Brawley takes

January 20, 2002

stand against

lines linking

power plant


Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — The City Council here has taken a unanimous stand against transmission lines that would enable a power plant under construction in Mexicali to export energy to the United States.

At the heart of the resolution adopted by the council is concern the plant has not been designed to fully meet California air emission standards.


The plant in question is being built by Boston-based InterGen. Two of the four turbines within the InterGen facility will not have what is known as California best available control technology, county officials say.

Brawley officials have not taken a stand regarding a second power plant under construction in Mexicali. That facility, being built by San Diego-based Sempra Energy, has been designed to meet California air emission standards.

City Manager Jerry Santillan said Friday that earlier in the week the council heard a presentation from county air pollution control district officials that focused on the InterGen project. He said based on that presentation the council focused its vote on the InterGen facility.

Councilman Wayne Johnson made the motion to oppose the transmission lines that would allow InterGen to export power across the border. Councilwoman Jo Shields seconded the motion, which was followed by a unanimous council vote.

Santillan said, "We share the concerns of other communities in regard to the InterGen plant not utilizing the latest technology that could reduce toxic emissions."

He said the Imperial and Mexicali valleys need to take a "regional approach" toward confronting the power plant and pollution issue.

The Brawley council resolution mirrored action taken earlier by the county Board of Supervisors to oppose the transmission lines tied to the InterGen plant.

The El Centro City Council this week took action on the power plant issue. That council voted to oppose both the InterGen and Sempra plants.

El Centro officials said they are concerned that neither company has taken action toward offsetting any increased pollution that might occur on this side of the border as a result of the plants.

The InterGen plant will produce 750 megawatts of power The Sempra Energy plant will produce about 600 megawatts.

County Supervisor Wally Leimgruber said Saturday that in the next 60 days InterGen officials are expected to return to the county to further address the air pollution issue.

"At this time I'm cautiously optimistic they will step to the plate and do the right thing and that is to put in the necessary emissions equipment," Leimgruber said.

Both the InterGen and the Sempra plants will receive fuel from a natural gas line, the North Baja Pipeline, which would cross from the United States into Mexico through the Imperial Valley.

The El Centro City Council also passed a resolution against the pipeline.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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