Legislative Leaders Support Huntington Beach Desal Project And Call On Coastal Commission Staff To Schedule Hearing
Huntington Beach, CA –Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) expressed their strong support for the pending Huntington Beach desalination project and called for the Coastal Commission staff to move forward with a public hearing on the project’s permit application.
In separate letters sent to the Coastal Commission in the past week, Senate President pro Tempore and Assembly Speaker urged the Commission to move forward with the Huntington Beach project:
“New drinking water supplies like the desalination facility should be considered on a regional level to address current drought emergency conditions but also to protect our water resources from the long-term effects of drought and climate change,” said President pro Tem de León. “In addition, the project will create many new, high wage and highly skilled jobs in the region that will help address the state’s stubbornly high unemployment rate even as the economy recovers.”
“The Huntington Beach Desalination Project will produce 50 million gallons of water per day – enough drinking water for 300,000 Orange County residents – and has been under consideration by the Commission since 2006, when the coastal development permit application was first submitted,” said Speaker Atkins. “It is imperative that the state’s increased water conservation efforts are matched by the development of new local drinking water supplies, and that state agencies address permit applications for new water supply projects with a sense of urgency.”
Speaker Atkins’ letter came as she is in Paris attending the World Climate Summit, or COP21, to urge world leaders to act on climate change policy. Both Atkins and De Leon took time to praise the Coastal Commission for their work in evaluating the full impacts that would occur at the facility and considering alternative seawater intakes at the site; while also taking note of the extensive Commission permitting process.
“We thank both President pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Atkins for their support for the Huntington Beach Desalination Project and for their leadership in calling for the Coastal Commission to consider the project’s permit as soon as possible,” said Scott Maloni, Poseidon Vice President.
The Coastal Development Permit is the last discretionary permit necessary to authorize the construction of the Huntington Beach Desalination Project, which could begin construction in 2016 and be completed in 2019. When complete, the Huntington Beach Desalination Project will provide Orange County with 50 million gallons of fresh drinking water per day from the Pacific Ocean, matching the company’s Carlsbad plant, opening in December 2016, as the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere.
Poseidon Water specializes in developing and financing water infrastructure projects, primarily seawater desalination and water treatment plants in an environmentally sensitive manner. These projects are implemented through innovative public-private partnerships in which private enterprise assumes the developmental and financial risks. For more information on Poseidon Water and the Huntington Beach desalination facility, visit http://HBfreshwater.com.
“Desalination must be included in any discussion of future water sources for Orange County."