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Sewage Spill at San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant on March 25

Photo: San Onofre State Beach during the simpler times of December 2019.

UPDATE FROM SAN DIEGO DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: "The plant Environmental Manager, County Hazardous Incident Response Team and Coastguard were apprised of the investigation yesterday. No impacts to recreational water have been assessed, so no further action is required at this time."

On March 25, the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant released 7,000 gallons of partially treated sewage to the Pacific Ocean. The plant is operated by Southern California Edison and has just recently begun decommissioning activities. Edison released a statement with the sewage release notification, stating: “Both Sewage Treatment Plant effluent pumps were shut down and a state certified vendor is working to bring the treatment plant back to service."

It appears the sewage release is not ongoing. Edison has
notified the San Diego Department of Environmental Health and Surfrider has
encouraged them to issue a public notification and beach closure until water
quality monitoring can take place.

Beach closures are underway at San Diego County beaches due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and State Parks is no longer allowing access to any State Beach parking areas at San Onofre State Beach (including the campground blufftop parking), San Mateo Campground or the Trestles lot. Pedestrian access is still permitted.

While we are all eager to return to normalcy - or at least find solace in the ocean - during these uncertain times, we’d recommend avoiding contact with the ocean at adjacent San Onofre State Beach until we get word from public health officials that it is safe to enter at beaches and surf breaks adjacent to the power plant due to the recent sewage spill.