President Reagan has stopped an experimental sludge pipeline off Huntington Beach before it was built.
By vetoing the Clean Water Act of 1986, Reagan blocked construction of an eight-mile pipeline to discharge treated concentrated sewage into the ocean. An amendment to the act would have allowed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to grant a permit for the project.
"I personally have problems with the idea of an experimental sludge outfall off of 17 miles of bathing beach as a national experiment . . . ," said Lorraine Faber, past president of Amigos de Bolsa Chica, a wetlands preservation group. "I'm not disappointed that that part of the Clean Water Act did not come to deed, but there are important things in the Clean Water Act that the nation needs."
Ocean dumping of sewer sludge by pipeline was outlawed in the original 1972 Clean Water Act, and such dumping is being phased out nationally, including Los Angeles' seven-mile pipeline that currently dumps treated sludge into Santa Monica Bay.
Proponents of the Orange County project contend that the ban was not scientifically justified and that piping sludge to great depths in the ocean could be the safest way to get rid of it. The EPA opposes the proposed line.