Huntington Beach, California
We have joined the team that represents two environmental groups suing the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region, for its decision to issue an NPDES permit to Poseidon Water for its proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach. In 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board amended its Water Quality Control Plan for Ocean Waters to protect marine life and resources while setting forth a process to evaluate proposed desalination facilities. This particular proposed desalination plant brought some serious political clout, using a retired senator for its lobbying efforts, using the Governor’s Office to lobby Regional Board members, replacing critical Board members with project-friendly ones, and benefiting from political donations made by trade groups to Regional Board members. But while it’s understandable that 22 years of such efforts finally wore down the Regional Board, they were still required to follow the process required by the State Board’s Ocean Plan amendment. That failure is the heart of this challenge. We’ll keep you posted as it moves forward.