Clean Water Act reauthorization : hearing before the Subcommittee on Environment and Natural Resources of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on cost-effective planning to dispose of waste water in a safe, healthy, and environmentally sound manner, July 8, 1993--San Diego, California

Clean Water Act reauthorization : hearing before the Subcommittee on Environment and Natural Resources of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on cost-effective planning to dispose of waste water in a safe, healthy, and environmentally sound manner, July 8, 1993--San Diego, California

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CLEAN WATER ACT REAUTHORIZATION 53:103-42Y4.H IING "^"^ ' Se. .Clean Hater Act Reauthorization; . ouDuuiViiviiiij^i^ ON ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE COMMITTEE ON MEECHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATr\^ES ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS FIRST SESSION ON COST-EFFECTIVE PLANNING TO DISPOSE OF WASTE WATER IN A SAFE, HEALTHY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL- LY SOUND MANNER JULY 8, 1993—SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA Serial No. 103-42 Printed for the use of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries DEC23 U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 72-578^ WASHINGTON : 1993 Government Printing OfficeFor sale by the U.S. 20402Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DCSupenntendent of Documents. 0-16-041655-8ISBN 72-578 0-93-1 CLEAN WATER ACT REAUTHORIZATION(^^ 53:103-42Y4.I1 IING ™^ •Se. .Act Reauthorization! .Clean Hater oujjuuiviivmij^ji. UN ENVIRONMENT AND NATUEAL RESOUECES OF THE COMMITTEE ON MEECHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS FIRST SESSION ON COST-EFFECTIVE PLANNING TO DISPOSE OF WASTE WATER IN A SAFE, HEALTHY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL- LY SOUND MANNER JULY 8, 1993—SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA Serial No. 103-42 Printed for the use of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries ^^"^ "no./-'- DBC23 U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTINGRINTING OFFICE — - '™M>T^^Jr'lnn|'nui-r.-^ w / 72-578 ti WASHINGTON : 1993 Printing OfficeFtir sale by the U.S. Government 20402Sales Office. Washington.

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CLEAN WATER ACT REAUTHORIZATION
53:103-42Y4.H
IING
"^"^
'
Se. .Clean Hater Act Reauthorization; .
ouDuuiViiviiiij^i^ ON ENVIRONMENT
AND NATURAL RESOURCES
OF THE
COMMITTEE ON
MEECHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATr\^ES
ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS
FIRST SESSION
ON
COST-EFFECTIVE PLANNING TO DISPOSE OF WASTE
WATER IN A SAFE, HEALTHY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL-
LY SOUND MANNER
JULY 8, 1993—SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Serial No. 103-42
Printed for the use of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries
DEC23
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
72-578^ WASHINGTON : 1993
Government Printing OfficeFor sale by the U.S.
20402Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DCSupenntendent of Documents.
0-16-041655-8ISBN
72-578 0-93-1CLEAN WATER ACT REAUTHORIZATION(^^
53:103-42Y4.I1
IING
™^
•Se. .Act Reauthorization! .Clean Hater
oujjuuiviivmij^ji. UN ENVIRONMENT
AND NATUEAL RESOUECES
OF THE
COMMITTEE ON
MEECHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS
FIRST SESSION
ON
COST-EFFECTIVE PLANNING TO DISPOSE OF WASTE
WATER IN A SAFE, HEALTHY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL-
LY SOUND MANNER
JULY 8, 1993—SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Serial No. 103-42
Printed for the use of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries
^^"^
"no./-'-
DBC23
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTINGRINTING OFFICE — - '™M>T^^Jr'lnn|'nui-r.-^ w /
72-578 ti WASHINGTON : 1993
Printing OfficeFtir sale by the U.S. Government
20402Sales Office. Washington. DCDocuments, CongressionalSuperintendent of
0-16-041655-8ISBNMARINE AND FISHERIESON MERCHANTCOMMITTEE
Massachusetts, ChairmanGERRY E. STUDDS,
JACK FIELDS, TexasNew JerseyJ. HUGHES,WILLIAM
DON YOUNG, AlaskaHUTTO, FloridaEARL
BATEMAN, VirginiaHERBERT H.Louisiana(BILLY) TAUZIN,W.J.
New JerseyJIM SAXTON,IllinoisWILLIAM O. LIPINSKI,
North CarolinaHOWARD COBLE,TexasSOLOMON P. ORTIZ,
WELDON, PennsylvaniaCURTMANTON, New YorkTHOMAS J.
INHOFE, OklahomaJAMES M.VirginiaOWEN B. PICKETT,
RAVENEL, Jr., South CarolinaNew York ARTHURHOCHBRUECKNER,GEORGE J.
