In an 8-1 vote, the California Coast Commission has approved the plan to contain contaminated sediment in Lower Newport Bay.
The plan would incorporate a confined aquatic disposal facility, or CAD, that could hold about 112,500 cubic yards of the sediment that was contaminated by DDT, mercury and other chemicals. Officials hope to dredge at least 282,400 cubic yards of the dredged material.
Essentially, the plan is to dig a hole for the contaminated sediment and cover it with clean sand. The commission said that this plan was the "least damaging feasible alternative for disposal of contaminated sediments."
Despite the sediment being contaminated, Newport Beach Public Works Director Chris Miller told the commission that the sediment was not toxic.
"The EPA has informed us it is not toxic or threatening and can remain in place," Miller said. "It is not toxic or hazardous."
The organization OC Coastkeeper opposed the project, claiming that city officials "misrepresented" the project's danger.
"We were hopeful that the Coast Commission would deny the project and push the city to develop a safer plan to address the hazardous sediment," Coastkeeper President Garry Brown said.
Brown added that the commission addressed some of his organizations concerns.
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