Protect our Magnificent Coast and Ocean: Phase out Destructive Cooling Systems at Power Plants
Many of you responded to our call to action early this year urging the California State Water Resources Control Board to enact a strong policy
and regulations to phase out destructive once-through cooling systems at California's coastal power plants. These cooling systems unnecessarily destroy habitats, vacuum up marine life, and allow aging, inefficient, polluting energy generation to continue. Just the 12
Southern California plants alone kill up to 30% of the number of fish recreationally caught in the Southern California Bight each and every year.
Your past support resulted in major improvements to the Board's draft Policy and consequently major improvements to protection of our precious marine life. Thank you for your efforts!!
Unfortunately, powerful industry lobbyists already have convinced the State Board to propose drastic revisions to the new Policy dramatically undermining the protections the State Board just approved.
After five years of independent expert studies and numerous public hearings, the State Boards just-adopted Policy would phase out
once-through cooling in a way that:
- eliminates unnecessary marine life mortality,
- fully protects the state against any disruptions of electrical supply, and
- provides sufficient time and flexibility for power plant owners to prepare and transition to the best available technology for minimizing the ongoing destruction to marine life and habitats.
Now industry is back and they are asking for the same loopholes and delays that were already debated and rejected.
Please tell the State Water Resources Control Board to reject the proposed amendments and keep in place the fair and balanced Policy they already approved. We will collect your letters and submit them on your behalf to the State Water Board, along with letters from our conservation, fishing and environmental justice colleagues who advocate before the State Water Board for a healthy coast and ocean.
Please sign the letter below and send it to Baykeeper at 217 E St. Eureka 95501 or send an email with an electronic signature to
Dear Chair Hoppin & Board Members:
I am writing as a Californian with deep concerns about the health of our
marine life and coastal habitats. Our precious ocean is under numerous
and growing threats. Ensuring healthy and robust bays, estuaries,
coasts, and ocean will mean reducing or eliminating each of those
Your recent adoption of the Policy on the Use of Coastal and Estuarine
Waters for Power Plant Cooling was an important and critical step
towards restoring and protecting our marine environment, protecting the
integrity of Californias electrical grid, and encouraging clean energy
for the future.
I adamantly oppose the recently proposed amendments to the Policy and
request you immediately begin the task of enforcing the current Policys
goals and timelines with no changes to the Policy.
I applaud the Board for your five years of exhaustive independent
research, coordination of multiple environmental and energy agencies,
and extensive public outreach that resulted in a Policy that was fair
and balanced. The final Policy met the difficult multiple goals of:
- eliminating unnecessary marine life mortality,
- fully protecting the state disruption of electrical supply, and
- providing sufficient time and flexibility for power plant owners to
prepare and transition to the best available technology for minimizing
the ongoing destruction to marine life and habitats.
The path that would be set by the amendments under current consideration
was carefully and fully considered in the five years of thorough,
exhaustive research and debate process that resulted in the adoption of
the final Policy. The Clean Water Act mandated the changes incorporated
in the final Policy almost four decades ago. The current amendments are
nothing more than a thinly veiled effort by a powerful industry and
their lobbyists to create even more loopholes and delays efforts that
were already heard and properly rejected by this Board.
Enough is enough. You should be commended for carrying out your duty
under the Clean Water Act to thoroughly study and vet publicly a
reasonable and balanced transition to avoid unnecessary marine life
mortality through employing the best technology available for power
plant cooling. This decision should stand.
By upholding the current language in the adopted Policy, you will have
the deep gratitude and respect of the millions of Californians who care
about our coast and ocean, and the generations of Californians to come
who will surely reap the benefits of your work.