Surfrider Foundation opposes desal plant

CARLSBAD — In August, the Surfrider Foundation filed an appeal of Superior Court Judge Judith F. Hayes’ ruling allowing the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s determination to allow “open ocean” intake to withdraw seawater for the ocean desalination facility approved for the Carlsbad coast. The issue will now go to the Court of Appeal in the 4th Appellate District, which covers San Diego.
The question before the Superior Court of San Diego was whether the site, design, technology and mitigation measures chosen by Poseidon Resources will successfully minimize the marine life killed in the seawater intake process.
According to Surfrider, the project plans to use the discharge from coastal power plants that withdraw seawater to cool the steam generators as source water for the desalination process. Surfrider Foundation argues that these “cooling water intakes” are being phased out by regulatory agencies to eliminate the associated marine life mortality.
“If California is moving away from open-ocean intakes for power plants, then they should not allow desalination plants to use them,” said Julia Chunn-Heer, Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego Campaign Coordinator. “The plant in Carlsbad is the first of 20 proposed for California’s coastline, so Surfrider is emphatically vested in ensuring policies are interpreted correctly to protect our threatened ocean ecosystems.”


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