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U.S. EPA Issues Wastewater Permit for San Diego

Release Date: 9/13/2002
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, U.S. EPA, 415-947-4297

SAN DIEGO -- At a ceremony today, Wayne Nastri, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's administrator for the Pacific Southwest region, renewed the wastewater discharge permit for San Diego's Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

With this permit, San Diego will continue its current level of sewage treatment, with effluent discharged through an outfall pipe extending more than four miles into the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 320 feet.

The EPA's analysis of San Diego's scientific data confirms that continued discharge will not harm the ocean environment -- one of nine criteria the city must meet to continue its current operations at the plant.

The permit includes a monitoring program designed to evaluate the impact of the wastewater discharge on the marine environment, demonstrate compliance with applicable water-quality standards, and measure toxic substances in the discharge.

In addition, the permit, including the waiver from secondary sewage treatment requirements, is renewable every five years.

"The EPA worked closely with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and the city of San Diego to ensure continued protection of the marine environment," said Nastri. "I want especially to recognize Mayor Murphy and his management team for their commitment to addressing many of the challenges facing the city, for investing in a strong monitoring program, and a good operating record at the Point Loma plant."

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