After a tiring day of public testimony regarding Poseidon Water’s latest California endeavor, a desalination facility co-located with the existing AES Huntington Beach Generating Station, the California Coastal Commission motioned to put a hold on the project. The Massachusetts company that was permitted the construction and operation of Carlsbad’s desal plant, withdrew its HB permit application under the pretext that it would carry out feasibility studies on the option of subsurface intake rather than using the generating station’s open intake.
In response to the entrapment of plankton, fish eggs and larvae in an open intake system, the Commission requested that the option of a subsurface intake be further explored. According to Poseidon representatives at the meeting, subsurface intake galleries are not feasible due to the muddy composition of the local seafloor. The Commission believed they were not presented with substantial evidence demonstrating this and are requiring Poseidon to further research the feasibility of such technology prior to resubmitting its application. As for the Carlsbad plant, the area’s reefs logistically and ecologically prevented any subsurface intake.
The battle will resume sometime in 2014 after an independent study, approved by both parties and paid for by Poseidon, is carried out.
– Zach Plopper, WILDCOAST Coastal and Marine Director
PHOTO Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times