Governor’s Latest Action Further Supports Permit Streamlining for Seawater Desalination
Huntington Beach, CA – Today, Poseidon Water applauded Governor Jerry Brown’s latest action to streamline California’s environmental permitting for local water supply projects. On April 28th the Governor directed the Office of Planning and Research, amongst other state agencies, to “help local water agencies reduce the time required to comply with state-required environmental reviews.” This forward-looking effort by the Governor will help remove significant hurdles to developing new drinking water supplies in the midst of the most severe drought in state history.
“We applaud Governor Brown for acknowledging that onerous state regulations are putting a stranglehold on the timely completion of critical water supply projects and we look forward to working with the Governor and the state legislature on a streamlined permitting process,” said Scott Maloni, Vice President of Poseidon Water. “Millions of Californians have a desperate need for more water and the Governor’s action will help communities develop their own independent water supplies without having to endure years of redundant permitting.”
The Governor’s latest directive follows his actions under Executive Order B-29-15 which explicitly prioritizes state review and decision-making of any water infrastructure projects and requires that state agencies report any application pending for more than 90 days to the Governor’s Office.
Poseidon Water is in the late stages of developing its 50 million gallon per day seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach, CA. The project, first introduced in 1998 has undergone almost fifteen years of permitting review. A permit from the California Coastal Commission, first sought in 2006, is the last state discretionary approval required to construct the facility. Poseidon is working with the Commission staff on scheduling a permit hearing before the end of 2015.
Poseidon’s landmark desalination facility in the city of Carlsbad will be operational before the end of the year and will be the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The Carlsbad project is the first large-scale seawater desalination plant permitted in state history after prevailing over fourteen legal challenges and, demonstrating to the satisfaction of local, state and federal permitting agencies, including the California Coastal Commission, compliance with some of the toughest environmental regulations in the world.
The recent actions by the Governor to streamline the permitting of local water supply projects are the implementation of policies established under his administration. The Governor’s 2014 Water Action Plan included the following goal identifying desalination for streamlining: “The administration will review and propose measures to streamline permitting for local projects that make better use of local water supplies such as recycling, stormwater capture, and desalination of brackish and seawater as well as projects that provide multiple benefits, such as enhancing local water supplies while improving wildlife habitat.” In addition, Action #8 in Chapter 10 of the 2013 California Water Plan Update states that the Department of Water Resources, in collaboration with regulatory agencies, should lead an effort to create a coordinated, streamlined permitting process for desalination projects.
Poseidon Water’s desalination projects are environmentally friendly and designed to minimize impacts on coastal resources. The Carlsbad and Huntington Beach projects will utilize state-of-the-art – seawater intake technology approved by the state of California that will eliminate all impacts to juvenile and adult fish and shellfish, and substantially minimize effects to smaller fish eggs and larvae.
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.