Port of San Diego, NASSCO Reach Agreement on San Diego Bay Cleanup

The Port of San Diego announced today it has reached a tentative agreement with General Dynamics NASSCO that moves the largest-ever cleanup of San Diego Bay one step closer to reality.

The Port of San Diego takes its stewardship of San Diego Bay very seriously,” said Port Chair Ann Moore.The bay is not only the backbone of San Diego’s maritime industry; it is also home to an abundance of marine life, from sea turtles to bat rays. Also, many San Diegans and visitors enjoy fishing and other recreational activities in the bay. This agreement with NASSCO represents the Port’s long-standing commitment to a clean and healthy bay, and we are excited for the work to begin.

NASSCO, which leases 126 waterfront acres from the Port of San Diego, has been building and repairing ships there for more than a half-century. In 2012, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board directed several parties to undertake the dredging project for what it refers to as the “Shipyard Sediment Site.” They include NASSCO, BAE Systems, the City of San Diego, Campbell Industries, San Diego Gas and Electric, the U.S. Navy and the Port of San Diego. These parties, among others, have been involved in a federal court lawsuit over responsibility for the contamination at the site and the cost to clean it up.

The area around the NASSCO and BAE Systems’ shipyards will be the first – and largest – of several sites to be cleaned up over the next few years. In all, the project, which is expected to exceed $50 million, will remove about 140,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment. The operation will be conducted from a barge. A clamshell bucket will be lowered from a crane into the bay where it will scoop up the sediments, which will be mixed with a cement mixture before being trucked to a landfill.

Although it never conducted any operations at the site, the Port has agreed to pay a share of the project costs to help move the project forward and resolve the Port’s involvement in the cleanup at the NASSCO site.

Once finalized, the agreement with NASSCO will be released to the public.

The Port has played an active role in facilitating the cleanup of the Shipyard Sediment Site. It helped to bring all parties and experts together to establish the remedial footprint and clean up levels for the site; participated in the preparation and funding of the environmental impact report for the cleanup; assisted the parties in locating historic insurance policies to help fund the clean up; and issued NASSCO and BAE Systems coastal development permits so the work could begin on schedule.

The project contractor is expected to mobilize this week, although NASSCO has said the dredging work will not begin until funding from other involved parties is also secured.

Press Release, September 19, 2013

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