T. GILCHREST, MarylandJersey WAYNEJr., NewFRANK PALLONE,
"DUKE" CUNNINGHAM, CaliforniaRANDYLAUGHLIN, TexasGREG
KINGSTON, GeorgiaJACKUNSOELD, WashingtonJOLENE
TILLIE K. FOWLER, FloridaTAYLOR, MississippiGENE
DelawareMICHAEL N. CASTLE,Rhode IslandJACK REED,
PETER T. KING, New YorkNorth CarolinaMARTIN LANCASTER,H.
FloridaLINCOLN DIAZ-BALART,MaineH. ANDREWS,THOMAS
CaliforniaRICHARD W. POMBO,ELIZABETH FURSE, Oregon
BENTLEY, MarylandHELEN DELICHSCHENK, CaliforniaLYNN
North CarolinaCHARLES H. TAYLOR,GREEN, TexasGENE
MassachusettsPETER G. TORKILDSEN,FloridaALCEE L. HASTINGS,
CaliforniaHAMBURG,DAN
LAMBERT, ArkansasBLANCHE M.
CaliforniaANNA G. ESHOO,
III, KentuckyTHOMAS J. BARLOW,
MichiganBART STUPAK,
MississippiBENNIE G. THOMPSON,
WashingtonMARIA CANTWELL,
FloridaPETER DEUTSCH,
New YorkGARY L. ACKERMAN,
R. Pike, Staff DirectorJeffrey
CounselStelle, jR.,ChiefWilliam W.
Fusco Kitsos, Chief ClerkMary J.
DirectorBurroughs, Minority StaffHarry F.
Natural ResourcesEnvironment andSubcommittee on
ChairmanSTUDDS, Massachusetts,GERRY E.
New JerseyNew York JIM SAXTON,HOCHBRUECKNER,GEORGE J.
YOUNG, AlaskaDONPALLONE, Jr., New JerseyFRANK
WELDON, PennsylvaniaCURTTexasGREG LAUGHLIN,
RAVENEL, Jr., South CarolinaARTHURUNSOELD, WashingtonJOLENE
GILCHREST, MarylandWAYNE T.Rhode IslandJACK REED,
California"DUKE" CUNNINGHAM,RANDYFURSE, OregonELIZABETH
N. CASTLE, DelawareMICHAELCaliforniaDAN HAMBURG,
H. TAYLOR, North CarolinaArkansas CHARLESM. LAMBERT,BLANCHE
FIELDS, Texas (Ex Officio)JACKESHOO, CaliforniaANNA G.
HUTTO, FloridaEARL
LouisianaTAUZIN,W.J. (BILLY)
P. ORTIZ, TexasSOLOMON
MississippiTHOMPSON,BENNIE G.
Daniel Ashe, Professional Staff
Karen Steuer, Professional Staff
ProfessionalGiNA Deferrari, Staff
Professional StaffLaurel Bryant, Minority
(II)CONTENTS
Page
Hearing held July 8, 1993 1
Statement of:
Boland, John J., Chair, Committee on Waste Water Management for
Coastal Urban Areas, National Research Council 36
Prepared statement 192
Cunningham, Hon. Randy, a U.S. Representative from California 6 6
Davies, Tudor, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, Environmental
Protection Agency 32
Prepared statement 164
Fields, Hon. Jack, a U.S. Representative from Texas, and Ranking Minor-
ity Member, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries 7
Filner, Hon. Bob, a U.S. from California 8
Prepared statement 46
Golding, Susan, Mayor, San Diego 10 49
Jenkins, Scott, Environmental Director, Surfrider Foundation 21
Prepared statement 155
Keen, Elmer, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 19 95
Schenk, Hon. Lynn, a U.S. Representative from California 3
Prepared statement 4
Simmons, Robert, Attorney, Sierra Club 17 88
Stallings, Valerie, Council member, San Diego 12
Prepared statement 77
Studds, Hon. Gerry E., a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts, and
Chairman, Subcommittee on Environment and Natural Resources 1
Tegner, Mia, Ph.D., Research Marine Biologist, Scripps Institution of
Oceanography 34
Prepared statement 177
Weil, Lisa, Policy Director, American Ocean Campaign 23 157
Additional material supplied:
Golding, Mayor Susan, Statements and charts submitted:
Chart on the Clean Water Grants Program 74
Charts on funding waste water needs 75
Keen, Elmer (San Diego State University): Statement on waste water
disposal facilities for the San Diego Metropolitan Sewerage District 69
Frautschy, Jeffery (Scripps Institute of Oceanography retiree): State-
ment concerning San Diego's practice of discharging sewage efflu-
ent 64
McDonald, James O. (formerly of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, Chicago, Illinois): Statement on protecting the water quality
affected by pollution discharges in San Diego 196
Simmons, Robert (Sierra Club): Memorandum decision concerning the
failure ofSan Diego to comply with provisions of the Clean Water Act... 90
Communications submitted:
