NEWPORT BEACH— The Friends of Newport Harbor (“Friends”) and the Pacific Treasure Foundation announced their support for the United States Army Corps of Engineer’s efforts to dredge navigational channels in the lower Newport Bay to reestablish safe navigation for all mariners and users of Newport Bay and to improve the environment.
Unfortunately, historical industrial pollution discharges into Newport Bay have left heavily contaminated sediments in certain areas that the Corps cannot legally dispose of offshore. As a result, the city has proposed and is in the process of permitting the construction of a “Confined Aquatic Disposal” (CAD) facility in the middle of Newport Harbor.
Together, Friends and Pacific Treasure Foundation have opposed the City’s proposal to bury the toxic dredge material in the center of Newport Harbor. Groups have participated in the public decision-making process and expressed distinct opposition to the City’s proposal, petitioning the city to pursue alternatives to this high-risk disposal method.
“Friends” claims the city has ignored fatal flaws in their plan and proceeded as quickly as possible. State and federal law requires certain critical information about projects to be provided to the public upon request.
“Our organization has issued repeated requests for this information from every agency involved, and we have been largely ignored,” read a press release from March 1.
Due to a lack of communication, the Friends of Newport Harbor filed a lawsuit to compel the Corps to disclose information that the public legally is already entitled to receive, filed Feb. 28 in federal court.