California Environmental Rights Foundation Violating Coastal Act Regulations
San Diego – Poseidon Resources today announced they have petitioned the state Attorney General and the California Coastal Commission challenging the legal standing of the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (CERF), an opponent of seawater desalination that has twice initiated proceedings to revoke the Coastal Development Permit issued to the Carlsbad Desalination Project.
Poseidon has requested the Coastal Commission Chief Counsel and the State Attorney General dismiss CERF as a participant in the Coastal Commission’s permit revocation hearing on February 10. This is the second time in as many months that CERF and other opponents of seawater desalination have requested that the Coastal Commission revoke the permit issued to the desalination project in November 2007. The first revocation request was rejected by a super majority of the Commission.
Coastal Commission regulations only allow revocation requests to be initiated by “person(s) who did not have an opportunity to fully participate in the original permit proceeding ...” (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 13106). CERF is a newly created environmental litigation organization first registered as a business in the state of California on October 17, 2008. Because CERF did not exist at the time of the original Coastal Development Permit hearing on November 15, 2007, they cannot now participate as a party to the revocation request. CERF’s participation is a violation of Poseidon’s procedural due process rights under the Coastal Act. Poseidon had previously requested the Coastal Commission dismiss CERF as a party to the first revocation request but the Commission did not address the issue at that time. Consequently, Poseidon has now asked the state Attorney General to engage the Costal Commission’s legal counsel.
“Project opponents, led by Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation litigator Marco Gonzalez, have a lengthy history of filing frivolous legal challenges against the Carlsbad Desalination Project,” said Poseidon Resources’ Vice President Scott Maloni. “CERF does not have the legal authority to initiate and participate in Coastal Commission permit revocation proceedings. CERF’s actions are an abuse of the Coastal Commission’s process and a violation of Poseidon’s procedural due process rights. We are requesting that the Coastal Commission enforce their own regulations and remove CERF as a party to the revocation proceedings prior to the February 10 hearing,” said Maloni.
Poseidon has worked in partnership with the City of Carlsbad since 1998 to build the desalination plant, which will have the capacity to produce 50-million-gallons-per-day of high quality drinking water. Once operational, the Carlsbad Desalination Project will provide enough drinking water to serve 300,000 residents annually. Phase I of project construction started in November 2009 and the facility is scheduled to be operational in 2012.
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.
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