California Coastal Commission Delays Poseidon’s Huntington Beach Desal Plant

Huntington Beach Pier

The California Coastal Commission dealt a setback this week to Poseidon, a company trying to build a $900 million ocean water desalination plant in Huntington Beach. It is a setback, but it is unlikely to defeat the corporation’s 15-year effort.

Poseidon Resources Vice President Scott Maloni said the company would resubmit its application after completing studies of the ocean floor as required by the commission in its latest review. An estimated 127 million gallons of seawater will likely be required to produce roughly 50 million gallons of freshwater daily.

Continue reading California Coastal Commission Delays Poseidon’s Huntington Beach Desal Plant

Big Coal Targets Northwest to Get to Asian Markets – Environmentalists Fight Back

Cherry Point Reach, Washington State

In Cherry Point, Washington, north of Bellingham, conservationists have worked for more than a decade to restore the annual herring runs that occur off the coast. Over the past 40 years, stocks have declined on this 10-mile stretch of coastline from about 17,000 tons of herring spawning off the coast to less than 1,000 tons.

Biologists who have studied the problem blame three refineries, which combined see about 600 to 700 ship visits per year. Now one of the world’s largest shipping companies, SSA Marine, wants to build a new terminal here with the potential to ship up to 50 million tons of North American coal annually to China. The so-called Gateway Pacific Terminal would double ship traffic with much larger vessels and increase rail traffic in the region. Continue reading Big Coal Targets Northwest to Get to Asian Markets – Environmentalists Fight Back

Cruising the Arctic

Experts warn the Arctic is ill equipped to deal with a potential cruise ship disaster

The M/S Explorer cruise ship sinks hours after hitting an iceberg off the coast of the Antarctic

Thanks to global warming, more ships than ever before will likely venture beyond the Arctic Circle this year. The melting polar ice caps have opened up new routes in recent years for natural gas exploration and tourism.

But the increased traffic, while it might be good for business, could have dire consequences in a region that is ill-prepared for a possible disaster, say experts interviewed for this story.

Lawson Brigham, a professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and lead author of the 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, warns that rescue and salvage capabilities along with adequate navigational charts in much of the Arctic are limited. Combined with deadly cold water, an accident could be disastrous, he says. Continue reading Cruising the Arctic

Poseidon Resources’s Private, For-Profit California Desalination Projects Face Challenges on Two Fronts

A sea lion on buoy number 14 in San Diego Bay

San Diego Water Board Still Weighing Options Over Desal

After more than a decade spent talking about building a large-scale ocean desalination plant in Carlsbad, California, the private equity firm proposing to finance the project has one last hurdle to overcome: It needs someone to agree to buy the water.

Poseidon Resources has put forth several iterations over the years of its proposed plant in San Diego County, expected to produce up to 50 million gallons of freshwater daily. In one attempt, Poseidon inked agreements with local water agencies claiming it could sell water at no greater cost than imported water supplies.

But investors and members of the San Diego County Water Authority, both of whom Poseidon needs for support, balked at the claim and those agreements were scrapped. Continue reading Poseidon Resources’s Private, For-Profit California Desalination Projects Face Challenges on Two Fronts