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Malibu : County Sewer Plan Setback

Los Angeles County has been handed another setback in its bid to build a controversial sewer system in Malibu--this time by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

By a 5-2 vote, the board this week postponed until at least June a decision on whether to approve the county’s plans for disposing of the treated effluent that would be produced by the proposed $43-million sewer system.

Monday’s action came after a member of Malibu’s unofficial City Council told the panel that it would be premature to approve the plans when the California Coastal Commission has said it will probably not allow construction to begin until the county resolves its differences with Malibu’s leaders.

The Coastal Commission is scheduled to consider the matter in April. Disposal of the 1.5 million gallons per day of effluent the system is estimated to produce is among the issues in dispute.

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“It’s obvious that the water quality board, like the Coastal Commission, does not want to deal with the matter until after Malibu becomes a city, and we’re pleased with that,” said Councilman-elect Mike Caggiano, who attended Monday’s hearing.

County officials continue to delay Malibu’s actual incorporation, while trying to start work on the sewer, despite voters’ overwhelming approval of cityhood last June.


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