Pilot Project to Demonstrate Copper Remediation Applications int he San Diego Bay


SCH Number
Public Agency
San Diego Unified Port District
Document Title
Pilot Project to Demonstrate Copper Remediation Applications int he San Diego Bay
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The proposed pilot project involves the installation of passive and active filtration systems to determine the effectiveness of technology specific to Red Lion Chem Tech, LLC (Red Lion) in filtering and removing copper rom seawater for a total of six months within Shelter Island, Yacht Basin in San Diego, CA. The active filtration system consists of a frame-mounted unit measuring approx. 6 feet long by 4 ft wide by 6 ft. deep. The unit will be placed in a plastic closed cabinet with access by Red Lion for sampling and servicing. The active filtration system testing would be conducted in two phases, with a duration of two weeks per testing phase. The first phase would directly place the active filtration system into San Diego Bay and pump seawater into the filtration system. The second phase of testing would utilize water pumped from within an active in-water boat wash basin. The purpose of the testing is to determine the copper reduction potential. To confirm the percent of copper actually removed, resin samples will be collected every three days during the pilot project and submitted for laboratory analysis. From this, the amount of copper removed, rate of copper removed over time, and percent saturation of the resin used int he tank will be calculated. The total copper concentration in the pretreated water will be compared to the actual concentration of copper recovered in the resin as a whole for the two week duration. Red Lion will analyze al samples using EPA-approved analytical methods that are consistent with the analytical methods used for the annual Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) water quality conducted in the Shelter Island Yacht Basin. The active filtration system involves pumping bay water directly cylindrical columns where the copper adsorbing resin beads are housed. In the cylindrical columns, the resin beads removes the dissolved copper as the seawater passes over them before being discharged back into the bay. The long-term scalability of the pump unit will be designed so that once the resin beads are saturated with copper to ~ 80% capacity, the beads will be replaced on an ongoing basis and sent to a central processing station for regeneration and subsequent reuse. Red Lion will collect pre-treatment intake and post-treatment effluent water samples and analyze them for total and dissolved copper every three days for the duration of both stages of the active filtration pilot project. Water quality data will also be collected prior to the start of the project to obtain a baseline of copper levels in the water and every three days at six GPS-specific locations. The six sample locations include three within Shelter Harbor Yacht Basin and three in San Diego Bay. The system will require on operator daily to monitor the operation for the duration of the pilot (4 weeks). Truck trips for the project would include transport of the daily operator, as well as minimal trips associated with delivery and installation of the unit. The passive filtration system consists of a five approx. 25-pound (lb) ballast bags, weighted on one end and hung into the water while tied to an existing support structure, such as a pier or piling. Ocean wave action over the sac allows seawater to move gently and freely in and out of the microporous sac over time, facilitating ion adsorption of dissolved copper and removing it from the seawater. For this pilot, the five ballast bags would be placed along a dock finger to assess the effectiveness of passive filtration copper adsorption in San Diego Bay. bay water samples would be collected prior to the start of the project to obtain a baseline of total and dissolved copper levels in the adjacent waters. Resin samples will be collected at regular intervals from the ballast bags and submitted to the laboratory for analysis to determine the amount and rate of total and dissolved copper adsorbed over time as well as the percent saturation of the resin. This system will require one operator weekly to monitor the operation for the duration of the pilot (6 months). Truck trips for the project would include transport of the weekly operator, as for the initial placement of the system. The pilot programs are anticipated to commence in Sept. 2017, with a total duration of four weeks for the active filtration system and six months for the passive filtration system. As part of the entitlement process, prior to operation of the Project, staff will be applying for an Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) ACOE Nationwide #5 "Scientific Measurement Devices" permit. Due to its nature and limited scope, construction of the proposed Project would generate a minor amount of vehicle and truck trips and would require limited use of construction equipment, and would not result in impacts, including, without limitation, air quality or ghg impacts. Additionally, no eelgrass is known to be present at the project site, and therefore, the project would not result in any significant impacts to biological resources. Furthermore, the applicant would be responsible for complying with all applicable federal, state, and local laws regulating construction demolition debris, noise, and stormwater.

Contact Information

Juliette Orozco
Agency Name
San Diego Unified Port District
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


San Diego
San Diego

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
S:15301,3,6,11 Class 1,3,6,11
Reasons for Exemption
Existing Facilities. New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures. Information Collection. Accessory Structures.

Disclaimer: The document was originally posted before CEQAnet had the capability to host attachments for the public. To obtain the original attachments for this document, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at state.clearinghouse@opr.ca.gov or via phone at (916) 445-0613.

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