126 mobile home camping sites that had been built over a  45 year time frame without benefit of any development permits from the local, state or federal government and established an unlicensed landfill within the riparian area of Lake Berryessa . The CWP on May 1, 2006 concluded their fourteen month investigation of the unlawful landfill operation activities of  Pleasure Cove Resort Asset Management Group LLP and Pleasure Cove Marina LLC aka Forever Resorts LLC.   


 In this complaint,  the CWP alleges ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act, the California Water Code, the California Health & Safety Code, and the California Fish & Game Code.  The easiest violation for the CWP to prove is PCRAMG & PCM ongoing refusal to apply for a Stormwater Permits, as required by the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. section1311(a), which provides that, unless authorized pursuant to a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permmit, the "discharge of any pollutant by any person shall be unlawful."  On April 15, 1997, Chief Judge Henderson held that section17200 liability can be predicated on a violation of the Clean Water Act. Citizens for a Better Environment v. Union Oil Company of California No. C-94-0712 (N.D. Cal. 1997)  Pursuant to Order 97-03, see Fact Sheet of Sate Water Resources Control Board, an inactive landfill is treated as a Category V discharger.


The term "landfill" is defined by Health and Safety Code sec39663 to mean a solid waste landfill, which is defined by Public Resources Code sec401955(a) as a disposal facility that accepts solid waste for land disposal.  The term solid waste disposal site is defined by Health and Safety Code sec39663 to mean a place, location, tract of land, area or premises in use, or which has been used, for the landfill disposal of solid waste, as defined in Section 66719 of the Government Code.  "Solid waste" means all putrescible and nonputrescible solid, semisolid, and liquid wastes, including garbage, trash, refuse, paper, rubbish, ashes, industrial wastes, demolition and construction wastes, abandoned vehicles and parts thereof, discarded home and industrial appliances, manure, vegetable or animal solid and semisolid wastes, and other discarded solid and semisolid wastes.


Accordingly, CWP contends that the PCRAMG and PCM, as owners and operators of an active/inactive landfill located on the federal estate at Lake Berryessa must apply for a NPDES permit.  This requires sampling during at least two (2) storm events, the preparation of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan specifying erosion control measures and an annual comprehensive site compliance evaluation.  Pleasure Cove Marina LLC aka Forever Resorts is in breach of state and federal law requirements in filing to implement erosion control measures on its public recreation concession lands.


On the morning of April 21, 2006, I traveled with CWP counsel, Frank A. Iwama, and  consultant, Hank Howard, retired former Fire Chief of the City of Benicia, to Pleasure Cove Marina for the court ordered meet and confer meeting with Pedro Lucero, BOR Lake Berryessa Park Manager, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles O’Connor.


Upon arriving at the front security gate at Pleasure Cove Marina at approximately 10:50 AM and identifying myself and the purpose of my court ordered meet and confer meeting at my mobile home located at permittee site #96, I was informed by the concessionaire’s gate keeper that a mud slide made the roadway impassible to my mobile home unit.  The gate keeper recommended that I meet the Resort manger, Terry Sparkman, at the store and restaurant area, located near the midpoint of the access road to my mobile home unit.


After driving on the access road toward my mobile home unit, I noticed fresh tractor marks and evidence of recent road work, which enabled me to drive slowly through mud and water to reach my mobile home at permitte site #96, the predetermined location of the meet and confer meeting.  My mobile home units (permittee sites #95 and #96) are located slightly less than two miles from the front security gate, on a narrow, winding, uneven road, near paved and unpaved portions of the access road at the far north end of Pleasure Cove Marina.  Permittee site #96 is located around the corner from a sharp unpaved U-turn bend at the end of the access road.  There are approximately 15 oversized speed bumps between the front security gate and my permittee sites.


At approximately 11:00 AM, the meet and confer meeting convened at my mobile home at permitee site #96.  Besides the parties and counsel, and my consultant, Hank Howard, BOR representatives included Cleve Duffer, BOR Concessions Manger at Lake Berryessa, and two unidentified personnel from BOR’s Folsom Area Office and an unidentified person from a local contracting company.  After reviewing and discussing issues, the BOR personnel took measurements of both my mobile homes and walked the access roadway between my mobile home permittee sites and downhill toward the store and restaurant area taking measurements with a long-narrow stick (probably a water depth measurement device).  Hank Howard and I also walked on the tour with BOR personnel, taking digital photographs along the route, and answering questions about the dimensions of my mobile homes and related roadway access issues.


During the walking tour of the access road, I observed identified BOR personnel operating tractor equipment to move mud slide and dirt and debris material from the roadway and dumping directly into Lake Berryessa and within the 100 foot  riparian area of the lake .  I did not observe any immediate health and safety conditions that excused full compliance with applicable  environmental laws, including serious Federal and State violations.  I immediately reported this serious matter to the attention of Pedro Lucero, Park Manger at Lake Berryessa, Cleve Duffer, Concessions Manager at Lake Berryessa, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles O’Connor.  I also informed these federal officials that as Executive Director of the California Watershed Posse’s Water Quality Protection Program, it was my duty to file a Notice of Violation of the Clean Water Act Section 404 with   the California EPA, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and Napa County Environmental Conservation Agency. I personally took  digital photographs of my mobile homes, the condition of the access roadway, the choke points in the access roadway, and the discharge of tons of fill materials into Lake Berryessa at Pleasure Cove Marina by identified BOR personnel.  I have recently provided some of the PCM discharge digital photographs to Enforcement Officer Kelly A. Briggs,  Phone: (916) 464-4690