Strike Three: State Water Resources Control Board Rejects Carlsbad Desalination Project

 State Board rejects opponents’ petition for third time; project construction continues

San Diego, CA – Poseidon Resources today announced the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) has dismissed the permit appeal filed by Surfrider Foundation and San Diego Coastkeeper that challenged the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board's (Regional Board) May 13, 2009 unanimous approval of Poseidon’s Marine Life Mitigation Plan for the Carlsbad Desalination Project. The Marine Life Mitigation Plan is a condition to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued to the project by the Regional Board in 2006.

In denying the appeal, the State Board upheld the Regional’s Board’s determination that the Carlsbad Desalination Project is in compliance with California Water Code Section 13142.5(b) by utilizing the best available site, design, technology, and mitigation measures feasible to minimize the intake and mortality of all forms of marine life.

The State Board’s denial of the appeal marks the third time that it has rejected attempts by the opponents of seawater desalination to obstruct the project. In 2007, and again in 2008, the State Board rejected petitions appealing the Regional Board’s approval of the desalination project and its permit conditions. On March 23, 2010, the State Water Resources Control Board issued its latest ruling that concluded the latest petition “failed to raise any substantial issues appropriate for review by the board”.

Over a seven year permitting period from 2003-2009, the project underwent approximately 20 public hearings and over 100 hours of public testimony and deliberation. In response to the unanimous approval of the project by the state’s environmental permitting and regulatory agencies, the same handful of seawater desalination opponents have unsuccessfully filed a dozen permit appeals, revocation requests and lawsuits in an attempt to delay or derail the desalination project.

“Poseidon Resources is pleased the State Board has denied yet another politically-motivated attempt to stop seawater desalination from becoming a part of California’s drinking water supply,” said Poseidon Resources’ Vice President Scott Maloni. “After spending the better part of the past decade successfully permitting the state’s first large-scale seawater desalination plant, construction of the Carlsbad project has started and the inevitable completion of the plant cannot be derailed by opponents of seawater desalination,” said Maloni.
Phase I of project construction started in November 2009. During the two and half-year construction and start up, the project will create 2,100 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic stimulus. The facility is scheduled to be operational in 2012.

Since 1998, Poseidon has worked in partnership with the City of Carlsbad, Valley Center Municipal Water District, Sweetwater Authority, Santa Fe Irrigation District, City of Oceanside, Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Rainbow Municipal Water District and the Vallecitos Water District to build the desalination plant, which will have the capacity to produce 50-million-gallons-per-day of high quality drinking water and serve 300,000 residents annually.

Poseidon Resources specializes in developing and financing water infrastructure projects, primarily seawater desalination and water treatment plants. These projects are implemented through innovative public-private partnerships in which private enterprise assumes the developmental and financial risks.