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We reported earlier today that the Mayor’s Office will wait until next week to make an announcement about the future of the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant. I just spoke with Bruce Reznik, executive director of San Diego Coastkeeper, which has been involved in litigation over the plant’s future. He said he was unaware that Mayor Jerry Sanders had decided to announce anything about the sewer plant until reading about it this morning in a local newspaper.
“It was disconcerting that there would be an announcement when we’ve been working on with the Mayor’s Office on the issue,” Reznik said. “We didn’t know anything about it. I don’t know what prompted the press conference (announcement) without touching base with folks or what prompted the delay.”
Coastkeeper has sued before to have the plant upgraded; it has threatened more litigation if the city doesn’t pursue the higher level of treatment at the city’s main sewage plant.
Reznik said Coastkeeper would support two options for the plant:
1. Another federal waiver that would allow the city to postpone upgrades until 2013. Reznik said this option would require an enforceable agreement with city over when the upgrade occurs, including milestones that would have to be overseen by a judge.
2. Another waiver conditioned on the city making a significant investment in indirect potable water reuse, including reusing water to augment reservoirs. Reznik acknowledged that this is a long-shot. Neither the Mayor’s Office nor a majority of the City Council has not supported the practice deridingly called “toilet-to-tap.”
“Absent that, we will challenge the waiver, and we think we have a pretty strong legal claim,” Reznik said.