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State Agency Considers Revoking Permit For Carlsbad Desalination Plant

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Aired 12/9/09

The California Coastal Commission is considering a request by environmental groups to revoke a development permit for a company that wants to build a desalination plant in Carlsbad.

The California Coastal Commission is considering a request by environmental groups to revoke a development permit for a company that wants to build a desalination plant in Carlsbad.

On Thursday, the Coastal Commission will consider revoking Poseidon Resources' coastal development permit. The revocation request was filed by the Surfrider Foundation and two other groups.

Marco Gonzales is with the Encinitas-based Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation. He says Poseidon Resources withheld information from the state Coastal Commission.

"Basically they didn't disclose all of the data that they had in their possession regarding just how harmful this plant would be," says Gonzalez.

Gonzales says the desalination plant would trap and kill more fish than disclosed to the coastal commission.

Scott Maloni with Poseidon Resources says the revocation request is "a last ditch effort" by opponents of seawater desalination to stop the project. He calls the action "frivolous and without merit."

Poseidon has started preparing the site for construction but, if the request is granted, the company would have to stop construction and reapply for a new permit.

Maloni says that, when completed, the desalination plant will have the capacity to convert seawater into 50 million gallons of drinking water each day.

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