An August, 2010 SLO Coast Journal article reported issues regarding Morro Bay Mutual Water, a PG&E affiliate that is located on Morro Bay Power Plant (MBPP) property and supplies water to the PG&E substation and the power plant The article stated, in part, that "The water is drawn from wells and is used for domestic purposes, irrigation, and fire protection. Discussion of a permit request at the May 3, 2010 Morro Bay Planning Commission meeting was the first time most Morro Bay residents had heard of the facility, which had requested a Coastal Development Permit for the abandonment of a well, and the drilling of another to replace it."
The permit was granted and work on the well commenced, but on September 23, 2010, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) issued a notice announcing a public hearing on the issue. The notice stated that Coastal Commissioners Mark Stone and Sara Wan were appealing the permit, and that the appeal would be heard at the October 14 CCC meeting.
The CCC staff report on the appeal stated, in part, "The City approved a CDP to abandon an existing private water supply well and to drill and use a new private water supply well. The certified City of Morro Bay LCP does not allow for private water wells, requires protection of water resources for Coastal Act and LCP priority uses, and requires protection of groundwater quantity and quality in order to protect riparian and creek habitat and ESHA. The appellants contend that the City’s decision is inconsistent with the LCP with regard to the public works and habitat protection policies. Staff believes that the appeal raises substantial LCP conformance issues. The City’s CDP decision authorizes a private water supply well within the City limits, where private water wells are not allowed. In addition, the City did not evaluate the hydrological and biological impacts of the use of the water extracted from the new well, and did not include conditions of approval to ensure that the project would be consistent with the water supply protection or habitat protection policies of the LCP."
At the October 14 CCC meeting, it was announced that the appeal had been withdrawn. In response to a subsequent inquiry by a Morro Bay resident, a CCC staff member stated that Dynegy had withdrawn its permit application prior to the hearing, and so the appeal was withdrawn as well. The staff member further indicated that Dynegy had stated its intent to work with Morro Bay officials to determine if there is a way to address the concerns raised by the CCC in such a way as to allow the new well to be used. If a means to accomplish that objective cannot be found, the spokesperson said, the new well will be removed.