Malibu News
Malibu Lagoon Project Court Hearing Postponed
By Amy Oppenheim
May 15, 2011 - 10:14:20 AM

MALIBU—The court hearing, on a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the beginning of the Malibu Lagoon overhaul project, has been postponed. The hearing was supposed to take place on May 9 in San Francisco.


Malibu Lagoon. Photo by Kibiwot Limo
The postponement was announced on May 7 via email by Marcia Hanscom, who filed the request on behalf of the Wetlands Defense Fund. The case is being moved to a different judge who is better acquainted with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).


The CEQA website proclaims that the act was created to serve as “a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.”


The Malibu Lagoon project is scheduled to begin on June 1 of this year, and the lawsuit filed against the plan is not expected to be heard until the fall.


Public access activist Steve Hoye’s Access for All, along with two other organizations led by Hanscom, filed the lawsuit against the project, and are striving to postpone it so their side is heard before the plans are carried out by the state.


California state officials and their supporters have said that the plan will restore the health of the lagoon. However, opponents to the project say that it will harm wildlife residing in the area. Additionally, bulldozers will be used in the project, and opponents object to this method.


CEQA regulations require that at a minimum, an initial review of the project and its environmental effects must be conducted. Depending on the potential effects, a further, and more substantial, review may be conducted in the form of an environmental impact report (EIR). A project may not be approved as submitted if feasible alternatives or mitigation measures are able to substantially lessen the significant environmental effects of the project.”

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