Group Sues To Stop La Jolla Fireworks Show
Environmental Group Sues To End La Jolla Cove Fireworks Display
Last Updated: 1089 days ago
An environmental organization filed a lawsuit Friday against the city of San Diego and the organizers of the Fourth of July fireworks show at La Jolla Cove in an effort to block the annual spectacle.10News was the first local news outlet to report the threat of this suit.Read Story | Read the petition and complaint The Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation maintains the event would harm sensitive coastal resources in La Jolla, including the seal rookery at the Children's Pool.According to the plaintiff, the city and organizers of the show have not obtained required state environmental approvals under the California Environmental Quality Act."We would have preferred not to have to sue the city over this issue, but it totally refuses to follow the law," said Sara Honadle, programs director for CERF.A spokeswoman for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said he had received a copy of the complaint but cannot comment until the matter is heard in court.CERF argues in its San Diego Superior Court complaint that a number of pollutants contained in fireworks, including aluminum, magnesium, strontium, barium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, sulfate and nitrate, could end up in the water.The suit also alleges that firework shows lead to debris from exploded and unexploded shells such as paper, cardboard, wire and fuses.CERF describes itself as an environmental organization dedicated to the protection of coastal natural resources. Its legal arm, the Coast Law Group, is led by attorney Marco Gonzalez.Before the suit was filed, Gonzalez told 10News that he believes La Jolla cove is the wrong place for fireworks."The entire shoreline in La Jolla per the La Jolla community plan is a sensitive resource. It's highly protected," said Gonzalez.For months, Gonzalez has been issuing warnings about the need for environmental studies and proper permits."Basically, they've dropped the ball on even trying to get the permits, which we believe cannot be issued even if they had applied for them on time," said Gonzalez.The group successfully blocked a New Year's Eve fireworks show over San Diego Bay on similar grounds.The "Big Bay Boom" Fourth of July fireworks over San Diego Bay will go on as planned, after a settlement agreement between organizers and CERF was reached, according to the group.In exchange for CERF agreeing to withdraw any legal challenge to the "Big Bay Boom" show, organizers have agreed to conduct water quality sampling to detect for traces of pollutants and will take steps to minimize and remove trash and other fireworks detritus, according to the environmental group.The lawsuit alleges: The event will harm sensitive coastal resources in La Jolla including the coastal beaches and offshore waters; the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, the San Diego-La Jolla Ecological Preserve, the San Diego La Jolla Area of Special Biological Significance; and the seal rookery at the Childrens pool. The City had an obligation to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act prior to Event approval, but did not do so. Instead, the City has taken the untenable position that a Special Events Permit (which would trigger CEQA) is not required. The Citys Special Events website lists every other fireworks show taking place in the City, but not the La Jolla Cove event. The promoters of the event had an obligation to obtain, but did not even apply for, a Coastal Development Permit. The significant environmental impacts to sensitive resources, and significant impacts from event traffic, have not been considered in an Environmental Impact Report. The City has a pattern and practice of failing to comply with CEQA and other environmental laws when approving fireworks shows over water.