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Surfrider Foundation v. California Regional Water Quality Control Board

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20248
Nos. D060382, (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist., 11/30/2012)

A California appellate court upheld a regional water board's approval of a NPDES permit to build a desalination facility on the coast of Carlsbad, California. An environmental group argued that the board improperly required the facility to restore wetlands in lieu of implementing site, design and technology measures to reduce the intake and mortality of marine life. But there is no factual support for the group's contention that wetlands restoration was the only substantive measure put in place to reduce the intake and mortality of marine life. Rather, the board's minimization plan relies on a combination of site, design, technology and mitigation measures to reduce the intake and mortality of marine life. Nor did the board err in including after-the-fact restoration of wetlands as part of its minimization plan.