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Groups File Another Challenge To Carlsbad Desalination Project

The California Coastal Commission rejected a challenge Thursday to a proposed desalination project in Carlsbad. But, opponents have filed another request to revoke the plant's development permit.

The Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Coastkeeper and the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation lost their first attempt to have the development permit for the desalination plant revoked.

Now the three environmental groups have filed another revocation request.

Marco Gonzalez is with the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation.

He says there are problems with Poseidon's plans to offset greenhouse gas emissions.

"They really do have some very significant hurdles to cross before this project can be built," says Gonzalez.

At issue is whether the water produced at the desalination plant is intended to replace the same quantity imported from other sources. Poseidon Resources said it never made that promise.

Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas said that's new information.

"And frankly we have not yet decided at our level whether we're going to recommend revocation of the permit based on that new revelation of information," said Douglas.

Douglas said another permit revocation hearing could be held if Poseidon does not amend their application.

"And we think that there's nothing new or nothing that has changed in terms of the greenhouse gas plan that would require an amendment to our permit," said Scott Maloni with Poseidon Resources. "They're going to be hard-pressed to find grounds for revocation on the greenhouse gas plan."

Coastal Commissioner Esther Sanchez of Oceanside voted to reject the revocation request, but she said Poseidon Resources should work more closely with the state Coastal Commission.

"I encourage Poseidon to be as transparent and to work with staff, work with us, there's no reason for delays," said Sanchez.

Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas says he'll take action at a future meeting that could lead to a staff recommendation to revoke the development permit.

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