Councilmember Partners With Heal the Bay to Prevent Future Threats to Bay

LOS ANGELES – City Councilmember Mike Bonin today proposed legislative action aimed at protecting public health and the environment in the Santa Monica Bay from events like the recent sewage-related trash discharge in the Bay.

DSC_0053.jpgOn September 23, 2015, personal hygiene and medial products, including needles, tampon applicators and condoms began to wash ashore beaches in Santa Monica Bay, prompting the closure of Dockweiler State Beach and other beached ranging from Manhattan Beach to Marina Del Rey. The cause of the sewage-related trash spill is still being investigated by the Bureau of Sanitation, but the working theory is that a heavy and sudden rainstorm may have played a role in the discharge, possibly flushing out trapped debris in the auxiliary outfall pipe at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant.

“What happened at Hyperion was disgusting and unfortunate and I want to make sure we are doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again,” Bonin said. “We have a lot of heavy rain storms coming soon once El Nino arrives, and we need to know if this was an isolated and unfortunate incident, or if there is an issue at Hyperion that must be fixed before El Nino arrives.”

Bonin appeared at a press conference to discuss his legislation on Tuesday with Heal the Bay CEO Alix Hobbs and Heal the Bay Science and Policy Director Rita Kampalath. 

“We’re glad to see City Council take up this issue to ensure accountability for damage to our Bay, and we were also really excited that the motion encourages proactive steps going forward like better education and water recycling, which will make our City a better place to live,” said Kampalath.

Since this material was found, city employees have worked incredibly hard to not only clean up the beach, but to investigate the cause of the discharge. Sanitation officials have been exceptionally transparent, sharing data and information with Bonin and his office, with the public, and with environmental groups like Heal the Bay.

“This is not about pointing fingers or demonizing hard-working city employees – this is about figuring out what happened so we can stop it from happening in the future,” Bonin added.

Bonin’s motion, which was seconded by Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, will be heard by the Energy and Environment Committee in the coming weeks. Sanitation officials will present the updated findings of their investigation when the motion is heard. 

– # # # –