Santa Cruz IMC
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Indybay Feature
Sierra Club Opposes the CalAm Desalination Project
by Sierra Club - Ventana Chapter
Sunday Oct 6th, 2019 11:28 AM
The City of Marina, Marina Coast Water District and Citizens for Just Water will be challenging the approval of a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the CalAm Slant Well Desalination project at a de novo hearing before the CA Coastal Commission on November 14, 2019. This is an all-important last major approval for CalAm and the outcome will either stop the project outright or advance the project to the building stage. This project contains major flaws that were not considered by the CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in its approval of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) in September, 2018.
Among these fatal flaws are:

* Lack of review of state-of-the-art science i.e. AEM study (Airborne Electro-magnetic imaging) completed by Stanford University that demonstrates harm to the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin, Marina’s sole source of water

* Lack of any current groundwater rights to pump from a neighboring jurisdiction’s basin

* Failure to review the feasible recycled water alternative (Pure Water Monterey Expansion project by Monterey One Water) that would make the CalAm project unnecessary and meet the water needs of the Peninsula for 40-50 years

* Marina's community values and needs as a disadvantaged community from which CalAm plans to extract massive amounts of unauthorized water from a critically overdrafted basin and create permanent damage to shoreline ESHA (Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas) that host rare and endangered species on pristine beaches

As such, Sierra Club wrote a letter on September 13, 2019 to the Coastal Commission to urge them to carefully consider the PWM (Pure Water Monterey) supplemental water alternative before issuing a CDP for Cal-Am to construct a desalination facility at Marina City.

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