Poseidon Picks a Public Poisoning Apologist!

This recent email bears note! Note that we’ve had some trouble getting the graphics to land where they are in the email, but our savvy readers can probably figure it all out! Here’s the quoted part first; I’ll then come back for some commentary at the end.

From: “Linda May & Rafael Chagoya, Defeat Polluting Desalination” 
Date: April 26, 2022
Subject: Poseidon sinks lower, relies on Flint apologist

Poseidon Doubles Down on Pollution, Uses Apologist for the Flint Poisoning

Foreign-Owned Company Sinks to Shameful New Low as Coastal Commission Staff Urges Rejection

Call it a grim milestone, and a grisly resurfacing.

On the 8th anniversary of Americans learning about the disastrous contamination of drinking water that injured thousands of residents of Flint, Michigan, on April 25, 2014, a key figure in that scandal of lead-poisoning of children, Sachin Chawla, resurfaced as spokesperson for Poseidon, the desalination company currently seeking a permit to build a desalination plant on a toxic hotspot in Huntington Beach, California.

Before joining Poseidon, Chawla worked for 12 years for Veolia North America. One year after the disaster broke open in Flint, Veolia came on the scene in 2015 amidst the crisis management to address growing alarm over water quality. Now Veolia is in federal court in Michigan, facing a civil lawsuit in part for assurances its representatives made to Flint residents that the lead-poisoned water was safe to drink.  Chawla is now center stage in Poseidon’s high-pressure sales pitch to Californians, backed up by an army of corporate lobbyists but no confirmation of its feasibility and zero demand from local water districts for its over-priced product.

The project is finally coming to a vote.  The California Coastal Commission is readying to decide on the Poseidon proposal on Thursday, May 12, at a meeting in Costa Mesa. In addition to the somber anniversary of the Flint disaster, Monday marked the release of the Commission staff’s highly critical report urging that the Poseidon permit be denied.

This important recommendation comes as Republican and Democratic voices are calling out the scheme by foreign-owned Poseidon, an offshoot of Brookfield Asset Management, as environmentally destructive as well as fiscally irresponsible, wasteful, and unnecessary.

In a recent article about the harm Poseidon has done and will do to ordinary people, former union president and healthcare advocate Linda Perez calls the scheme a toxic swindle. You can find the La Opinión article here, in Spanish. Or take a moment to read it in English here.

Will you stand up for economic and environmental justice in California? Do your part to put a fork in wasteful, greedy profiteering by Poseidon. Tell California Coastal Commissioners NOW before May 12 to sink this disastrous, polluting scheme.

OK, I’m back again, with apologies to Linda May and Rafael Chagoya for somewhat mangling their email.

The Flint Lead Poisoning Crisis is more than just incidentally related to Poseidon. As we’ll see on Friday, the Poseidon Desal project, for all of its other problems, is also literally going to disperse long-buried toxins into the air and water in its surrounding area — and those nice on-shore breezes will carry them to inland portions of Orange County.

But that’s news for tomorrow; for today, let’s just note that Poseidon’s Desal Swindle is a terrible deal for Orange County, only even receiving consideration because Poseidon has helped get its stooges onto critical water boards, and its exactly the sort of thing that one needs to bring in someone who tried to sell a rosy view of the Flint disaster to the public and has spend most of a decade polishing the enormous turd of the Carlsbad desalination failure for public consumption there, to handle the public relations.

The ripoff can be stopped in about two weeks, on May 12. Poseidon will be contacting your federal, state, and county legislators; will you be doing the same?

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)