Dumping contaminated sludge into the center of Newport Harbor would create a potential environmental hazard for residents and visitors
this “sediment unsuitable for open ocean disposal” has unacceptable levels of mercury and other toxins, and the “final 3-foot thick cap layer” of uncontaminated sediment is the only “construction” to “contain” this contaminated sediment.
a hole the size of 5 football fields will be dug in the middle of Newport Harbor at the Anchorage site, filled with “dredged sediment unsuitable for open ocean disposal,” and covered with three feet of uncontaminated sediment.
Boats regularly drop heavy anchors into the sediment at the bottom of the anchorage and drag them until they are secured, then disturb the sediment again when the anchor is pulled up. The force of anchor dragging caused the recent Huntington Beach pipeline leak that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the ocean. Sediment is also disturbed by propeller thrust during anchoring and idling.
Instead of cleaning up the contaminated material and disposing it on land, they plan to take the highly concentrated contaminated material in our residential recreational harbor out of the water and put it back into the water.
Accepting the permit is premature as there is ongoing sediment sampling that has not been completed to give an accurate determination of the amount of material that is suitable or unsuitable for ocean disposal.
Despite being a stated benefit of the plan, the CAD alternative doesn’t guarantee the residents the ability to dispose of their unsuitable material in the CAD.
There will be a relocation of the boat anchorage for an undetermined time. The project is estimated to take 2 to 4 years.
Despite having the City Council vote 6-1 to allow the Friends of Newport Harbor to proceed concurrently as an alternative to the CAD, there is no indication that the Coastal Commission is looking at the viable alternatives.
The CAD alternative includes dredging on the weekends which is disruptive of recreational use and residents’ lives when it is not necessary. We don’t need little sabots and sailboats competing with tugs and dump scows on the weekends.
They don’t know how far down the contamination goes.
There are still too many unknowns and they need to take more time to do its job to protect the health and well being of the bay and its residents.
“No way did I ever think that the Coastal Commission would seek to make the water worse rather than better,” said Shana Conzelman, Volunteer Director of Community Outreach, Friends of Newport Harbor. “If any of this material gets loose it’s going to make the water worse, not better. This will cost the city and its taxpayers too much money in monitoring fees instead of disposing of it once and for all on land.”
a volunteer group of residents and local supporters in Orange County that want to ensure that contaminated materials that are unsuitable for open ocean disposal are not deposited in a residential recreational harbor.
If you already sent an email to the Coastal Commission, it was filed as correspondence and not as an opposing comment, please resend your emails with the new date and agenda item noted as soon as possible.
Dumping contaminated sludge into the center of Newport Harbor would create a potential environmental hazard for residents and visitors. Fill the form below to send a personalized message to the Newport Beach City Council.