Re "Water Plant Turned Down," Dec. 17:
The Huntington Beach Planning Commission staff and City Council should be commended for expending the extra effort in studying the very complex issues in the environmental report for the proposed Poseidon desalination plant before rendering their decision.
During extended drought periods, desalination plants, together with water conservation and water reclamation, are certainly worthy of serious consideration in order to continue to maintain a safe and reliable source of drinking water for our residents. However, as was stated by Surfrider Foundation and others, the present Poseidon proposal is inadequate in several important areas and should be denied.
Frequent beach postings and closures, particularly in the surf zone directly in front of the AES power generating plant, not only are a threat to public health but also have a negative impact on the city's economy. Despite the millions of dollars that has been spent, no source has yet been identified as the definitive cause for these chronic postings.
Yet this is the precise location that Poseidon has proposed for the construction of a desalination plant. The precautionary principle suggests that before considering a desalination plant at this location, the source of this chronic seawater contamination be identified and eliminated.
We hope that you agree.