CARLSBAD, CA, Feb. 11, 2009 -- Poseidon Resources announced that the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) voted unanimously to take final action on the Carlsbad Desalination Project's Marine Life Mitigation Plan (MLMP) at its regularly scheduled meeting on April 8, 2009.
At today's hearing, the Regional Board heard public testimony from a variety of elected officials, business and labor organizations and individuals overwhelmingly in support of the project. The Regional Board reviewed the MLMP's performance-based approach and directed staff to return in April with a resolution for the consideration of approval of the MLMP.
"The Marine Life Mitigation Plan is the result of an interagency process that culminated in approval by the California Coastal Commission and State Lands Commission," said Poseidon Resources Senior Vice President Peter MacLaggan. "The plan contains strict performance standards and enforcement measures that guarantee the project's insignificant marine life impacts will be fully mitigated. Today's action by the Regional Board will provide for a swift conclusion to the permitting process when the Board meets in April, and it clears the way to start project construction before the end of the year," said MacLaggan.
The Regional Board required Poseidon to prepare the MLMP in April 2008 to fulfill a condition of the project's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued in August 2006. The discharge permit, which lasts for five years, includes a number of strict environmental protections designed to regulate the discharge of the concentrated seawater byproduct of the desalination process. The performance-based mitigation plan is the result of several years of research by renowned scientists, evaluation from independent Coastal Commission experts, and input from local, state and federal agencies. The MLMP was approved by the California Coastal Commission and State Lands Commission in August 2008.
Poseidon's mitigation plan set a precedent established by the Coastal Commission for marine life mitigation acreage by creating, enhancing and restoring up to 55.4 acres of coastal wetland habitat in Southern California. Poseidon has also committed to serve as the steward of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon once the Encina Power Station is fully decommissioned. The lagoon currently supports aquaculture and fishery restoration programs as well as educational, recreational and research opportunities for the community-at-large.
Once operational, the Carlsbad Desalination Project will provide enough drinking water to serve 300,000 residents annually. The facility is scheduled to begin construction this year and be operational in 2011.
Poseidon Resources specializes in developing and financing water infrastructure projects, primarily seawater desalination and water treatment plants. These projects are implemented through innovative public-private partnerships in which private enterprise assumes the developmental and financial risks.