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Coastal Power Plants Could Face Tougher Rules

Publication Date: 
January 14, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
Jane Kay

The Environmental Law Clinic is mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding a lawsuit brought by its clients seeking tougher rules and fish-safe systems for power plants. The Chronicle writes:

San Francisco's Mirant Corp. power plant, under fire from the city attorney and environmental groups, is one of 19 power plants in California that could face tougher regulation under the Obama administration for killing billions of fish.

For now, state water regulators are allowing the Mirant plant in the city's Dogpatch neighborhood and the other power plants in California, including the huge Diablo Canyon Power Plant, to continue using a cooling system that sucks and grinds fish, flattens them on screens or boils them in hot water.


The federal regulation was adopted in 2004 and opens the way for 550 power plants nationwide to keep using the old system. Appearing in the Clean Water Act, it was partly struck down in court as a result of a lawsuit filed by national environmental groups led by Riverkeeper. The Stanford Environmental Law Clinic has a challenge pending in state court. The cases will be decided this year by the U.S. and California Supreme courts.