"Obviously, we're very pleased with the governor's recognition that
this is a statewide problem that needs attention," said Richard Barnard,
a city spokesman. "Southern California has been particularly hard hit."
State administration officials said storm drain and sewage pollution
caused 5,000 beach closures and warnings in California last year, with
158 in Huntington Beach. Surf City and state beaches were closed due to
high bacteria levels for most of the summer in 1999.
Although the Legislature must still hold hearings on the governor's
overall budget later this year, and the state's Water Resources Control
Board would decide where the beach pollution funds are allocated, city
officials believe the money will help continue mitigation measures
already in place.
Huntington Beach has been working with the Orange County Sanitation
District to reroute urban runoff through the district's water treatment
process before it reaches the ocean. Meanwhile, the sanitation district
is preparing for summer ocean water tests to determine whether effluent
from a sewage outfall pipe may have played a part in last year's beach
Assemblyman Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), said in a statement that
this city is "well-positioned to receive funds, given our highly
publicized extended closures."