City Statement Regarding Water Discharge at La Paz Project - June 17, 2021
The City of Malibu was recently made aware of valid community concerns about the potential environmental impact of a large discharge of water into Malibu Creek by the La Paz project as part of construction of the parcel, located at 23465 Civic Center Way, Malibu.
The Malibu community is deeply committed to protecting the environment, and voiced understandable concerns about the water discharge during the June 14 Council meeting and directly to the City Councilmembers. They directed the City Manager to look into the matter immediately and provide an update to the Council and the community.
Protecting Malibu’s unique, beautiful and fragile land and marine environment is among the most important priorities of the City and the community, which is why it is listed first in the City’s Mission Statement. The entire Malibu lifestyle revolves around enjoyment of the ocean, beaches and mountains, and the City takes any potential environmental threat or damage very seriously.
The City staff immediately started examining permit and project history documents to provide answers to many questions raised by community members and the City Council, including: whether the water discharge was environmentally damaging to Malibu Creek, surrounding wetlands, the Lagoon and coastal waters; if the discharge was legal and/or permitted; whether the discharged water was potable (drinking water) and therefore wasteful during a drought; and whether the water could be used for some useful purpose such as replenishing Legacy Park.
This is a State permitted discharge (NPDES No. CAG994004 CI-10490) with an authorized discharge to Malibu Creek of 432,000 Gallons Per Day (GPD). The 2021 1st-quarter sampling results indicated a discharge of 75,000 GPD. Currently, the discharge is estimated to be approximately 210,000 GPD. The project is in compliance with its effluent discharge requirements as of their 1st quarter sampling. However, as the compliance lead for the NSMBCW, the Malibu Environmental Sustainability Department did put additional conditions on the project.
The water is only authorized by the State to be used onsite for dust control or soil compaction, the remainder is to be discharged to Malibu Creek per the permit requirements. The City does not have the current means to efficiently use this volume of water for irrigation of Legacy Park. The Legacy Park stormwater recycling system is also not designed to handle this volume of water. The water, while clean, is not suitable for drinking water.
Since this is a State Permitted Discharge to a State Regulated Waterbody, questions should be referred to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board contact is Vilma Correa (213) 576-6794 firstname.lastname@example.org. The permitted discharge is to a LA County Flood Control District maintained channel.
The City has made the relevant permitting documents available for the public to review.
LA County DPW Flood Permit La Paz
CI-10490 Malibu Dev Co, LLC, La Paz Project Discharge Permit
Q1 2021 Monitoring Letter La Paz
Further inquiries may be sent by email to Info@MalibuCity.org.