Earlier today the Friends of Newport Harbor (Friends) signed an agreement staying their lawsuit against the United State Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for inappropriately permitting the City of Newport Beach Confined Aquatic Disposal facility (CAD), with the promise by the Corps that they will redo the analysis of human health and environmental impacts that are expected to occur as a result of the construction and operation of the CAD.
Friends are pleased that the Corps has agreed to redo the environmental analysis that was provided to them by the City, which Friends has claimed in their lawsuits filed both in State and Federal Court, is defective and does not accurately depict the harm to the harbor, marine life, residents, and thousands of users that would occur should the CAD Facility be built and operated by the City of Newport Beach. Also, Friends had previously agreed to withdraw their motion for a preliminary injunction against the Corps in exchange for the Corps suspending the CAD permit.
Friends is still actively litigating the Coastal Commission’s decision to issue a Coastal Development Permit for the CAD using the City’s defective environmental and fragmented analysis as the basis for the decision in violation of both CEQA and the Coastal Act. “Friends is pleased that the Army Corps of Engineers is concerned about human health and the environment and responded to our plea for a revised environmental analysis. Friends hopes that the California Coastal Commission takes a good look at the project that they have permitted and realizes that they were not provided a complete and accurate set of data upon which to make a decision, and that its permit needs to be withdrawn and reconsidered,” said Friends President, Shana Conzelman.
Friends’ hope is that the City will redo its analysis as well. The City Council owes it to the people of Newport Beach to protect its residents, those who visit this beautiful recreational harbor, and the environment, to stop the waste of taxpayer funds on a defective project. “The City could do a much better job characterizing the problematic sediments in the bay and minimizing the amount of sediments that will need special handling. Excavating contaminated sediments from one part of the bay and burying them in another part does nothing but kick the can down the road for the next generation to deal with or, worse, requiring the city to excavate and dispose of contaminated sediments outside of the bay should the CAD fail as expected by experts consulted by Friends. Confined Aquatic Disposal areas have traditionally been used in industrial ports, where beneficial reuse options are limited. The Newport Beach CAD would be the first ever approved for long-term contaminant storage of chemicals like Mercury, PCBs, and DDT next to public beaches and homes in an enclosed bay like Newport,” confirmed
Brent Mardian, Marine Scientist at Pi Environmental.
Friends as always is willing to continue to work with the City and the Corps to ensure that the harbor is dredged for navigational safety with minimal environmental and human health impacts but will not allow defective and incomplete analysis and decisions by these agencies or others to put the harbor, its residents and users at risk.
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.