Every year that it converts a bit of the Pacific Ocean into drinking water, the proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant would kill tiny marine life crucial to the sea’s food web.
Questions of how and when to offset that environmental harm remain unresolved in regulators’ ongoing review of Poseidon Water’s plans to build a $1-billion desalting plant on the Orange County coastline.
After a nearly nine-month pause, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board last week resumed consideration of the project, which has been clouded by complaints that it is benefiting from political interference by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration.
The board reopened its Poseidon proceedings Friday with statements by three members who rejected opponents’ demands that they recuse themselves in the wake of February disclosures that they had been contacted by a high-ranking administration official during project hearings in the summer.
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