In Today’s Appeal, California Coastkeeper Alliance Highlighted Destructive Precedent Set by Regional Board’s Permit Approval for Poseidon Ocean Desalination Facility
Environmental organization presented an appeal to Santa Ana Regional Water Board for its permit decision in April
In addition to protecting Poseidon’s profits, organization says Regional Board failed to comply with Water Code Section 13142.5(b) in permit process
“The law will set a destructive statewide precedent for future ocean desalination facilities,” says Sean Bothwell, executive director of California Coastkeeper Alliance
June 1, 2021 (Orange County, CA) – California Coastkeeper Alliance, which consists of several Waterkeeper organizations across the state, presented its appeal today to the Santa Ana Regional Water Board for the Poseidon Ocean Desalination Facility permit in Huntington Beach. In its summary of arguments, the organization stated that the Regional Water Board failed to comply with Water Code Section 13142.5(b) in its adoption of the Poseidon permit in April.
The California Coastkeeper Alliance stated that the Regional Board’s failure to comply with the law, particularly with Water Code Section 13142.5(b), will set a destructive statewide precedent for future ocean desalination facilities if the State Water Board does not ensure that the permit as a whole complies with the law.
In particular, the Water Code states that the best available technology should be used to minimize the intake and mortality of all forms of marine life. According to California Coastkeeper Alliance, the Regional Board failed to require the best available technology and, instead, relied upon Poseidon’s self-assertion to conclude that the best available site, design, and technology to minimize marine life mortality were infeasible.
The organizational leaders within California Coastkeeper Alliance and its partners agree that the Regional Board seemed more concerned with protecting Poseidon’s corporate profits rather than protecting California’s marine life. They also believe the Regional Board failed to consider water affordability, safety and cleanliness, and water accessibility, as well as conduct meaningful engagement of environmental justice and tribal communities.
“Poseidon’s permit, adopted in April, was the first time a Regional Water Board interpreted the 2015 Desalination Policy for a new desalination facility,” says Sean Bothwell, executive director for California Coastkeeper Alliance. “The Regional Board’s failure to comply with the law will set a destructive statewide precedent for future ocean desalination facilities if the State Water Board does not step in and ensure that the Poseidon project complies with the law.”
“Everyone has a human right to clean, accessible and affordable water,” says Garry Brown, executive director of Orange County Coastkeeper. “We’ll continue to fight the Regional Board’s decision to accept the Poseidon permit as it is harmful to marine life in Orange County as well as ratepayer’s wallets in our communities.”
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ABOUT CALIFORNIA COASTKEEPER ALLIANCE: California Coastkeeper Alliance is a statewide voice for our waters. With the federal administration working against our environmental laws, CCKA defends and expands California’s protective legislation and strengthens the function of our State Water Board. We represent local Waterkeepers, empower communities towards a #TrashFree2030, and advocate with companies through the Blue Business Council. Together, we fight for swimmable, fishable, and drinkable waters for Californians today – and for future generations. California Coastkeeper Alliance is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit www.cacoastkeeper.org and follow us on Twitter @CA_Waterkeepers.
ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY COASTKEEPER: Orange County Coastkeeper is a member of the International Waterkeeper Alliance, which has 241 different independent programs across 40 countries. Founded in 1999, the mission of Coastkeeper is to protect and promote sustainable water resources that are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. Coastkeeper is a nonprofit clean water organization that serves as a proactive steward of our fresh- and saltwater ecosystems. We work collaboratively with diverse groups in the public and private sectors to achieve healthy, accessible, and sustainable water resources for the region. We implement innovative, effective programs in education, advocacy, restoration, research, enforcement, and conservation. For more information, visit www.coastkeeper.org or call 714-850-1965.