The Central Valley Flood Board, frustrated by three years of inaction, has issued a cease and desist order for two Stockton homeowners who have not removed improvements built on a levee. The order gives the homeowners 30 days to comply before state officials will do it for them.

The improvements, which include a sprinkler system, shed, fencing, and other items, were built on the levee in violation of flood control rules. And in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, federal and state agencies have been cracking down on such violations. In this case, the two homeowners who received the notices are part of a group of eight homeowners in violation of levee rules. Their actions have resulted in the Bear Creek levee being deemed ineligible for federal flood assistance. Should a flood hit, the federal government will not pay to rebuild the levee.

Also impacted by the improvements are non-offending homeowners who live in an area that could be deemed a high flood risk as a result of the weakened levee. They could be forced to buy flood insurance.

The new, increased enforcement of levee standards could signal a shift in the role the State’s flood boards are taking in ensuring compliance with federal standards.

Read the full story at the Stockton Record Net.