Huntington Beach

Desalination plant seeks OK on Thursday

THE POSEIDON DESALINATION plant would be located near Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach (Poseidon Water image).

A key meeting on the proposed Poseidon desalination project for Huntington Beach is scheduled for Thursday before the California State Lands Commission in the Huntington Beach City Council Chambers.

While the meeting begins at 9 a.m., the Poseidon proposal won’t be taken up by the commission before noon, according to the agenda. The panel will be asked to approve a variety of actions, including a revised rent and lease agreement, certification of a final supplemental environmental impact report and other issues.

The plant, planned offshore of Huntington State Park near the AES power plant, has been controversial and is opposed by some environmental groups on the grounds it could upset the ecology of the area; some opponents feel it will be to costly and there are better alternatives to the water shortages that California experiences from time to time.

Poseidon has replied that the Huntington Beach location will be the “most environmentally-sensitive” desalination plant ever built.

If approved and built, it’s expected to produce 50 million gallons a day of drinkable seawater from which the salt has been removed and is claimed to create 2,000 construction jobs in its building phase.

Supporters of the project include U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, State Assemblyman Travis Allen, State Sen. Patricia Bates, the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Taxpayers Association. Opponents include the executive director of the Endangered Habitats League, Orange County Coastkeeper, the Irvine Ranch Water District and the state Fish and Game Commission.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom serves as chair of the lands commission, with state Controller Betty Yee and state Director of Finance Michael Cohen serving as members. The council chambers are located at 2000 Main St. in Huntington Beach (at Yorktown Avenue).

A live webcast of the meeting will be available at www.cal-span.org.

 

 

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