Cambria desalination plant facing closure
April 17, 2017
By KAREN VELIE
Editor’s Note: The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s complaint is included at the bottom of this article.
The state of California is working to close down the Cambria Community Services District $13 million desalination plant because district staffers have failed to comply with environmental requirements. In addition, the district is facing almost $800,000 in fines.
On Feb. 9, the water board slapped Cambria with three notices of violation. At that time, the district was facing almost $600,000 in fines because district staff has chronically filed late reports and failed to comply with water quality regulations, according to the Feb. 9 complaint.
In one of the notices of violation, the water board ordered the district to provide technical information and reports or face additional fines and state enforcement.
Nevertheless, the district failed to follow the water board’s requirement. As a result, water board staff is preparing a cease and desist order for the evaporation pond and a civil liability complaint, according to an April 13 letter. Without the pond, the desalination plant cannot operate.
In its letter, the water board included a list of 162 newly discovered violations regarding the district’s failure to comply with state clean water requirements.