Residents, community advocates and environmental groups showed strong opposition to the Wall Street water developer – Poseidon – on Friday, Dec. 6, at the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board workshop at Huntington Beach City Hall.
Poseidon is pursuing its final two permits for a proposed desalination plant adjacent to the AES power plant in Huntington Beach.
Orange County Coastkeeper has opposed the project for 19 years, and continues to argue that the desalination proposal is too expensive, unnecessary, environmentally damaging and opposed by the majority of the community.
The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board held a workshop to examine Poseidon’s plans for the project and take public comment, before it decides on April 3 whether to approve the permits. The project must also pass through the California Coastal Commission.
Coastkeeper teamed up with other environmental groups, including the Sacramento-based California Coastkeeper Alliance, local Surfrider Foundation chapter and Azul, a nonprofit organization working with Latinxs to protect coasts and oceans, to speak out against Poseidon’s proposal.
A rally was held outside the workshop at Huntington Beach City Hall on Friday morning. Activists held signs and spoke about how Poseidon’s project would kill marine life and raise water rates for local families, among other negatives. They chanted in English, “Water is not for sale!” and in Spanish, “Fuera Poseidon!” (Out, Poseidon!).
The purpose of the protest was to send a message to the board and the media that the local community doesn’t see a benefit in Poseidon’s fat wallet interests.
Inside city hall, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board heard from its staff on details of the proposed desalination plant before turning the microphone over to the public for comments.
More than 47 Orange County residents stood up to tell the board in their own words why they didn’t want a giant, polluting water factory built on their coast and in their community.
At least two board members drew concern with the project and grilled their staff on important questions that have still yet to be answered, such as what the need is for this desalination plant and why it is Orange County’s last resort for clean drinking water.
The deadline for public comment on Poseidon’s proposal is January 21, 2020.
Send a letter to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board expressing your concerns:
- Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board
3737 Main Street, Suite 500
Riverside, CA 92501-3348
Sign our petition & Say No to Poseidon: https://www.californiadesalfacts.org/orange-county-petition/
Media coverage: Find a list of articles and radio clips below:
- Los Angeles Times/ Daily Pilot, “Residents voice opposition and support for H.B. desalination plant…,” 12/6/19
- Orange County Register, “Huntington Beach desalination plant eyes approval, but foes turn out in force,” 12/6/19
- Southern California Public Radio (KPCC), 12/6/19
- KNX 1070 radio, “Closing arguments in the LA defamation trial of Elon Musk; Protests against plans for a desalination plant in Huntington Beach; New mountain lion sighting in Simi Valley,” 12/6/19
- La Opinion, “Residentes de OC temen alza en el costo del agua,” 12/8/19
- Orange Juice Blog, “FIGHT POSEIDON TODAY – important Water Board (SARWQCB) in HB!,” 12/6/19
- Telemundo, 12/6/19
- EstrellaTV, 12/6/19