Poseidon working on interagency agreement to streamline permitting for Huntington Beach desalination project

Aug. 22, 2016
Planned September Coastal Commission hearing deferred.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, AUGUST 22, 2016 -- Poseidon Water has announced it is working on an agreement with state permitting agencies to streamline the approval process for the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project. The Coastal Commission originally planned to consider the Project’s Coastal Development Permit on September 9; however, Poseidon and Commission staff agreed to defer consideration of the Project’s CDP in order for an interagency agreement clearly defining the remaining permitting process to be finalized.

The Huntington Beach Project will produce 56,000 acre feet per year (50 million gallons per day) of locally controlled, drought-proof drinking water that will reduce Orange County’s need to import water from Northern California and the Colorado River. The Huntington Beach Project is the single largest source of new, local drinking water supply available to the region and is identified in County water planning documents as a planned future water supply. In May 2015, Poseidon and the Orange County Water District reached agreement on the terms for the District to purchase the facility’s full 50 million gallons-per-day capacity.

"California continues to suffer from the effects of the worst recorded drought in state history," said Poseidon Vice President Scott Maloni. "Consistent with Governor Brown’s directive to 'help local water agencies reduce the time required to comply with state-required environmental reviews,' we are grateful to the staffs of the Coastal Commission, State and Regional Water Boards and State Lands Commission for working with us on the most efficient, orderly and timely permitting of the Huntington Beach Project."

In September 2015, Poseidon resubmitted a new application to the Coastal Commission and proposed technological enhancements to the Project’s seawater intake and discharge facilities in order to comply with the State Water Board’s seawater desalination policy, adopted in May 2015. Poseidon first applied for the Coastal Development Permit in 2006. Earlier this month Coastal Commission staff requested that Poseidon postpone the planned September permit hearing and reconsider the sequence of Project permits and approvals.

In June, Poseidon submitted an application to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board to renew and amend its existing 5-year operating permit, which was last issued in 2012 and is due to expire in February 2017. In July, Poseidon submitted an application to the California State Lands Commission to amend a lease agreement for the Project’s seawater intake and discharge facilities, which was first approved in 2010. Poseidon’s Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission and Regional Board applications all include a common description of the Project’s seawater intake and discharge technological enhancements in compliance with the State Water Board’s Desalination Amendment.

Poseidon’s proposed Huntington Beach Project will be the first desalination facility in the world to include 1mm (1/25th inch, approximately the thickness of a credit card) slot width seawater intake screens and through-screen water velocity of less than 0.5 feet per second in an open-ocean setting. The plant will also include state-of-the-art diffuser technology that will ensure that the salinity level in the plant’s seawater discharge meets the State Water Board’s stringent new receiving water quality requirements. These technologies will minimize the intake and mortality of all forms of marine life. Earlier this month Poseidon announced the Huntington Beach plant will be the first large-scale water treatment plant in California to be 100% carbon neutral.

About Poseidon
Poseidon Water specializes in developing and financing water infrastructure projects, primarily seawater desalination and water treatment plants in an environmentally sensitive manner. These projects are implemented through innovative public-private partnerships in which private enterprise assumes the developmental and financial risks. For more information on Poseidon Water and the Huntington Beach desalination facility, visit http://HBfreshwater.com.