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$450,000 Voted for Lagoon Study

April 09, 1987|DEAN MURPHY | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners on Wednesday approved an agreement with the city of Carlsbad that requires the Harbor Department to pay the San Diego County city about $450,000 for engineering and technical studies for a proposed cleanup of the Batiquitos Lagoon.

The port and Pacific Texas Pipeline Co. have agreed to restore about 600 acres of deteriorated wetlands at the lagoon in return for state approval to build a 450-acre landfill in the Port of Los Angeles. The state Coastal Commission last year agreed that the port could obtain so-called environmental credits at the lagoon to offset damage the new landfill is expected to cause in San Pedro Bay.

Pacific Texas, which wants to use 106 acres of the landfill as a berthing area for a proposed 1,030-mile oil pipeline from the Los Angeles harbor to Midland, Tex., has been required by the Coastal Commission to place at least $15 million in an escrow account for the Batiquitos restoration project before the landfill can be built.

$450,000 Advance

Vernon E. Hall, who is overseeing the landfill project for the port, said the Harbor Department will eventually be reimbursed the $450,000 from the escrow account. Pacific Texas, however, is not expected to obtain complete financing for the $1.66-billion pipeline project for about two months, he said.

In the interim, the Harbor Department has agreed to put forward the $450,000 to keep the landfill project on schedule, which calls for the studies to begin this month.

"It is a very important, wide-ranging study," Hall told the board. "The results of this study are going to prove the feasibility of Batiquitos to accomplish all of the things that we want to accomplish."

Hall said that conceptual enhancement plans have been prepared for cleanup of the lagoon, which has sedimentation problems because its blocked mouth prevents natural tidal flushing. He said the new studies, which will be performed for Carlsbad by the consulting firm CH2M Hill, will address such questions as the cost of construction, the cost of long-term maintenance of the completed lagoon, the technical feasibility of controlling sedimentation in the lagoon and maintaining an open lagoon mouth, and the suitability of placing material dredged from the lagoon on adjacent beaches.

Hall said the Carlsbad City Council is scheduled to consider the agreement on Tuesday. If approved, preliminary engineering work could begin by the end of this month, he said.

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