Poseidon Could Have Been Permitted by Now, But Messed Up





[Note: This story was first published in the Surf City Voice on Nov. 22, 2012, under the headline: “Get Desal Permits Quickly by Coordinating Early & Designing a Good Project, State Panelists Say.”  It has been re-illustrated here.]

Tom Luster explained years ago what Poseidon had to do to get permitted, but those like its paid lobbyist Barbara Boxer still don’t get it.

Today, 16 years after Poseidon Water brought its proposed ocean desalination plant to the City of Huntington Beach for approval, it still hasn’t acquired the permits or water-agency approval it needs to start the project. Poseidon’s proponents, including its lobbyist, former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, blame environmentalists and government regulations. But the issue today is the same as it has always been: Poseidon’s inability so far to prove that its $1 billion project meets the latest environmental standards for protecting marine life and that it is needed.

Those questions will be addressed, once again, at a public meeting of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board on July 30 – 31 by live video streaming and teleconference only (no physical meeting place).

Here’s a taste of the article recently reposted to Surf City Voice:

Adhering to the California Coastal Act, which provides the structure by which the Coastal Commission protects coastal resources, is also paramount, Luster said. “The better the proposed project incorporates all the Costal Act policies and the other state requirements, the more likely it’s going to have a smoother ride through the permit process.”

The main concern, Luster said, is to determine the least environmentally damaging way of creating the water supply after considering all the alternatives, including different approaches to desalination or sources other than desalination.

“Part of the consideration should be, are there water efficiency or conversation measures that can be put into place? Are there additional recycling opportunities that you would put into place before going to the desal? If those options have provided the [water] supply with less environmental damage those would be evaluated as part of our assessment of the project,” Luster said.

For the full story, go to this link — and tip him if you can!



About Surf City Voice

John Earl is the editor of the Surf City Voice. Frequent contributor Debbie Cook, a former Huntington Beach Mayor, is board president of the Post Carbon Institute.