The Port of Long Beach has agreed to accept 150,000 cubic yards of dredged toxic sediment from the city of Newport Beach, Newport officials said Tuesday.
The sediment will come from the Rhine Channel, an area near Cannery Village that once housed shipyards and canneries, boat-building and metal plating facilities. It will be dumped in an area of the port reserved for such dirt, a site that will accommodate future expanded shipping operations.
Finding a home for the contaminated material is a major development for Newport. Without it, the city would have faced daunting costs in shipping the material to a land site.
"It's a breakthrough we've been waiting for," said Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, who has been working on harbor dredging projects.
Assuming the project proceeds on schedule, the city would begin dredging sediment in 2011, Daigle said.
Newport would haul the contaminated soil by barge to Long Beach, to be dumped in its Middle Harbor Fill Site.
According to the city, the sediment contains elevated concentrations of metals, pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that pose an ecological risk.
Industrial operations from the 1930s through the 1950s are the primary sources of the toxic material.
The city has submitted an application for a California Coastal Commission permit and will also need to obtain a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers before moving dredging the Rhine.