Two More Favorable Decisions Move Poseidon's Desalination Project Forward

Just one day after the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors approved a 30-year contract to purchase water produced by the proposed Carlsbad Desalination Project, two more favorable decisions are helping to move forward Poseidon Waters’ project.

The California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) today unanimously approved the issuance of up to $840 million in bonds to finance the Carlsbad Desalination Project.

The approval allows the project to proceed with the sale of tax-exempt private-activity and municipal-purpose bonds to fund the construction of the desalination plant, auxiliary water-delivery-system infrastructure and environmental mitigation projects. CPCFA administers and allocates the state’s annual allotment of federal tax-exempt private-activity bonds for the financing of private development projects that benefit the public.
Poseidon expects the bond sale to take place in mid-December, with construction to commence shortly thereafter.

Also on Friday, the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the project in the appeal by the Surfrider Foundation of the California Superior Court decision upholding the project approval by San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, establishing the conditions under which Poseidon is able to withdraw seawater from the Pacific Ocean.

In the original lawsuit challenging the RWQCB’s project approval, the Surfrider Foundation alleged the project did not comply with California Water Code Section 13142.5(b), which requires new industrial facilities using seawater for processing to use the best available site, design, technology and mitigation measures feasible to avoid the intake and mortality of marine life.

Poseidon Water prevailed in that lawsuit in 2011, with Judge Judith Hayes finding that the RWQCB properly applied state law in its approval. Surfrider then appealed the ruling, contending that in issuing the permit the Regional Board failed to comply with the requirements of the California Water Code.

In its decision, the Court of Appeal rejected Surfrider’s arguments and concluded that the Regional Board complied with the California Water Code. The decision is Certified for Publication, marking its legal significance.

The decision ends the 14th and final remaining legal challenge to the project.