Santa Barbara nonprofit sues Lands Commission over Diablo Canyon

August 3, 2016

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power PlantBy JOSH FRIEDMAN

A Santa Barbara-based nonprofit has filed a lawsuit against the California State Lands Commission, alleging the agency wrongfully approved a new lease for the cooling system at Diablo Canyon power plant. The lawsuit claims state law mandates than Diablo Canyon undergo an environmental review.

On June 28, the three-member State Lands Commission voted unanimously to approve a new tidelands lease for the Diablo Canyon cooling system. The decision will allow PG&E to continue operating the nuclear plant until 2025, when the utility plans to shut it down. If PG&E did not obtain the new lease, it faced the possibility of closing Diablo Canyon as early as 2018.

The World Business Academy, a think tank that opposes nuclear power and promotes renewable energy, filed its lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The suit demands that state officials review potential environmental and public health dangers that could occur due to continued operation of Diablo Canyon.

California law mandates a project undergo an environmental review when any unusual circumstances exist, the lawsuit states. The World Business Academy claims there are numerous unusual circumstances surrounding Diablo Canyon. They include: high seismic risk; adverse health impacts from continuing emissions of radioactive isotopes; devastating impacts on marine life; potential adverse impacts from a terror attack; leakage and buildup of radioactive waste; and Diablo Canyon’s status as the sole remaining nuclear plant in California.

Rinaldo Brutoco, the president of the nonprofit, said any of the unusual circumstances should have triggered an environmental review.

“The commission refused to ask the tough questions about the safety and environmental impacts of Diablo Canyon because they feared that a full EIR process would alert the public to Diablo Canyon’s actual environmental and health impacts, thereby possibly forcing PG&E to shut down the plant immediately,” Brutoco said in a statement.

Last December, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, one of the members of the Lands Commission, called for there to be a full environmental review before making a decision on the lease extension. Newsom changed his stance in the aftermath of PG&E’s agreement to close Diablo Canyon by 2025.

At the June Lands Commission meeting, Newsom said more time is needed to plan for the closure of Diablo Canyon. He said San Onofre nuclear power plant shut down too abruptly in 2012.

Some local officials, including Sheriff Ian Parkinson, also said they needed more time to prepare for Diablo Canyon closing. Parkinson sited the budget losses the sheriff’s office faces.



  1. jana says:


    What state agency, what state official?

    The sheriff is responsible for removal and clean up; it is in the Harbors and Navigations code.
    The Sheriff needed an ocean going boat and FEMA bought it.
    You oviously have a hard on for the sheriff and you need to get over it. Crank!

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. jana says:

    The 80-plus miles of Coastline along the San Luis Obispo County is the responsibility of the sheriff to patrol. In fact the Sheriff, not the state or the Coast Guard, is actually in charge of the beaches when the Ponga boats land. They sheriff needed the boat to patrol the coastline and to participate in operation at sea with the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs; it was paid for by FEMA dollars for that purpose.

    As for his budget, what he cited was the emergency siren systems, emergency alert systems, reverse 911 and others that are paid for and maintained by PG&E to the tune of several million annually. When PG&E leaves the county general fund will have to absorb the cost.

    Selling the patrol boat would be stupid since it, the fuel, maintenance and deputy salaries are paid for by the Federal Government and not the County of SLO.

    Kayaknut if you attended a few community meetings you would have heard all of this information and you would not come off sounding like some Crank..

    (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Then why did Sheriff Parkinson say he needed the boat to tow the beached panga boats and then we had the head of a state agency say they always tow the boats and have never requested or suggested the sheriff department do it?, and now who’s the crank? We all know what is going to happen no department or agency that receives PG&E money will do what is necessary to deal with that loss, cut expenses, they will all cry that they will have to cut vital services unless the taxpayers make up the difference.

      And by the way where do you think that federal money, FEMA or other government money comes from? the taxpayers, you speak like many takers, thinking all the money is just free.

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  3. Pelican1 says:

    The WBA is grasping at spent fuel rods…they have no case.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • jimmy_me says:

      This will give PGE’s lawyers a break from defending themselves against faulty gas lines that blow up and kill people.

      (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
  4. Jorge Estrada says:

    What a flagrant misuse of someone else’s money, hire a lawyer to create a need for more dummies to send money. Who would of thought that there would be an internet site just for beggars, GoFundMe, more proof that there’s a new one born every day.

    (4) 10 Total Votes - 7 up - 3 down
    • RonHolt says:

      Did I miss something? How is GoFundMe involved in this? I have no problem with people using the internet to find alternatives to traditional means of raising funds. The problems with GoFundMe are due to its poor screening for fraud.

      However, I do agree with the first comment about the misuse of money to create a “need” to raise more funds. Whether one thinks that Diablo Canyon should be closed for environmental and safety reasons or not, it is ignorant and/or disingenuous to argue that the consequences of doing so quickly are not more of a risk than a gradual phase-down over several years.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  5. kayaknut says:

    “Parkinson sited the budget losses the sheriff’s office faces”, that’s an easy one sheriff, sell you panga toy first.

    (4) 32 Total Votes - 18 up - 14 down
    • Indy thinker says:

      You have brought that up a lot. What is with you and that boat? Over 80 miles of SLO county coastline and the sheriff cant have something to patrol it with?

      (-5) 13 Total Votes - 4 up - 9 down
      • kayaknut says:

        It was a total waste of taxpayer money, and at a time when we are already taxed too much. Plus we have federal agencies that take care of coastlines. Just like the government to have multiple agencies basically doing the same job, all of them claiming the need for more money to again do the same thing.

        (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down

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