Public Argues For, Against Huntington Beach Desalination Plant, Decision Near

The 20-year battle between seawater desalters and Orange County environmentalists and community activists neared a turning point Thursday, the first in a series of final public hearings around a Huntington Beach desalination plant proposal before local regulators.

Hearings and public comments at the state regional water board started Thursday, are continuing today, and could continue to Aug. 7, if needed, with a vote on the required permits for the $1 billion water desalting project planned at the end of the hearings.

Proposed by the Poseidon Water company, the project has become one of the largest battles over Orange County’s coastline in decades.