EPA May Block 1st TX Seawater Desalination Plant
The Environmental Protection Agency has concerns about water quality and could refuse recognition of a permit to build a Seawater Desalination Plant in the Port of Corpus Christi.
The world's largest inland desalination plant is The Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant which is in El Paso and turns brackish groundwater into freshwater. There are 50 other Desalination plants of this type in Texas as well.
Now because of EPA concerns, the proposed first seawater desalination plant may not get their permit approved. The EPA can refuse to recognize the state permit by saying that it doesn’t comply with the Clean Water Act. The EPA has been protesting the plan as of last year, claiming that Texas had failed to allow the EPA to review the plans.
Environmental groups are in the fight saying that the plant's wastewater could harm the sensitive coastal ecosystems and have fought the project for four years.
If approved, the Seawater Desalination Plant is expected to cost at least half a billion dollars to construct.
Why the big push to build this plant? Water demand in Corpus Christi and the surrounding area is growing because of an increasing population and a boom in manufacturing and petrochemical facilities that need water to cool their plants. The projection is that those plants are expected to run out of water by the end of the decade if new water sources are not secured.
The water planning area which is made up of 11 counties in South Texas’ Nueces River Basin projects that 70% of its new water resources will have to come from desalination plants by 2030.
It will be very interesting to see how this turns out. Will it be built or not!
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