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Carlsbad Desal Plant Gets Final Approval

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Aired 5/13/09

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control board has approved a permit for a proposed desalination plant in Carlsbad. Poseidon Resources says they expect to start construction on the plant later this year. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

The desalination project is located at the Encina Power Station in the City of Carlsbad.
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Above: The desalination project is located at the Encina Power Station in the City of Carlsbad.

— The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control board has approved a permit for a proposed desalination plant in Carlsbad. Poseidon Resources says they expect to start construction on the plant later this year. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

The unanimous vote by the water quality control board apparently marks the end of a six-year regulatory process for Connecticut-based Poseidon Resources.

The discharge permit requires the company to perform sustained monitoring of wetland restoration sites.

Scott Maloni with Poseidon Resources says after 14 public hearings the company is ready to break ground.

"We think that we have all the legal authority we need to move forward with project construction," Maloni says.

The state coastal commission has required Poseidon to restore 55 acres of wetlands as a condition for a development permit.

Marco Gonzalez with the Coast Law Group represents the Surfrider Foundation and San Diego Coastkeeper.

Gonzalez has filed several lawsuits challenging the approvals process, several have been rejected, but two lawsuits are pending.

"This thing is far from over," Gonzalez says.

The desalination plant would be the largest in the western hemisphere and could produce 50-million gallons of drinking water a day by 2012.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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