Cal Am Facing Permit Dilemma

California American Water’s Plan for a desalination plant hit a major hurdle last month when the California Coastal Commission told the company it is not ready to make a decision on its permit.

The news came in a letter dated January 28, 2020 and it recommend Cal Am pull its current application and resubmit at a later date. The Coastal Commission cited its likely inability to make a decision in time to meet its own internal deadline per the Permit Streamlining Act.

Coastal Commission Staff Recommends Denial Of Permit For Cal Am’s Desalination Plant.

The staff of the California Coastal Commission is recommending that commissioners deny a critical coastal development permit for wells that would supply California American Water’s proposed desalination plant near Marina.

The recommendation, published Monday, Oct. 28, is a major blow to Cal Am ahead of the next commission meeting scheduled for Nov. 13-15 in Half Moon Bay. The vote on the wells will take place on Nov. 14, and hundreds of residents of Monterey County are expected to arrive and voice their support for or opposition to the permit.

In their 110-page report, commission staff cited the relatively high cost of the desal project to the public, possible environmental harm, and the availability of an alternative water project.