Press Release # 351

Subj: OOG: Crucial Poseidon Desalination Hearing Monday Night HB City Council
Date: 12/15/2003 1:30:22 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Jon V3
To: Jon V3

Dear OOG et al:

Your presence is requested at the Huntington Beach City Council Monday night, December 15, sometime after 7 PM. This is it. This is the time when the Huntington Beach City Council is supposed to make the decision on the Environmental Impact Report (EIR and) Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the Poseidon Desalination Plant proposed to link up with the decrepit AES power plant discharging effluent into adjacent contaminated ocean and beach areas. Small handheld signs will be available for you to hold that indicate Stop Poseidon. Please come if only to hold up a sign for the City Council to see and appreciate.

The suggestions from myself, many others, and three California State agencies including the staff from the California Coastal Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the State Department of Parks and Recreation, is that the EIR is not complete and should not be certified at this time. I have enclosed the State Parks letter of November 17 below, and the notice in the agenda of the latest December 8 letter from the Coastal Commission staff recommending not to certify the EIR.

 

Please send an email now, or fax a letter to the City Clerk at 714-374-1557, so that it can be included in the Late Communications packet.

Send to:

city.council@surfcity-hb.org,
hbdac@hotmail.com,
DSULLIVAN@socal.rr.com,
cboardman@surfcity-hb.org,
CBoardBCLT,
Hbmissjill@aol.com,
glcoerp1@gte.net,
CB4Council@aol.com,
cgreen@surfcity-hb.org,
gcoerper@surfcity-hb.org,
jhardy@surfcity-hb.org,
phouchen@surfcity-hb.org,
dsullivan@surfcity-hb.org,
ppcgreen@aol.com,
cbrockway@surfcity-hb.org

Subject: Agenda Item D-2a, D2-b, Please Oppose Poseidon EIR and CUP

Body of Email:

Dear Mayor Green and City Councilmembers,

Please oppose certification of the EIR and CUP for the Poseidon Desalination Plant proposal.

As indicated by recent letters from staff from three state agencies: the California Coastal Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the EIR for the Poseidon project is incomplete and should not be certified. Without certifying the EIR, the CUP should not be approved either.

This issue is of utmost importance to the City of Huntington Beach, including the health of its ocean and beaches, its tourist-based economy, and the welfare of the neighboring residential community.

The Poseidon Desalination Plant project has the potential to degrade the ocean, the beaches, the wetlands, the economy, and the residential neighborhood quality of life. The EIR has not satisfied necessary requirements to identify and mitigate potential harmful effects, and therefore should be rejected. The beaches generated $25 million in sales tax revenue to the Huntington Beach economy in 1998. This economic engine should not be jeopardized by a desalination plant tied into a power plant that has been suspected as a factor in pollution of the adjacent beach.

As stated by the State Parks Department in its November 17, 2003 letter to the City:

"In light of the lack of information surrounding the causes of high bacterial levels offshore of Huntington State Beach, we believe permitting a significant change in the makeup of the discharge to the ocean waters near this public beach is premature. We ask that the City of Huntington Beach definitively rule out any connection between this industrial activity with the high levels of bacteria in the Pacific Ocean prior to approving any changes to the existing collection/discharge regime as proposed by Poseidon."

I ask that you honor this request and not approve the EIR for the Poseidon project until it is complete.

As stated by the Los Angeles Times editorial November 30, 2003: "A thirst for good information is just as important as a thirst for water."

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Name
Address
Phone Number

Here's the letter from State Department of Parks and Recreation:

DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
Orange Coast District

November 17, 2003

City Council Members

City of Huntington Beach
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach CA 92647

Subject: Poseidon Desalinization Plant Environmental Impact Report

Dear Council Members:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed Poseidon Desalinization Plant.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation owns and manages Huntington State Beach for the citizens of California. Millions of visitors annually come to Huntington State Beach to enjoy its wide sandy beach and world renowned surf.

We remain very concerned about the water quality offshore of Huntington State Beach. Since 1999, ocean water quality postings and closures are common place due to high levels of bacterial. While many comprehensive studies have been completed to identify possible sources of this pollution, no apparent "smoking gun" has been identified.

Currently, the AES Huntington Beach Generating Station collects and discharges ocean water offshore of Huntington State Beach. This activity undoubtedly changes the natural littoral environment where the public swims daily. The quality of the discharges from the AES plant was recently analyzed in a water quality study. The findings of this study raises additional concerns regarding bacterial levels of coolant waters that are discharged. The proposal by Poseidon Desalinization Plant to utilize the AES ocean water collection/discharge facility will significantly alter the discharge salinity and make it more resistant to ocean mixing.

In light of the lack of information surrounding the causes of high bacterial levels offshore of Huntington State Beach, we believe permitting a significant change in the makeup of the discharge to the ocean waters near this public beach is premature. We ask that the City of Huntington Beach definitively rule out any connection between this industrial activity with the high levels of bacteria in the Pacific Ocean prior to approving any changes to the existing collection/discharge regime as proposed by Poseidon.

Thank you for considering our comments regarding water quality along the shoreline of Huntington Beach.

Sincerely,

Mike Tope
District Superintendent

Here's the quote in the agenda from the California Coastal Commission dated December 8, 2003, recommending denial of EIR certification:

** Communication from California Coastal Commission dated 12-8-2003 titled Comments on the City of Huntington Beach Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Proposed Poseidon Desalination Facility recommending the City not certify at this time.

Thanks for sending your email (or fax letter to City Clerk at 714-374-1557). Come help and hold up a small sign.

Thanks.

Jan Vandersloot (949) 548-6326

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