Anderson, Blake P. (County Sanitation Districts of Orange County, Cali-
fornia): Letter of July 22, 1993, to Hon. Gerry E. Studds 230
Brooks, Norman H. (California Institute of Technology): Letter of June
20, 1993, to Councilman Bruce Henderson 223
(III)IV
Page
submitted—ContinuedCommunications
plus attachments ofWilliam E. (Save Our Bay, Inc.): LetterClaycomb,
2331993, to Hon. Gerry E. StuddsJuly 11,
McGowan (Reprinted from Chemistry andConversi, Alessandra, and John
Water Column Transparency, Volume Flow andEcology): Variability of
San Diego Sewage Outfall (California): 15 YearsSuspended Solids Near
200of Data
Institution of Oceanography): Letter of May 26,Dayton, Paul K. (Scripps
Bruce Henderson 2171993, to Councilman
W. (Scripps Institution of Letter of JuneEppley, Richard
222 Bruce Henderson15, 1993, to
Letter ofMayEdward (Scripps of Oceanography): 3,Goldberg,
216Councilman Bruce Henderson1993, to
for San Diego): Letter of AugustSusan (Clean Water ProgramHamilton,
Merchant Marine and Fisheries 242to Dan Ashe, Committee on9, 1993,
Program for Greater San Diego): LetterSusan C. (Clean Water
Davies 225ofJuly 13, 1993, to Dr. Tudor
Health Coalition): Letter of August 12, 1993,Lucas, Libby (Environmental
245to Hon. Gerry E. Studds
Institution of Oceanography): Letter of May 24,Revelle, Roger (Scripps
Bruce Henderson, San Diego 2151989, to Councilman of Letter of June 26,Revelle, Roger (Scripps
A. Roe 2401993, to Hon. Robert
J. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography): Letter ofSeymour, Richard
221Councilman Bruce HendersonApril 28, 1993, to
Ph.D. (Scripps of Oceanography ): Letter ofTegner, Mia J.,
219 BruceMay 26, 1993, to
Letter of MayWilliam H. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography):Thomas,
Water Program 228Hamilton of San Diego Clean1, 1993, to SusanCLEAN WATER ACT REAUTHORIZATION
THURSDAY, JULY 19938,
House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Environ-
ment AND Natural Resources, Committee on Mer-
chant Marine and Fisheries
San Diego, CA
Subcopimittee met, pursuant to notice,The at 9:30 a.m. at Solis
Hall, University of California at San Diego, the Honorable Gerry
E. Studds [chairman] presiding.
Representatives present: Studds, Cunningham, and Schenk.
Also present: Representative Filner.
Staff Daniel Ashe, Tom Melius, Laurel Bryant, and Mar-
vadell Zeeb.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. GERRY E. STUDDS, A U.S. REPRE-
SENTATIVE FROM MASSACHUSETTS, AND CHAIRMAN, SUBCOM-
MITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Mr. Studds. This meeting will be called to order.
can from the map,As you see the water is on the wrong side.
Everything is a little different. I assume those are not clouds out-
side because if they were it would ruin my theory about this place,
which is that you suffer from insufficient suffering.
[Laughter.]
Mr. Studds. Therefore, I find it extremely difficult to build char-
acter as opposed to characters.
[Laughter.]
Mr. Studds. Let me that insay spite of all those differences, I
somewhat home. I comefeel at from the southeastern part of Mas-
sachusetts. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is in my dis-
trict, so I have an affinity for a place such as this, to put it mildly.
Really I am here on account of how Congresswoman Schenk
threatened me if I didn't come. She made it very clear, as did Bob
Filner, that the situation confronted by San Diego was of sufficient
severity and uniqueness to warrant visita by the Committee,
which will share the responsibility of reauthorizing the Clean
Water Act.
I want to thank Lynn, Bob, and Duke Cunningham for their per-
sonal hospitality as we visited both northern and southern Califor-
nia in the last couple of days.
In the six years that have elapsed since Congress last reauthor-
ized the Federal Clean Water Act, this Committee has held more
hearings on the subject of clean water than any other single topic.
