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    HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A state panel has rejected final approval of a controversial desalination plant in Huntington Beach, a project that had been in the works for two decades.The California Coastal Commission on Thursday voted unanimously against approving a permit for a Poseidon Water desalination facility, which would've been built near the Pacific Coast Highway and Magnolia Street.Poseidon Water said the project would've provided 50 million gallons of drinking water for Orange County residents every day by using reverse osmosis to remove the salt from ocean water.As the leader of a state under severe drought, Gov. Gavin Newsom supported the project. But at Thursday's commission meeting, many spoke out against it."This is one of the worst project locations that desal could happen in the entire state," one person said before the commission.Some environmental groups said it would harm the ocean and marine life, while some on the commission felt alternate plans would be better."Orange County has since been remarkably successful in developing additional supplies of water, most notably through its groundwater replenishment system which provides more than 100...
    The California Coastal Commission (CCC) voted Thursday to reject plans for a desalination plant in Orange County, despite the fact that the state is running out of water in the midst of a drought that has highlighted the need for new water supplies. As Breitbart News reported last month, CCC staff had already recommended against the plant, citing various environmental concerns, though desalination’s only direct impact is the creation of ultra-salty brine that is returned to the vast Pacific Ocean. And as Breitbart News noted in 2018, the Poseidon desalination plant in Carlsbad, California, “has provided some 43 billion gallons of water since [2015]. Its daily output can support 400,000 households, and supplies 10% of San Diego’s needs.” In this case, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) was, perhaps surprisingly, on the side of the desalination project, but the CCC rejected the plan — patly to demonstrate that it was politically independent of the governor’s office, as the Los Angeles Times reported: Despite worsening drought and repeated calls from Gov. Gavin Newsom to tap the Pacific Ocean as a source of drinking water, commissioners...
    After hearing hours of heated debate, the California Coastal Commission voted against a controversial plan by the company Poseidon Water to build a huge desalination plant in Huntington Beach. Despite worsening drought and repeated calls from Gov. Gavin Newsom to tap the Pacific Ocean as a source of drinking water, commissioners voted unanimously against the plan on Thursday night. The decision, which was recommended by commission staff, may end the company’s plans for the $1.4 billion plant. In denying Poseidon a permit, the commission demonstrated its independence from the Newsom administration and also sent the message that high costs, vocal opposition and hazards such as sea-level rise can present major hurdles for large desalination plants on the California coast. The governor had said California needs the desalination plant to cope with extreme drought, and recently warned that a vote against the project would be a “big mistake.” Activists, who called the proposal a boondoggle that would privatize water infrastructure for profit, said the decision was a victory for fact-based regulation over politics. The project was first proposed more than two...
    A state panel on Thursday is expected to consider final approval of a controversial desalination plant in Huntington Beach, a project that has been in the works for two decades.The California Coastal Commission is set to vote on a permit for a Poseidon Water seawater desalination facility at a scheduled meeting.However, some environmental justice, coastal and ocean groups oppose the project.Lydia Ponce, climate justice director for Society of Native Nations said, "We are here as indigenous people to defend, to honor and protect our oceans."Ray Hiemstra with Orange County Coastkeeper which advocates from people's right to clean water said, "Building a desalination plant so that you can continue to hose down driveways and have lavish water wasting landscapes; that's just not California and it's not right."Andrea León Grossmann, climate action director for Azul said, they're asking the commission to deny the permit because they said it will pollute the ocean and kill millions of sea life.She said, "It's all basically being proposed by a private equity firm, a foreign private equity firm, just trying to privatize water."Poseidon Water said their...
    Citing California’s worsening drought conditions, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday urged the California Coastal Commission to give final approval in two weeks for construction of a new $1.4 billion desalination plant on the state’s coastline. The proposed oceanfront facility in Huntington Beach has been under debate for more than 20 years, and its outcome could set a course for other desalination plants on the state’s coast. “We need more tools in the damn tool kit,” Newsom said during a meeting with the Bay Area News Group editorial board when asked about the project. “We are as dumb as we want to be. What more evidence do you need that you need to have more tools in the tool kit than what we’ve experienced? Seven out of the last 10 years have been severe drought.” On Monday the staff of the Coastal Commission recommended that the project be denied, citing its impact on marine life, energy use, its vulnerability to sea level rise, and the potential to drive up water rates for low-income residents. Newsom said a no vote by the...
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Coastal Commission has approved a plan to poison invasive mice threatening rare seabirds on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The agency that regulates California’s coastline voted 5-3 Thursday night to approve a plan to drop about 3000 pounds of poisoned bait from helicopters onto the rocky islands off the San Francisco coast that are home to hundreds of thousands of breeding birds. The move still will require approval from the regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and even then it probably would be at least two years before the program gets underway, officials said. The Farallon Islands refuge is home to an estimated 300,000 breeding seabirds, including the rare ashy storm-petrel. But officials say the population is threatened by mice that first arrived on the islands aboard ships more than a century ago. A mouse at the Farallones National Wildlife Refuge on Oct. 13, 2011. The California Coastal Commission approved a plan to poison invasive mice on the refuge that is home to nesting seabirds. The move still will require...
    The mice of the Farallon Islands think they’ve got it made. They’re out there with ocean views in every direction, picnicking on plants, salamanders and insects like there’s no tomorrow. But there might not be a tomorrow for the lowly rodents, because the United States government is gunning for them. The Fish and Wildlife Service has found the mice indirectly guilty of serial murder in the death of seabirds and sentenced them to death by poisoning, with a key review of the extermination plan up this week before the California Coastal Commission. Each year, burrowing mainland owls fly to the Farallones to feast on the teeming mouse population. When the mice population drops, as it does seasonally, the owls then eat the eggs of the ashy storm petrel, a bird some consider a future candidate for the endangered species list. So the mice are essentially co-conspirators in the demise of the storm petrels, and the question is: How do you poison 60,000 or so mice who live on an island 30 miles off San Francisco? You load helicopters with roughly...
    SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/BCN) – On Thursday, the California Coastal Commission expects to consider a federal plan to drop poisoned bait to kill an invasive mouse species on the Farallon Islands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed the aerial dispersal of the rodenticide Brodifacoum in bait pellets to eradicate house mice that have infested the South Farallon Islands. READ MORE: UPDATE: SF Mayor London Breed Announces Crime Crackdown; 'Less Tolerant Of All The Bulls--t That Has Destroyed Our City'The plan has proponents such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the Marin Audubon Society who say the mice have caused significant impact on other wildlife on the islands, which are home to the largest seabird breeding colony in the lower 48 U.S. states. Feinstein, in a letter to the Coastal Commission, said the use of the rodenticide “has been proven to be safe and effective on nearly 700 islands worldwide, including on California’s Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands National Park,” while the Marin Audubon Society said it would “have long-term benefits, restoring the island to a more natural state.”...
    Marin officials are evaluating a Stinson Beach proposal that pits a property owner’s right to build a home against the increasing risk of sea level rise and efforts to protect the coastal environment. The Marin County Planning Commission held a discussion last week on a coastal permit application by Brian Johnson, who wants to build a two-story, 1,488-square-foot house at 21 Calle del Onda. The project also calls for a 288-square-foot detached garage and a new septic system on the 15,200-square-foot lot. The garage and the septic system are sited in a Federal Emergency Management Agency flood plain. Marin County’s coastal rules prohibit new building in such flood zones. Nevertheless, the county’s planning staff recommended approving a permit for the septic system and house to avoid a lawsuit by Johnson. Under federal law, a regulatory taking occurs when governmental regulations limit the use of private property to such a degree that the landowner is effectively deprived of all economically reasonable use or value of the property. Governments are required to pay just compensation for such takings. “I will point out...
    OCEANO (AP) — The California Coastal Commission has voted to end off-highway vehicle use at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area within three years, a decision that follows decades of debate over environmental and cultural impacts. The 10-0 vote Thursday calls for the prohibition to take effect by 2024 at Oceano Dunes, the only California state park that allows recreational driving on the beach and in dunes. The California Department of Parks and Recreation said it was disappointed by the decision. “At this time, the park will continue to operate under current operational guidelines while State Parks reviews the new conditions,” it said in a statement that also asserted a commitment to protecting natural and cultural resources and ensuring all Californians have access to the park and its diverse recreational opportunities. People in vehicles and on horseback along with dogs and other animals share the sand at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. (AP File Photo/Reed Saxon) The central coast park covers 3,500 acres along 8 miles of shoreline and inland for about 2 miles near the communities of...
    SAN LUIS OBISPO —  There is little common ground in a decades-long battle over off-road recreation, economic freedom and the fate of California’s dwindling coastal resources. While the matter is likely to end up in court, the California Coastal Commission is scheduled Thursday to finally decide whether off-road riding will continue to be permitted at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area — the only state park where vehicles can be driven along the beach. Commission staffers have concluded that off-road vehicle use along the eight miles of shoreline near San Luis Obispo is inconsistent with the Coastal Act and have recommended that it end within five years. But officials at the California Department of Parks and Recreation disagree and say a vehicle ban would be inconsistent with state laws regarding use of off-highway vehicles, or OHV. Instead, they have drafted a management plan that envisions expanding vehicular and OHV use and installing improvements, including campgrounds and concessionaire space, near scenic Oso Flaco Lake, as well as an OHV historic museum and a shooting range. “The meeting on Thursday is...
    Some 60 oceanview homes in Dana Point sit precariously on a landslide-prone bluff, but efforts to upgrade the protective boulder wall lining the beach below have been rebuffed — even as the cliff becomes increasingly vulnerable to rising seas and pounding winter waves. The county is drawing up a third set of plans to submit to the state Coastal Commission, which rejected previous permit applications in 2012 and again last February. But it’s far from certain those plans will be approved by the commission or what recourse homeowners have if an ocean-generated landslide takes their properties. The threat of bluff failure is hardly a new problem for these homes above Strands Beach. The first boulder wall was built there in 1969 in preparation for construction of the residential subdivision, known as Niguel Shores, according to Coastal Commission documents. But the issue is growing more critical there and elsewhere along the California coast, as the commission becomes increasingly adamant about preserving beaches and allowing “coastal migration” to carry the ocean and sands ever farther landward. The likelihood of homes, roads and...
    When Californians dig their feet into the sand and marvel at a seascape uncluttered by Miami high-rises or a Jersey-like shore, some might know to thank the state’s hard-fought history of coastal protection. A unique law, willed into existence by the people of California, declared decades ago that the coast is a public treasure that must be shared by all. Entrusted with this mission is an unusual government agency that has waged many epic battles against the state’s most powerful and wealthy. One woman has been there since the very beginning. Considered the heart and brains of the California Coastal Commission, Susan Hansch has kept the pulse of the agency beating for more than four decades. She is the lesser-known half to the one in charge, the longtime deputy to the numerous men who have taken the helm. Have a question that can’t be answered? Ask Susan. Unsure about some arcane piece of legislation? Call Susan. She’s the gut check, the one who dots the I’s and catches all the blind spots. A firm but friendly force of reason, this...
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