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'Notice of Violations' filed against Cambria's emergency water supply project

Jason Lopez

District leaders in Cambria say the area's emergency water supply project is now in compliance, after receiving a "Notice of Violation" from the regional water quality control board.

The project, designed to keep the village from running out of water during the ongoing drought, began officially operating in late January after a couple of months of testing.

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency, says the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) had violations in a number of areas. These include salt drift from the evaporation pond, a high concentration of effluent into a nearby creek, and failing to meet reporting deadlines.

Spokesperson Michael Thomas says the Water Board has worked closely with the CCSD.

"We're doing everything we can to help," said Thomas. "Unfortunately, with an emergency rush job like this, there are bound to be some violations and we need to document those."

The CCSD said in a statement addressing the violations notice, that the project has "at least temporarily been out of compliance with permit provisions in three general areas – operation of the evaporation pond, release of ‘mitigation water’ to maintain freshwater levels of the San Simeon Creek Lagoon, and failing to meet certain deadlines for reporting and monitoring during the initial operation phase."

Tom Gray is with the CCSD and say the District is working to ensure these errors do not reoccur.

"Almost everything really reflects things that happened that have been resolved in one way or another," said Gray. "In other words, we have corrected these issues."

The district has until March 27, 2015 to issue its official response to the water board.