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Environmental Protection Agency Investigates Ocean Dumping Site in California

The Environmental Protection Agency recently launched a new website sharing information about their investigation into Southern California Ocean Disposal Site #2, It outlines the history of pollution at the site and ongoing efforts to address environmental challenges.

A map.
Figure 1: Shows the approximate placement of the 14 deep-water disposal locations. Source: 1973 Southern CA Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) Report (PDF).

From the 1930s until the early 1970s, multiple government agencies  approved ocean disposal of domestic, industrial, and military waste at 14 deep-water locations off the coast of Southern California. While EPA and our federal, state and local agency partners have been aware of these disposal practices over the years, the significant depth (up to 1000 meters or 3200 feet) and distance from shore of these disposal sites have historically posed significant challenges to assessing the sites for potential threats to human health or the environment.

With renewed public interest in these challenges, EPA, NOAA, and several other federal, state, and local agencies began working together to see if advances in technology enable a new look at this issue. Learn more about these ongoing efforts on the Environmental Protection Agency website

Last updated Thursday, July 21, 2022 10:30am PDT