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Creating Stakeholder Solutions to Address Bacteria in Newport Bay

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

Newport Beach, California

A white, long-beaked bird standing in grassy marshland next to the water of Newport Bay.

For several years, Orange County has reported levels of fecal coliform well above compliance standards for the TMDL adopted for fecal coliform in Newport Bay. After years of inadequate action by the County, our client, Orange County Coastkeeper, issued a 60-day notice of violation and intent to file suit. The parties agreed to delay the filing of a lawsuit to enter negotiations. Today, they have finalized an agreement to form a public stakeholder process, with a facilitator, to study, agree by stakeholder consensus, and issue recommendations to the Regional Water Board for what the appropriate levels of bacteria should be, what types of feasible programs and management practices should be employed, and under what timelines the County should comply. The County further agreed to fund the process and to compensate Coastkeeper for its pre-litigation consultant and attorney fees.

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