Hearings on estuaries, beach quality, funding, sewage sludge, com-
(1)vessel pollution, wetlands protection,bined sewers, funding, fund-
funding and fundingwatershed management and and funding.ing,
[Laughter.]
You can get some idea of the common theme we areMr. Studds.
picking up.
I was somewhat reluctant when Ms. Schenk initially asked if we
come here, but she has this remarkable combination of thewould
freshman and the persuasiveness of a veteran.enthusiasm of a She
prevailed.
No cities or towns are more familiar with the cost of clean water
surrounding Boston Harbor, several of which Ithan those repre-
Water Act has madesent. It is clear that the Clean Boston and San
Diego, in some respects, sister cities. They, and more importantly,
ratepayers, are threatened with an unacceptable financialtheir
burden.
Let me just say that if you think you are facing potential prob-
the average water and sewer bill for homelems here, a around
Greater Boston is approximately $600 a year at the moment, and it
predicted to double in three years, and triple by the end of theis
already have people whose water and sewercentury. We bills are
greater than their property taxes, are approaching and will soon
their mortgage bills.pass
societalClean water is a fundamental need. It is not a luxury,
but in one important respect—namely, its cost—it is beginning to
like luxury. That is to say, it is beginninglook a lot a to become
unaffordable.
Over the past 20 years this country has made great strides in
protection. This progress was fueledwater quality by a Federal
engine, more costly by far than that which sent men to the moon.
Under the leadership of the past two Administrations, this Na-
tion's clean water engine was replaced with what you might call an
model. It gets good mileage, but it lacks the power to pulleconomy
the really heavy loads, like Boston Harbor and San Diego.
As we consider the reauthorization of the Clean Water Act, I
our sister cities can work together to help rebuildhope that the
Nation's Clean Water engine and find ways to improve the quality
our coastal waters without breaking the budgets and the backsof
of our ratepaying households.
I want to say that as we begin our work on this, this year, I look
Lynn Schenk and the other membersforward to having of San
Diego's delegation at our side in that effort.
Let me also apologize in advance; because of schedules beyond
my control, I must make an airplane headed back to where the
water is on the right side today. In all likelihood, that will necessi-
departure prior to the conclusion of the hearing.tate my
My apologies to anyone that I miss. The professional staff, who
far more than I do, will still be here. If that occurs, I willknows
ask Ms. Schenk to assume the Chair.
Having said that, let me recognize members for their opening
magnificent host, Ms. Schenk.statements, starting with myLYNN SCHENK, A U.S.STATEMENT OF HON. REPRESENTATIVE
FROM CALIFORNIA
ScHENK. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.Ms.
extend my personal welcomeI want to, first of all, to you to San
Diego where we do think that the ocean is on the right side.
[Laughter.]
Mr. Studds. Oh, well.
Ms. ScHENK. That is a debate for another time.
But I also want to express to you my heartfelt appreciation for
willingness to make the effort and take the timeyour to come
it wasacross the country. I understand quite a circuitous route for
you.
deeply grateful. You have theI am personally gratitude of our
entire community and that you and the staff are willing to come
here and hear directly from San Diegans about our 20-plus years
Clean Water Act.experience with the
I also want to acknowledge and thank my colleague on our Com-
mittee, the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Commission, Randy
Cunningham, who today is the ranking Republican on the Commit-
tee—I tried it on for size, Randy—and a colleague who is not a
our Committee, but who has had greatmember of a deal of interest
and experience in this area. Congressman Bob Filner.
Mr. Chairman, their presence here underscores to you and to the
Committee as a whole the importance of this issue to San Diego,
and that it cuts across partisan lines.
Diego has been striving for 30 years to disposeSan of its waste
water in a safe, healthy, and environmentally sound manner. In
fact, shortly before the 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pol-
lution Control Act initiated the Federal effort to clean up our
waters, San Diego received a Federal commendation for protecting
our local waters from sewage contamination.
Since then, our city has made major improvements, but unfortu-
it come into technical conflict with thenately has Clean Water
Act, resulting in on-going legal proceedings.
For more than a decade, we have been embroiled in controversy
as to what would be the most cost effective, what would be the best
plan for San Diego. It has been a long and tedious process. We hope
that there is a light at the end of that particular tunnel.
I think that we can learn a lot from today's problems here in
in dealing with the Clean Water Act.San Diego Today you will be
hearing from a broad cross-section of our community—our political
leadership, our local leadership, the experts right here in San
Diego, the scientific experts and the technical experts. I, for one,
look forward to their testimony. I know that it will be invaluable to
our work.
