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Feds Say ‘Green’ Water District|Will Hurt Camp Pendleton Marines

SAN DIEGO - The government sued a Southern California water district for allegedly failing to consider the impact of its proposed wastewater reclamation and solar power facilities on the availability and quality of water at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base.

Rancho California Water District plans to increase the daily wastewater treatment capacity at its Santa Rosa Facility from 5 million gallons per day to 7 million gallons per day, and build a 1.2-megawatt solar power plant to run the Santa Rosa Facility. The government says Rancho failed to prepare an adequate Environmental Impact Report on the expected massive increase in production of recycled water at Santa Rosa. It claims Rancho improperly ratified a draft environmental report and used two earlier reports - one written 27 years ago, and another 11 years old. Those reports are irrelevant now that the area has an exponentially larger population, the government says.

The government claims that Rancho has illegally treated the proposed expansion of the Santa Rosa facility and the change in the water treatment process as two small, separate adjustments. The government says the changes are two parts of a much larger plan of coordinated reclamation and reuse of recycled water in the Santa Margarita Watershed.

The government also claims that Rancho plans to build a demineralizing facility to clean waste water from the Santa Rosa Facility for agricultural use, allowing it to save potable water for drinking. That construction would result in a significant environmental impact, says the government, yet Rancho failed to include discussion of the facility in its impact statement.

The government demands immediate injunctive relief.

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