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RBUSD to Consider Power Plant Position

The Redondo Beach Board of Education will consider whether to take a position on the application to repower AES Redondo Beach.

The Redondo Beach Board of Education will discuss Tuesday whether it should take a position on the application to the California Energy Commission to build a new power plant to replace the aging AES Redondo Beach plant on Harbor Drive.

The item was put on the agenda at the request of two Redondo Beach parents who are staunch anti-power plant activists. One of the activists was Dawn Esser, the leader of the NoPowerPlant.com political action committee, who stressed that a new plant would produce more particulate pollution that would affect the health of children in the district.

On Nov. 13, both Esser and parent Scott Kaplan asked the school board to pass a resolution opposing a new power plant and to write a letter to the CEC stating the school board's opposition.

The current AES Redondo Beach power plant uses once-through cooling, during which ocean water is used to cool the superheated steam used to spin the turbines that generate electricity. Due to new regulations banning once-through cooling, the plant must be retired, rebuilt or obtain a special exemption to continue operating by 2020.

AES has submitted plans to rebuild the plant; however, opponents of the power plant—including NoPowerPlant.com—placed a measure on the March ballot. Measure A, previously known as the Power Plant Phase-Out Initiative, would rezone the AES property for up to 40 percent commercial and institutional uses and at least 60 percent parkland. Power generation would not be allowed on the property after 2020 if the measure passes.

Parent company AES Southland argues that a new plant will run cleaner, take up a smaller footprint, and provide California's energy grid with much-needed flexibility. Power plant opponents, on the other hand, contend the new plant will run more and produce more pollution, as well as continue to depress property values.

No staff report was attached to the online edition of Tuesday night's school board agenda, so it's unclear whether the board will debate whether to support or oppose AES' plans to rebuild as a whole, or focus on Measure A.

