Newport Beach Confined Aquatic Disposal Facility

From ActCoastal

Month October
Year 2022
Summary The City of Newport Beach applied to construct a confined aquatic disposal (CAD) site in Newport Harbor and perform beach replenishment in Newport Beach. Lower Newport Bay requires periodic maintenance dredging to remove sediment that accumulates over time and impedes navigation and full use of the harbor. A portion of the sediment to be dredged was determined unsuitable for open ocean disposal due to contamination and is proposed for placement into the CAD facility. Advocates, including Orange County Coastkeeper, Friends of Newport Harbor and Surfrider Foundation argued that the CAD should be denied based on four main issues: 1. The City wrongfully characterizes the unsuitable sediment as harmless; 2. The 1.0’ thick interim cap layer does not adequately account for bioturbation; 3. The City has not earnestly analyzed alternatives and, in particular, failed to consider (i) additional costs and/or (ii) a two-step process involving treatment; and 4. The City has not developed an adequate sediment monitoring plan. Despite these concerns, the Commission did not wish to push for innovative solutions to contaminated sediment and approved the CAD in an 8 to 1 vote.
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Outcome Description Commissioner Linda Escalante supported the City’s proposal and commended the plan for local disposal of the contaminated sediment, rather than other solutions that may burden environmental justice communities. Commissioner Matt O’Malley opposed the project and pointed out that there were land based disposal alternatives available not located in or near EJ communities and that the City only took a cursory review of alternatives. He also pointed out that there is incomplete data on the sediment quality for the cap along with other concerns.
Why You Should Care The status quo of attempting to throw away or bury contamination is unacceptable and must be challenged. Burying “away” unsuitable sediment, without full environmental protections, is not the best solution. Other options such as treatment and non-aquatic disposal should be more carefully considered. For as painfully, repeatedly demonstrated on our precious planet, there is no such thing as “away.”
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Decision Type Coastal Development Permit
Staff Recommendation Approval with Conditions
Staff Report
Opposition to Project Orange County Coastkeeper, Surfrider Foundation, Friends of Newport Harbor, local residents
Coastal Act Policies chapter 3, water quality

Voting Detail for Newport Beach Confined Aquatic Disposal Facility

Individual vote detail for Issue: Newport Beach Confined Aquatic Disposal Facility
Dayna BochcoBad Vote
Sara AminzadehGood Vote by Alternate
Effie Turnbull-SandersBad Vote
Caryl HartBad Vote
Steve PadillaBad Vote
Donne BrownseyBad Vote
Meagan HarmonBad Vote
Katie RiceBad Vote
Carole GroomAbsent for Vote
Roberto UrangaAbsent for Vote
Mike WilsonAbsent for Vote
Linda EscalanteBad Vote

Meeting Page

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