PUC Releases Weak Proposed Decision on Regional Water Project

Just over the dunes from the location of the proposed Regional Desalination Plant, a dredge strips sand from the beach. Mt. Carmel beckons in the distance.

Administrative Law Judge, Angela Minkin, released a lengthy, but disappointing, Proposed Decision on the Regional Water Project late this afternoon. It appears to make a few minor improvements to the Settlement and Water Purchase Agreements – like increasing the Marina Coast Water District’s contribution a little and giving the Monterey Peninsula mayors a single, but voting, seat on the project’s “Advisory Committee” (should we be grateful that the people paying over 90% of the project cost – at least those who live in town – will now get to have a representative officially empowered to give toothless advice to the people running the project?). It places a cap on capital costs, but fails to cap operation and maintenance costs, which are likely to be at least twice as high as capital costs … and so on.

In other words, it fails in most respects to correct the problems pointed out by the Division of Ratepayer Advocates and others and is still extremely unfair to the Cal-Am ratepayers – who may well end up saddled with this one-sided deal for the next 90 some-odd years.

Read the Proposed Decision (all 300+ pages of it) here.

Read previous comments of ours on this topic here and here.

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