Oxnard | NRG permit denial request. Request to continue water circulation in Channel Islands Harbor



By Arthur Bier and Cassandra Owens

Now that the pumping has stopped at the NRG Power Plant Oxnard, CA facility,  2.3 miles of canal have become stagnant beginning in early 2018. Improper aeration is contaminating the harbor as the tides change. 

For the past 20 years, the State Water Board and the US Environmental Protection Agency have regulated the runoff of storm water to reduce harmful pollutants draining into our ocean.

One of goals of the Water board is to ensure that we are managing water in a sustainable way that preserves water resources for future generations.

If the existing deterioration of Channel Islands Harbor is allowed to continue the buildup of pollutants will lead to the destruction of wildlife as well as the harbor ecosystem.

There are various option’s that can be pursued:

  1. The north end of the Edison Canal could be opened up between the end of the canal and the ocean and the tide could be allowed to enter and leave from both ends of the harbor. This seems a cost effective solution to minimize polluting effects and would drastically reduce the distance from the northern half of the harbor to a source of uncontaminated water. At the same time storm water runoff would be cleansed by the healing effects from fresh ocean water.
  2. Edison as co-owner of the NRG plant must be required (at their expense for the maximum time allowed by law) to operate and fully fund a satellite pumping system if the main facility is decommissioned as part of the permitting process. The 2017 reduced water flow rate was sufficient to keep the harbor water crystal clear. It is imperative there is some pumping system to maintain the harbor water quality. This  is being helped by the City of Oxnard’s’ July 31 action of injecting continuous compressed air into the Seabridge Harbor.
  3. The owner of the Edison Canal Centerpoint Energy, a bankrupt subsidiary of Edison, is seeking to divest itself of it’s interest of the NRG plant. If that is true, there is an opportunity for either the City, the County, the State or the Federal Government to take ownership of this property and develop it into a valuable resource. With minimal development recreation, ground water recharge, and protection of the existing harbor water quality could be achieved.

Please do not ignore this opportunity to protect the future water quality of Channel Islands Harbor. We are blessed to have this World Class Resource and government must take responsibility to maintain it as caretakers for future generations.

Please forward this Email to all participants considering the NRG permit withdrawal request referenced in the subject line of this email. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Arthur Bier and Cassandra Owens are local residents

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