California Coastal Commission OKs desalination plant in Orange County
LOS ANGELES — The California Coastal Commission on Monday unanimously approved the site and plans for a desalination plant slated to provide water to about 100,000 people in Southern California.
The commission had given the project a preliminary OK in May, but asked the Navy to study the project further. The Navy is expected to determine that the project can reduce its carbon footprint and can generate enough energy to meet the energy requirements of the area.
The project on Lighthouse Drive between Garden Grove and Laguna Woods has been in the works for a little more than a year. The site was chosen because of the coastal views and because its construction will not disturb the surrounding neighborhoods, according to the state Coastal Commission’s Jan. 8 decision.
The project still requires approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the California Fish and Wildlife Commission and the California State Lands Commission.
The state Coastal Commission is charged with regulating the use and development of state lands, waters and rights-of-way. The group’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Southern Californians.
As part of its mission, the Coastal Commission is looking to expand its authority in environmental law to include economic development, particularly in urban areas.
“The Coastal Commission has been a leader in advancing environmental protection and economic and policy development along our coast,” said Lisa Bartley, director of the Coastal Commission. “It has long been one of the most effective and powerful regulators in the state, and is expected to continue to grow in effectiveness and power.”
The state Coastal Commission is currently working on plans for the San Diego County Sanitary Landfill, which is already in the planning stages.
The state says it plans to develop an economic development plan for Southern California in 2013.
The state has been working with the Army Corps of Engineers on the Central Valley desalination plant, the largest of which will tap into water from the Colorado River.
At the San Diego County Sanitary Landfill, the state plans to build as far into the San Joaquin River as is safe, while protecting the endangered Sacramento River and the water supply for the City of Auburn.
About 10 million people live in the San