sheri patterson December 11, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Nicole, rather report what AES says, now that they've filed their state application, the emission data is public information. It doesn't matter what AES "says" anymore, all that matters is the data contained in the application and every parent should have access to that information. You've done a great job reporting on this issue and I commend you for that. I think it's time to let the facts speak for themselves on this issue rather writing what "he/she/they" say. Facts are all that matters at this stage on this important issue. And per AES' state filing, particulate emissions are increasing anywhere from 500%-1500%. Yes, 500% is the best case scenario. Not 5 or 50%, 500%. So the plant will hardly be "cleaner". Why not contact AES and have them send you their projected emissions for their new plant? It's public record so they shouldn't have any problem sharing this with Patch and every other local newspaper. --Thanks for all you do :-)
Dawn Esser December 11, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Totally agree with Sheri on this issue. Let's start reporting the facts stated in their filing. If you are reporting on particulate matter increasing, you should state the exact amount increasing per AES's filing, not just that it will increase per Dawn Esser. People need to get the facts instead of the word smithing AES puts out. Please consider this in your next article about pollution and particulate matter. Thanks Nicole!
Adele Gleichman December 11, 2012 at 06:14 PM
It is clearly in the best interests of all Redondo Beach children to have the AES power generating plant removed from our city. A December 4, 2012 article in the Los Angeles Times cites current research is showing that air pollution in the form of particulates is shortening lives and causing asthma and other lung diseases. In order for Redondo Beach to be a truly healthy environment for our children, the power plant must go. The Redondo Beach School District needs to stand up for the health of their students and take a stand opposing the rebuilding of the AES power plant. Redondo Beach students need the School Board to support Measure A.
Cindy Elias December 11, 2012 at 08:59 PM
As a very concerned parent in Redondo Beach, I strongly urge RBUSD to take a stand and pass a resolution opposing the rebuilding of the AES power plant. Not only has it been factually documented that the power from this plant is not needed for the Los Angeles grid now or in the distant future, but, the significantly higher level of particulate matter would be at the detriment of our children who participate in the RBUSD physical fitness programs(Jogathons, Jump for Heart, the Wellness program, Growing Children and more. Some of these programs are sponsored by Beach Cities Health District which works hand in hand with the school district. Our children can go more successfully from good to great if they have healthier air to breath.
Joan Davidson December 11, 2012 at 09:14 PM
As a past president of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified District School Board I have been very concerned with children's health and the AES plant. In this day and age there is no reason to run such a plant in a densely populated neighborhood. Everyone should support "No Power Plant". Protect kids and residents. Joan Davidson
Don Vangeloff December 11, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Nicole, I agree with the above. Reporting a new plant will run "cleaner" without referencing the fact that AES has submitted it will run much more often (25% of the time, or more vs today's 6%) is a big gap in the picture. As for the RBUSD, glad they are taking up the issue. RBUSD are stewards not only of our children, but also of our Bond money (3 bonds in last 11 years) - I hope they take this responsibility seriously and weigh in favor of the community who clearly do not want a new powerplant. Particularly when AES does very little to our economic base (AES taxes to City of RB are 1/3 what City earns in parking meters at the Pier!!!)
Alexander Starr December 11, 2012 at 09:55 PM
A top priority for RBUSD is to look out for the health of the students. Take a stand and fight for them. No new power plant and YES on MEASURE A!!
L. Campeggi December 11, 2012 at 10:36 PM
An increase in toxic, particulate matter, from the current 3.3 tons annually, to a potential of 49.7 tons annually running at a full 73% capacity, is HUGE ... DANGEROUSLY huge. Any increase in this type of pollution is outrageous and should not be tolerated. It's scary to think that 20 years into the future, one might have a "new Erin Brokovich" filing a class action suit resembling health effects caused by a new power plant here. We learn more every day about particulate matter, and it's not a pretty picture. For the RBUSD to take a position opposing this hurts no one. It doesn't cost anything, doesn't decide anything, but sends a big message to parents and the community that our school board takes the job of placing the health and safety of children first seriously, whenever and wherever possible. More $$ in tax revenue would also be realized from that property with zoning that creates a significant increase in economic value. Perhaps it might augment the bond measures that Mr. Vangeloff mentioned, easing some of those additional tax burdens of Redondo Beach residents, too! At the very least, support a healthy environment for children, consistent with the Vitality City, Walking School Bus programs, etc. That doesn't include a new power plant, with increased particulate matter pollution, with over 6,500 students within a 1.5 mile radius, downwind of the power plant on a daily basis.
Nicole Mooradian (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Hi Don, If you kept reading the paragraph, you would see that I noted that it would run more often. It's the first thing mentioned in the next sentence, in fact.
Bill Brand December 11, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Here is a link to the Air Quality section of the AES application filed with the California Energy Commission last month. In AES' own report, they show current particulate emissions going from 3.3 tons to 49.7 tons! That's not 'opponents' contending something. Those are now the facts. But I should point out that all our contentions to date have been vindicated with the recent AES filing. Go to Table 5.1-17 for AES' own numbers. This is at the max operating capacity, but even at half that, the emissions still increase by 700%! Nicole, agree with Sheri above. It's time to start saying, "AES' own application shows only one pollutant slightly decreasing and the rest increasing; some by as much as much 1500% because it will run so much more often." http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/redondo_beach/documents/applicant/AFC/Vol_1/RBEP_5.1_Air%20Quality.pdf
L. Campeggi December 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Hey Nicole, More often is so wide-ranging with many interpretations. Perhaps it's just simpler to cite "runs at 6.18% capacity currently, asking to be permitted for 25% to 73% capacity for a new power plant." What that equates to regarding the increase in particulate matter (PM) polllution is: 6.18% run rate YTD through Sept. 2012 - 3.3 tons PM reported annually 25% capacity run rate = 17.1 tons PM per AES' 11-20-12 CEC application 42% capacity run rate = 28.7 tons PM per AES' 11-20-12 CEC application 73% capacity run rate = 49.7 tons PM per AES' 11-20-12 CEC application It's kind of like saying 60% parkland on the Measure A rezoning when it should say 60%-70% recreation / open space. People read "parkland" and don't glean that "parkland" includes recreation like sports fields/courts, picnic areas, water features, bike paths and more. Anyway, don't want to harp too much on that one here as this article is about the school board. Thanks for continuing to report on this critical issue.
Fred Reardon December 12, 2012 at 12:43 AM
We desperately need more leaders in our community to step up, be courageous, and speak out against this toxic threat to the health and safety of our children!
Gerry O'Connor December 12, 2012 at 07:36 AM
Simply amazing. No matter how high the pile of facts continues to grow, AES's alternative pile of intentional misrepresentations still gets reported upon as though it has legitimate foundation. I don't yet know what happened in tonight's RBUSD Board meeting, but as others have pointed out this clearly *is* a School District issue, and It's high time some other Redondo elected representatives join Bill Brand in actually considering and fully comprehending the abundance of facts, and properly representing the clear desire of a majority of their constituents by taking a firm stand in opposition to a new Redondo power plant. It really is that simple.

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