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California Briefing / Malibu

Group plans to sue over approval of park report

April 08, 2009|Martha Groves

Santa Monica Baykeeper plans to file suit today challenging Malibu's approval of the environmental report for a park that would double as a storm-water treatment facility, contending that the project fails to meet state water quality standards.

Tatiana Gaur, the environmental group's staff attorney, said the city erred in certifying the report for Legacy Park because the project had been fundamentally changed from the original proposal and the city did not allow the public adequate opportunity to comment on the revisions.

A statement from Mayor Andy Stern said he found it "extremely odd that Baykeeper would sue the city to prevent us from moving forward with a project that aggressively reduces the level of contamination in the creek, lagoon and ocean."

Gaur countered that Malibu "wanted to give the public the impression that we're picking on them. The reality is they haven't solved the problem, and what they're proposing with Legacy Park won't solve it."

Baykeeper, Heal the Bay and other environmental groups say the Legacy Park plan falls short because it does not address pollution from failing septic systems in the Civic Center area. The city removed that wastewater element about six months after the public comment period closed, Baykeeper said.

-- Martha Groves

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