The City of Redondo Beach has submitted a letter to the California Energy Commission (CEC) declaring AES Southland’s application for certification of a project to re-power its Harbor Drive plant “data inadequate.”
Carefully drafted by environmental lawyer David Waite (of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP), the letter references areas of the application the City believes fail “to address – or even raise – certain critical elements and issues related to the Project.”
The letter points out perceived deficiencies in almost every subhead of AES’ lengthy application, including information about the project’s potential impact on land use, noise, traffic and transportation, visual resources, socioeconomics, air quality, public health, hazardous materials handling, waste management, biological resources, water resources, soils, geologic hazards and resources, and transmission system safety and nuisance.
It also deems “data inadequate” the application’s discussion of alternative projects – that would, for example, entail moving the plant inland – and of the possibility that the plant would remain operational without undergoing a re-design. Moreover, Waite explained at a Dec. 18 City Council meeting, the City believes AES has not considered in its application the potential impact of Measure A, which will ask voters on March 5 if they approve the rezoning of the plant’s current site.
On Dec. 20, CEC Executive Director Robert Oglesby replied to the City’s letter, noting that CEC staff had determined the following areas of the AES application – air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, traffic and transportation, transmission system design, and waste management – were data inadequate.
“At the Energy Commission’s business meeting on January 9, 2013, I will recommend that the Energy Commission adopt the staff’s list of deficiencies and not accept the AFC [Application for Certification] as complete until the additional information specified in the staff’s data adequacy worksheets is supplied,” he wrote.
AES Southland and the City of Redondo Beach are waiting for the CEC to make a determination as to whether or not the proposed re-powering project can proceed. At its meeting on Jan. 9, the CEC is expected to make a decision as to whether the AES application contains sufficient information, or is data adequate.
Should the CEC determine that the application in its current form is “data inadequate,” AES will have an opportunity to make further submissions. The City will then be permitted to respond. ER