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Controversial Otay Mesa Power Plant Proposal Under Scrutiny

The controversial Pio Pico power plant proposal gets a hearing in front of federal regulators Tuesday.

— The Environmental Protection Agency is in San Diego this week seeking comment on a controversial south county power project. Opponents will be on hand to protest the proposed Pio Pico natural gas plant that an energy company is hoping to build near the existing Otay Mesa power plant.

Photo credit: Happy A

The Pio Pico power plant project is not new. In March, the California Public Utilities Commission rejected a San Diego Gas and Electric plan to buy power from the proposed natural gas facility. Regulators concluded that the region didn't need the power.

But the Otay Mesa project was revived after San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant was shutdown prematurely. The EPA is considering the plant's air quality impacts. Opponents say the facility is wrong for the region.

"It's unnecessary," said Kyla Race of the Environmental Health Coalition. "It's expensive. And it's polluting technology that will lock the South Bay into 25 years of pollution and it locks the region into a dirty-energy future."

The EPA meeting is simply to gather pubic comment on the plant.

Meanwhile The California Public Utilities Commission also is mulling over the future of the Pio Pico project. Their decision is expected after the first of the year.

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