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State Agency Considers Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant

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Above: The California Coastal Commission gave Point Loma Waste Water Treatment a third waiver Wednesday saving the City of San Diego $1.5 billion to upgrade the water treatment plant. The editors discuss local environmentalist viewpoints and the mayor's position on the issue.

The California Coastal Commission will decide Wednesday whether an exemption for the Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant is in line with state coastal regulations.

The federal Clean Water Act requires cities to add secondary treatment to sewage before it's discharged into the ocean.

The city of San Diego hasn't had to upgrade the Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant because the EPA has granted the city three exemptions from the law, including one this year.

It is the only sewage plant in the country that does not meet federal clean water rules.

San Diego Coastkeeper has fought the waiver in previous years.

But Bruce Reznik with Coastkeeper says reclaiming that water would be a better way to go.

"We'd rather see time and energy focused on really developing a comprehensive plan to divert sewage from Point Loma, reclaim that water and discharge as little from Point Loma into our ocean as possible," says Reznik.

Other environmental groups are expected to argue that the city should upgrade the plant. That could cost more than $1 billion.

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