OC WISE Releases New Report on Effects of Huntington Beach Desalination Plant

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2016                                                                                              
 
Contact: Robert Sulnick
 
Scientific Report: “No Evidence that a Seafloor Infiltration Gallery (SIG) will Minimize Mortality of Marine Life at Proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Plant”
 
Orange, Calif. – OC WISE, a diverse, non-partisan coalition that supports the development of all forms of new, local drought-proof water for Orange County, released a scientific report today which concludes there is no scientific justification supporting the assertion that a Seafloor Infiltration Gallery (SIG) at a proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant will significantly reduce mortality of marine life. 
 
Mindful of the current debate over the kind of intake that should be allowed by the California Coastal Commission (SIG or screened ocean intake) at the proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant, OC WISE commissioned the Report authored by marine biology expert Dr. Daniel Cartamil, who currently holds a research position at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.
 
“Given the contention over the kind of intake the project should be required to build, we commissioned the study to provide scientific input to the Commissioners in making their decision”, said Robert H. Sulnick, OC WISE’s Executive Director
 
An Appendix to the Report, peer-reviewed and supported by 14 marine biologists, concluded:  “Although SIG intakes are purported to reduce or eliminate [marine mortality] impacts, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support this assertion.” See the full report here
 
“Seafloor Infiltration Gallery (SIG) intakes have not been demonstrated to be effective at minimizing intake and mortality of marine life”, said marine biologist and author of the Report Daniel Cartamil.  He went onto say, “There is no scientific justification for the assertion that SIGs will eliminate impingement and entrainment [mortality] of planktonic organisms at the proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant site. In addition, the construction and operation of a SIG at this location may have extensive and deleterious impacts to benthic habitat and organisms.”
 
It is anticipated the Coastal Commission will consider the project, including the kind of intake required, at its September 8th meeting in Newport Beach.

 

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