Mayor wants to have say on Poseidon

Huntington Beach Mayor Connie Boardman wants to send a letter asking the California Coastal Commission to deny Poseidon Resource's permit application.

She will be asking council members Monday to allow her to write the commission addressing "substantial issues" found in the desalination plant producer's application.

Boardman initially wrote a lengthy letter that included the Coastal Commission's opinions in its 2010 appeal. That letter was mentioned in the City Council agenda for its May 1 meeting but it has since been shortened to simply ask commissioners to deny Poseidon's request, she said.

"The city attorney is concerned that if the council were to adopt that letter, it would be like adopting new findings without a public hearing, which would deny the applicant due process," Boardman said.

Boardman's initial letter highlighted nine reasons why the Coastal Commission should deny Poseidon's application.

The Surf City mayor wrote that the project is inconsistent with the city's local coastal program in several areas, including marine biology and water quality, the protection of wetlands, land and energy use and protection against seismic events and liquefaction.

In the first letter, Boardman wrote that the desalination group insufficiently addresses the plant's impact on water quality and sea life, writing that "highly saline discharge will not enhance the marine environment."

The mayor also wrote that Poseidon hasn't reduced the project's anticipated effects to the greatest extent. These include the likely loss of marine life, drop in water quality and harm to wetland wildlife caused by noise.

Poseidon received a notice from the commission staff on April 22 asking the group to send more information regarding the project to complete its application. The Connecticut-based water group has been sent 12 notices since 2006.

"I don't know whether they'll be able to address the concerns the commission staff raised in that letter by June," she said, referring to Poseidon's goal to meet with the Coastal Commission by summer.

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