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San Diego

Southwest Marine shipyards was fined $15,000 Monday by the Regional Water Quality Control Board for allowing copper-tainted sand-blasting waste and raw sewage to flow into San Diego Bay on two days last November.

The sandblast waste--containing arsenic, chromium, lead and copper--was being discharged directly into the bay from Southwest’s operations, according to a Nov. 9 inspection of the bay-side business by board staff members. The waste was also finding its way into the water through grates and wave action on a barge, the inspection report said.

Concentration of copper in the sandblast residue was found to exceed safe thresholds, and was therefore a hazardous waste, the inspection report said.

Inspectors also found that raw sewage was being discharged into the bay from a restroom at the top of the company’s dry-dock area.

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