Cambria desalt plant plan hits snag
December 16, 2011
Current plans for a desalination plant to serve the Cambria area were waylaid Thursday by the California Coastal Commission when the panel ruled Santa Rosa Creek is off limits for intake and outfall facilities.
Specifically, the commission agreed unanimously that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ planned testing of soil and water at the creek mouth would be “inconsistent” with state coastal regulations. The proposed desalt plant would be located inland, requiring the use of pipelines and pump facilities to deliver sea water and effluent to and from the plant.
Officials of the commission said the Corps could defer to the decision, or proceed as planned and risk a lawsuit.
Despite critical water supply and quality issues, the desalt plant concept in Cambria has been controversial, partly because of a thick layer of state and local regulations intended to protect the coastline.