With nary a peep from any of the normally vocal environmental groups since his ruling last week, U.S. District Court Judge Jeff White dismissed the Humboldt Baykeeper’s major claim in its lawsuit against Eureka’s Balloon Track owners.
Baykeeper and its parent organization, the equally litigiously crazed Ecological Rights Foundation, filed the suit in 2006 claiming, among other things, that past and present owners of the property failed to secure the required discharge permits and allowed toxic stormwater to run into nearby Humboldt Bay.
Their lawyers have spent untold thousands of dollars (millions?) trying to sway the court into buying into a stinking pile of unconstitutional feces that the Balloon Track’s owner should be fined $32,500 per day for more than 3,000 separate Clean Water Act violations going back to early 2001.
That’s roughly $97 million, or just enough for any owner to abandon any thoughts of development on the property, right? That’s surely what wetlands advocate and California Coastal Commission buddy Bill Pierson was counting on anyway.
Not so fast said White, who ruled the laws don’t actually allow fines for discharge violations when there isn’t any discharge. Seems simple enough to us, but what the fuck do we know? Baykeeper and the other environmental elite know what’s best for us all. The court was more likely to believe there were less than 60 days during that nearly decade period when significant Northcoast storms delivered enough water to flush any potential toxins into the bay. White ordered the parties back to mediation.
With September nearly here and what may well be another record wet year, how much longer will Baykeeper pursue its seemingly ironic plan to block the only real cleanup of the property that has been sitting idle for decades?