The can't take a position on whether AES Southland should repower—or rebuild—its ; however, it may be able to request the company complete a much more comprehensive health assessment than the one required by regulations from the California Energy Commission, the Beach Reporter reported in last Thursday's issue.
"We can't take a position on a land use issue," BCHD Chief Medical Officer Lisa Santora told reporter Annie Lubinsky. "That's part of the challenge for the district in navigating this milieu. However, we do have a position on air pollution. We can have an opinion about the negative impact of air pollution on our community."
- Full coverage: Debate Over AES Redondo Beach Power Plant
Due to state regulations against using ocean water for once-through cooling, the current AES Redondo Beach plant must be retired by 2020. Opponents of the plant see the timeline as an opportunity to rid the waterfront of what they call an eyesore that depresses property values and spews pollution into the air.
Proponents of the new plant say that it will be smaller, run cleaner and help supplement AES' clean-energy initiatives like solar and wind power.
The groups No Power Plant and Building a Better Redondo are working together on a voters' initiative to re-zone the land on Harbor Drive for a large park with up to 40 percent commercial use.
According to reporting from the Beach Reporter, BCHD cannot take a position on whether AES Redondo Beach should be rebuilt in its current location, as that would be a land-use issue. Nevertheless, the organization may advocate for a more detailed report on the effect of the power plant's particulate pollution on the local population.
The BCHD's Community Health Committee is tentatively set to consider whether it should recommend that the Board of Directors get involved in the CEC hearing process by advocating for a more comprehensive assessment of the rebuilt plant's environmental and health effects.
BCHD is not the only community organization the groups have asked to take a position on AES' plans to repower. In October, representatives from No Power Plant and AES Southland President Eric Pendergraft gave at a Redondo Beach Joint Council of Parent-Teacher Associations meeting.
At the time, the JCPTA decided to form a committee to examine the issue, JCPTA President Polly Kinsinger told the Redondo Beach Board of Education.
- Full story: BCHD Clarifies Its Role Regarding AES [Beach Reporter]