Mr. Chairman, I have a longer statement. I would ask that it be
record. I will, at this point closesubmitted for the as I started by
saying thank you very much on behalf of all of San Diego for your
effort to come here today.
Mr. Studds. Thank you very much, Ms. Schenk.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Schenk follows:]Lynn Schenk, a U.S. Representative from CaliforniaStatement of Hon.
way of introduction to this hearing on San Diego'sThank you, Mr. Chairman. By
Act (CWA), I would like to review some of thatwith the Clean Waterexperience
and bring into focus the difficulties arising from the Act's technology-basedhistory
municipal sewerage treatment plants, in particular, the requirementstandard for
for "secondary treatment."
Sewerage System (SDMSS) was designed and built inThe San Diego Metropolitan
existing water quality problems in San Diegonineteen sixties to addressthe early
consolidates the waste water from nine cities, Chula Vista, Coronado,Bay. SDMSS
Imperial Beach, La Mesa, National City, Poway, Del Mar, and San Diego,El Cajon,
independent sanitary districts; Lemon Grove, Montgomery,as well as from eight
Wintergarden, and Spring Valley. The systemLakeside, Alpine, Padre Dam, Otay,
required to treat some sewerage from Tijuana, Mexico. Prior to the SDMSSis also
effluent from these separate systems was discharged directly intoconsolidation, the
the bay or ocean.
facility at Point Loma discharges through anThe SDMSS's primary treatment
stretching two and a half miles out into the Pacific and reaching a depth ofoutfall
Currently, the Point Loma plant processes between 175 and 185 million200 feet.
Sludge from the plant is dried on Fiesta Island in Mis-gallons of sewerage each day.
soil conditioners or, as a last resort, disposed ofBay and composted for use insion
landfills.in
applied for a section 301(H) waiver from the CWA's secondaryIn 1979, San Diego
on its belief that the rapid, 110 to 1, dilution achievedtreatment requirement based
sufficient to meet secondary treatment stand-at the end of the extended outfall was
approval. In the city submittedard results. The EPA granted a tentative 1983, a
waiver application based on new flow projections and plans to treat sewer-revised
Tijuana, Mexico.age from
San Diego made several improvements in its treatmentBetween 1979 and 1992,
chemically enhancing its primary treatment process, thesystem. By upgrading and
efficiency of solids removal from 55%Point Loma Facility was able to increase the
rate furtherbetween 75% and 80%. The SDMSS believes that this can be im-to
meet the 85% removal rate required by the secondary treatment stand-proved to
currently being run to determine if this is correct.ards, and tests are
denied both the 1979 and 1983 secondary treatmentIn 1986, the EPA tentatively
of compliance with the Californiawaiver applications because of the system's lack
Plan. That plan had been revised in 1983 to require body-contact bacteriologi-Ocean
for all kelp beds. Although the Point Loma outfall discharges somecal standards
nearest kelp bed, ocean currents at times carry the plume into6,000 feet beyond the
standards are exceeded. Field studies have shownthe kelp beds and bacteriologic
the kelp and onthat these discharges were not adversely affecting divers or beds,
San Diego had applied to the California Regional Water Quality Controlthat basis,
exemption to the kelp standard. That application was also denied inBoard for an
1986.
City Council voted to withdraw the waiver applica-The next year, the San Diego
CWA by converting Point Loma to ations and to come into compliance with the
biological secondary treatment plant. The Council also committed to developing an
water reclamation and reuse program and established the San Diegoambitious
Program charged with carrying out these goals.Clean Water
against the city for violations of the CWA andSubsequently, the EPA filed suit
San Diego developed a plan tothe California Ocean Plan. Between 1987 and 1990,
into compliance, which included upgrading the collection system, complyingcome
standards in the kelp beds, upgrading the Point Loma plant to sec-with bacterial
building a second secondary treatment plant, and constructingondary treatment,
was billion in 1990. Rates weresix water reclamation plants. The project cost $2.4
projected at $360 per household upon completion.
the EPA and San Diego entered into a consent decree which would makeIn 1990,
and its schedule legally enforceable. The presiding Federal judge,the proposed plan
the plan, finding that secondary treatment would be costlyhowever, did not approve
environmental benefits. Two eviden-and would probably fail to achieve significant
lawsuit. The courttiary hearings were held on the consent decree and the EPA
that the city was in violation of the CWA, that the community of organismsfound
Point Loma outfall were not adversely affected by the discharge, butaround the
were exceeded in the kelp beds, which may have ad-that bacteriological standards
and that viruses in the discharge mightversely affected the marine environment,
could meet the bacteri-imperil divers. Subsequently, the judge ruled that San Diego