The California Coastal Commission approved Poseidon Resources’ plan to build a seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad by a 9-3 vote Thursday night.

The vote largely clears the way for construction of the plant, which will convert 100 million gallons of seawater into 50 million gallons of drinking water each day. (The other 50 million extra-salty gallons will be mixed with more water and dumped back in the ocean.)

Connecticut-based Poseidon must still return to the commission for approval of its plan to offset its carbon emissions and its mitigation strategy in the San Dieguito River Park.

San Diego City Councilman Ben Hueso made the motion in support of it and was joined by commissioners Steve Blank, William Burke, Steven Kram, Patrick Kruer, Bonnie Neely, Dave Potter, Larry Clark and Khatchik Achadjian. Commissioners Sara Wan, Mary Shallenberger and Mike Reilly voted against the proposal.

The plant also needs approval from the State Lands Commission. The commission heard Poseidon’s case in late October but delayed a decision until its Dec. 3 meeting.


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