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Coastkeeper Opposes the Huntington Beach Magnolia Tank Farm Development

By April 11, 2023April 12th, 2023Blog

The Magnolia Tank Farm is a proposed residential and commercial development project for Huntington Beach that would severely impact the safety of humans, wildlife, and the environment. While Orange County desperately needs solutions to solve our housing crisis, the fragility of this site makes it unsuitable for any new development. 

The proposed site, located on Magnolia St. near the Huntington Beach Wetlands, is subject to significant coastal hazards, including sea level rise and tsunamis, along with being located on an earthquake fault in a flood zone next to the Ascon toxic landfill, a State of California Superfund site.

In the past, our team of water quality experts has been able to work with developers to improve their water quality management plans and environmental impact. However, the numerous risks associated with this location make it an unfixable project. The best and only proper use for this land would be to restore it to a wetland.

Development of the site would result in risk to the residents of the site and cause irreparable harm to the residents of adjacent neighborhoods. Specifically, our concerns are:

  1. This low-lying area is subject to flooding, sea level rise, and tsunamis.
    The site is in an area subject to flooding which will only get worse with rising seas. Raising the height of the site to prevent flooding onsite will divert floodwaters into adjacent neighborhoods and will do nothing to prevent tsunami damage. Watch this video for a simulation of how sea level rise would affect the area.
  2. The South Branch of the Newport-Inglewood Fault lies underneath the site.
    The Newport-Inglewood Fault can generate earthquakes as large as 7.5 in magnitude. Studies show the site is subject to soil liquefaction and spreading during an earthquake.
  3. The Ascon Toxic Waste Dump, a California Superfund site, is adjacent to the property.
    The Ascon site is loaded with toxins and a potential threat to the neighborhood. The remediation of the site is ongoing, and Ascon will be a concern for many years to come.

As proposed, the project is not consistent with the current City of Huntington Beach Local Coastal Program (LCP). Unfortunately, the City of Huntington Beach is currently seeking certification from the California Coastal Commission for a ‘project specific’ amendment to their LCP so the project can proceed.

We are urging the Coastal Commission not to certify the proposed changes to the Huntington Beach Local Coastal Program and to protect the local residents, wildlife, and ecosystem from the adverse impacts of this project.

At this time, there is no official date for when the Commission will review the LCP. We will be sure to keep our members and supporters up-to-date.