Thursday, March 29, 2012

Seaside Lagoon gets another reprieve

The Seaside Lagoon will remain open for another summer swimming season after the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board granted the facility another reprieve. The regulatory agency has given the city an extra year to implement a costly new water outflow testing requirement.

“Frankly, I am thrilled the board has decided to give us additional time at actually little additional cost,” said Mayor Mike Gin. “I think, and I am hopeful, that they are starting to realize how special and unique a facility the Seaside Lagoon is, so I am grateful for the additional time the council and I have to work through these issues.”

The city has struggled to meet LARWQCB requirements and has spent more than $500,000 since 2005 in water quality fines, testing, and legal costs. The regulatory agency last year threatened more than $21 billion in fines for water quality violations under the Clean Water Act, but eventually issued only $51,000 in fines and issued a new permit intended to keep the lagoon open through 2013. But as part of that agreement, the city was required to undergo a new testing regime, one that became more expensive when the LARWQCB added an array of metals last fall.

The council drew a line in the sand at that additional cost, which was about $50,000, and earlier this year threatened to close the water feature within the lagoon if the water control board did not compromise. The city has long contended that water pumped out of the lagoon – which first cools the AES power plant, then is chlorinated for swimming and de-chlorinated before discharge – is cleaner than the water pumped in from the ocean.

Photo and article from The Easy Reader

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