First District upholds Marin EIR for desalination plant

In a decision published on May 21, 2013, the First District Court of Appeal reversed a Marin County Superior Court ruling and upheld an EIR prepared by Marin Municipal Water District for a new desalination facility to be located in San Rafael on San Pablo Bay.  North Coast Rivers Alliance challenged the EIR on a wide range of issues.  The trial court upheld the EIR on some grounds, and rejected it on others.  MMWD appealed the trial court’s ruling.  The Court of Appeal reversed on appeal, and rejected all of NCRA’s claims.  In particular, the Court of Appeal upheld the EIR’s analysis of aesthetics, land use and planning consistency, seismic safety, hydrology and water quality, biological resources, and greenhouse gas emissions.  The Court also ruled that MMWD was not required to recirculate the Draft EIR.  RMM partner Whit Manley, together with former RMM associate Chris Butcher (now with the Thomas Law Group in Sacramento), represented MMWD during the administrative process and throughout the litigation. (North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Marin Municipal Water District, Case No. A133821.)