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Laguna Beach's Hand-Slap Fine Won't Discourage Ocean Polluters

March 02, 2003

Re "Luxury in Laguna -- but With Concessions to the Average Joe," Feb. 18:

Your article failed to mention a huge luxury afforded to the Montage Resort & Spa by Laguna Beach just last week. After two days of illegal washing of the entire site, which dumped thousands of gallons of polluted water and construction waste directly onto the beach and into the ocean, the Montage group was fined $100 by Laguna Beach.

That kind of a hand slap is a luxury our already polluted ocean cannot afford. The Montage owes the community of Laguna Beach an apology and assurance that this kind of gross oversight will not happen again.

The city should be embarrassed by the amount of the fine, which will have zero punitive affect on the Montage group.

What message does this send to other contractors and construction managers with present and future projects in Laguna Beach near the ocean?

My guess is that some will gladly pay the small fee for a quick and efficient site wash-down.

Lynn Chaldu

Laguna Beach

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