After seven years of planning, officials with the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach said Thursday that they have been notified they will receive a state permit to treat wild animals by March 19.
Greg Hickman, director of wildlife care services, said that he could scarcely believe the news from the state Department of Fish and Game.
"It's one of those things where you have to see it to believe it," said Hickman, "but I think it's finally a done deal."
The $1-million center will become Orange County's only around-the-clock facility to provide medical treatment for injured wild birds and mammals.
It will also serve as a treatment center for wildlife injured in toxic spills.
The center is a collection of trailers tucked in front of the hulking Southern California Edison power generation plant on Pacific Coast Highway.