Nov 13, 2007

California State Lands Commission Moves Forward Carlsbad Desalination Project

The California State Lands commission kept to its schedule and held a public hearing Tuesday on the Carlsbad Desalination Project. Due to the recent wildfires in San Diego County, the Commission accepted public testimony, but agreed to defer a vote on the project until its next public meeting in December to allow interested parties affected by the wildfires additional time to participate.

The next public hearing on the Carlsbad Desalination Project is scheduled for November 15, 2007 before the California Coastal Commission—the only other state regulatory agency that must approve of the project before construction can start next year.

During the hearing, the Surfrider Foundation argued that the Carlsbad Desalination Project’s certified Environmental Impact Report was flawed. The arguments closely mirrored those raised by the Coastal Commission staff in a letter sent to the State Lands Commission later Monday afternoon before Tuesday’s hearing. Surfrider unsuccessfully attempted to delay the project by requesting that the State Lands Commission assert its authority under the California Environmental Quality Act and Executive Director Paul D. Thayer opined that the project’s CEQA documents are adequate and additional environmental study unwarranted.

Poseidon Resources has proposed a Climate Action Plan, which will render the proposed Carlsbad Desalination Plant carbon neutral. Poseidon’s Carlsbad Desalination Project is the first major California infrastructure project to go carbon neutral, advancing the state’s goals as embodied in AB32, California’s groundbreaking Global Warming Solutions Act.