In a defeat for the health of our local oceans, the State Water Resources Control Board voted 2-1 Tuesday to grant LADWP an additional nine years to phase out harmful once-through cooling at its three coastal power plants. The Water Board voted for the extension despite the fact that California’s energy agencies determined that DWP’s compliance plan and extension proposal did not provide enough information to justify an extension from the previously approved 2020 deadline. The nine-year extension was practically pulled out of thin air by board chair Charlie Hoppin, and Fran Spivy Weber supported the move. The extension will result in the ichthyocide of approximately an additional 30 billion larval and adult fish, with local energy plants allowed to continue the practice of sucking water – and animal life -- out of the sea to cool themselves. It was definitely horrible news for local fish populations. Board member Tam Doduc was the lone voice for holding DWP accountable until it could provide adequate information to substantiate a compliance deadline extension.
In addition to extending the temporal impacts of sucking the life out of the ocean, the water board set a horrible precedent for the other California coastal power generators.
By approving a long-compliance extension despite the lack of a compliance plan approved by state energy agencies (California Energy Commission, Public Utility Commission and Cal-ISO), the board decided to award the extension for the following reasons: