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Report by Galen Hunter

Elevation Specifications for Clean up and Restoration

[ Page updated - October 26, 2019 ]

Due May 14, 2020 the Redondo Beach power plant owner (AES) is required to provide a Project Wide RFI Workplan (RFI = RCRA Facility Investigation) (RCRA = Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) to the DTSC (Department of Toxic Substances Control) to clean up the 50 acre site, apparently just to the standard of a park, since the burden to deal with restoring the wetland portion appears to have been shifted to the City of Redondo Beach. So, either AES or the City of Redondo Beach will have to know about and then implement elevation specifications to begin to restore the historic topography of the site.

I suggest the City better argue that the standard of a park definition for the clean up of the entire 50 acre site - should be based on the elevations noted on the 1946 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers map titled "General Plan of Improvement Redondo Beach Harbor" (Figure 1). Then, for good measure, incorporate into the clean up standard the type of bed material for the restored wetland area (historic salt lake) to be based on the 1890 State Mining Bureau Report "Lake Salinas" by Preston, who noted it to have a clay bottom. Also figure in the extent of the area of wetland restored to be based on the 1898 George Tod, Jr. "Map of Lumber Yard and Salt Lake in the Town of Redondo Beach, Los Angeles Co. California." noted as 14.10 acres being the size of the Salt Lake. If the definition of the clean up standard of the site somehow resulted in matching these highly credible historic specifications, when all is done, there will be at least a chance people then will be able to claim the place is an historic wetland park.

If people want to further increase the chance to have an historic wetland park, I then suggest that after cleaned up according to the historic specifications, better simply fence the entire site off to people in general for a year or two and watch what happens. For instance, see where the water pools up. Try not to repeat the past mistake again of building expensive structures near an ocean and wetland where it will get wet and nature returns and the cost of dealing with maintaining things gets externalized to the future again.

[Figure 1 - 1946 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers "General Plan of Improvement Redondo Beach Harbor", detail Sand Dune, Salt Lake. Digital photograph by Galen Hunter of the original plan at Redondo Beach Public Library.]