Carlsbad desalination challenge dismissed by state board

The California State Water Resources Control Board on 23 March 2010 dismissed a permit appeal filed by Surfrider Foundation and San Diego Coastkeeper challenging the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s unanimous approval of the marine life mitigation plan for the Carlsbad Desalination Project.

The plan is a condition to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued to the project by the San Diego board in 2006.

In denying the appeal, the California board upheld the regional board’s determination that the project complies with the California Water Code by using the best available site, design, technology and mitigation measures feasible to minimize the intake and mortality of all forms of marine life.

In its latest ruling, the state board concluded the latest petition “failed to raise any substantial issues appropriate for review by the board”. Over a seven-year permitting period from 2003-2009, the project underwent approximately 20 public hearings and over 100 hours of public testimony and deliberation.

Phase I of project construction started in November 2009. The facility is scheduled to be operational in 2012.