New Facilities: California Desal Plant in the Works

Poseidon Resources announced on Feb. 10 the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (SARWQCB) unanimously approved an amended National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Project.

SARWQCB first approved the project?s NPDES permit in 2006 enabling the desalination facility to operate in unison with the co-located Huntington Beach Generating Station (HBGS). The amended permit allows the project to operate in a ?stand-alone? mode when the HBGS is temporarily shut down – or when the HBGS is operating – but its seawater discharge volumes are not sufficient to meet the project?s 126.7 mgd intake requirements.

?Poseidon Resources is grateful to the Regional Board and its staff for the thoughtful consideration given to the project,? said Scott Maloni, Poseidon Resources vice president. ?The Regional Board?s approval confirms that the project?s stand-alone operation complies with all applicable state and federal policies, laws and regulations, and the amended permit ensures long-term operational certainty necessary to provide Orange County with a reliable, new drought-proof water supply.?

The California State Water Resources Control Board is the state?s prevailing regulatory authority on water quality and was created by the legislature in 1967 to protect California?s waters. The project?s stand-alone operations are regulated under California Water Code (CWC) Section 13142.5(b), which requires new industrial facilities using seawater for processing to use the best available site, design, technology and mitigation feasible to minimize intake and mortality of marine life. In approving the Huntington Beach desalination facility?s temporary stand-alone operation, the Santa Ana Regional Board found that the project fully complies with CWC Section 13142.5(b).

The Regional Board?s approval of the project clears the way for the California Coastal Commission to consider approval of the final permit necessary before desalination facility construction can start. Poseidon Resources has applied for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) and a permit hearing is anticipated later this year.

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