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Environmental group sues San Diego over Ocean Beach Pier replacement project

The Ocean Beach Pier is shown on May 7, 2021.
Guillermo Sevilla
The Ocean Beach Pier is shown on May 7, 2021.

An environmental group has filed a lawsuit seeking to block initial work on the planned replacement of the Ocean Beach Pier, which the group alleges is going forward without proper environmental review.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Diego Superior Court by the Animal Protection and Rescue League concerns an $8 million contract awarded to consulting firm Moffatt & Nichol for work to get the Ocean Beach Pier Replacement Project to "shovel ready condition," according to the suit.

According to the lawsuit, this initial work has been described as a "feasibility or planning study for possible future actions," but involves drilling, boring, sand excavation and other changes to the area surrounding the 56-year-old pier before the potential environmental effects have been considered.


City officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit.

Construction to replace the deteriorating pier is expected to begin by 2026. In a report from Moffat & Nichol that was released publicly last year, the firm concluded the pier "has reached the end of its service life" and required "corrective action" to prevent further degradation.

Bryan Pease, the attorney who filed this week's lawsuit on behalf of the APRL, said in a statement, "While disguised as merely a `study,' the contract approved by the city involves auger boring, drilling, sand excavation, and other invasive activities that will also cause fumes and noise pollution in Ocean Beach, without any environmental review."

The suit seeks an injunction preventing that work from going forward until it can be deemed compliant with the California Environmental Quality Act.