August 13, 2009
Panel denies San Diego's waiver request
In a dramatic defeat for San Diego, the California Coastal Commission on Thursday denied the city's request to continue operating the region's main sewage treatment facility below the minimum pollution standard.
San Diego is expected to appeal to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for its third waiver from the Clean Water Act. If that fails, it could be on the hook for paying up to $1.5 billion to upgrade its Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The city would likely have to raise sewer rates to help pay for such a project.
At their monthly meeting in San Francisco, the coastal commissioners voted against the recommendations of their staff, state water-quality regulators and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.