June 2023 Hearing Report

Mandy Sackett
July 1, 2023
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The Coastal Commission’s June meeting took place virtually over two days on June 7 and 8. The shorter agenda packed several significant votes. The Commission voted to oppose SB 423, an affordable housing bill that would exempt certain coastal development from the Commission’s review, unless it is amended. The Commission also supported AB 80 which creates a working group for monitoring and research impacts to the ocean ecosystem related to offshore wind development. They also approved a correspondence letter from the Commission to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) elevating the need to address the toxic water quality crisis at the U.S.- Mexico border. Additionally, the meeting resulted in an enforcement item approval, penalizing Malibu homeowners for blocking beach access to Escondido Beach. The homeowners are now required to create a new access pathway and public parking along the Pacific Coast Highway. The meeting resulted in two vote charts on beach access in Malibu and SB 423.

Letter to EPA and IBWC on Sewage Discharge Affecting the US-Mexico Border Region

The Commission approved a correspondence letter from the Commission to the EPA and IBWC regarding sewage discharge affecting the US-Mexico border region. The letter urges urgent action to resolve the longstanding issue of toxic water flowing across the border into the Tijuana River Valley and along San Diego County beaches. The letter affirmed the Commission’s concurrence with the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) Mitigation of Contaminated Transboundary Flows Project at the May 2023 hearing.