Appeal court upholds Marin desalination EIR

A California state appeals court on 22 May 2013 backed the Marin Municipal Water District’s desalination proposal by overturning an August 2011 ruling that its environmental impact report (EIR) failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Pleased water district officials say, however, that the district has no immediate plans to implement the desalination plan. In 2010, the district’s board decided to halt further work on the US$ 100-plus million project because water demand had declined.

Marin Superior Court Judge Lynn Duryee had ruled the environmental impact report did not properly describe the environmental setting near the site of the project near the Marin Rod & Gun Club in East San Rafael or fully assess the project’s impact on marine life.

Now that the EIR has been upheld, the district can use it to demonstrate compliance with CEQA standards for any future attempts to construct a desalination plant, though changes in the interim would need consideration.