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November 03, 2010

Proposal Dies for Power Plant in the Otay Valley Regional Park

This view down the Otay River Valley will remain just like this.

Apex Power Group LLC, a power plant developer, will formally withdraw its application to the California Energy Commission this week to develop a natural gas-fired power plant on 14-acres in the Otay Valley Regional Park (OVRP). This decision came after the proposal was met with strong opposition by a coalition of environmental groups and community members and concerns from the wildlife agencies.

Not only within the boundary of the OVRP, the power plant was proposed for an area located within the City of Chula Vista’s Preserve, which is designated as a “100% Conservation Area” in the City of Chula Vista Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) Subarea Plan. This designation is for land to be preserved and managed for its biological resources.

WiLDCOAST along with 14 other environmental organizations—including the Endangered Habitat League, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Conservation Biology Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, and others—opposed the development of this power plant on park and preserve land. Additionally, the Citizens’ Advisory Group for the OVRP sent a strong letter of opposition to the development of this project in the park. The Department of Fish and Game and the Fish and Wildlife Service also issued letters that recommended that Apex find an alternative location for the project.

“The withdrawal of this proposal is a victory for the park, the community, and wildlife,” said Katie Westfall, Program Manager for WiLDCOAST. “The OVRP is an amazing asset for the South Bay.  The project was incompatible with community efforts to conserve one of the few remaining open space areas for wildlife and public recreation.”

The Otay Valley Regional Park (OVRP) is a public open space park with a planning area of 9,000-acres in the Otay River Valley. It is a greenbelt that cuts between the Cities of Chula Vista and South San Diego and extends from the Otay Reservoirs to the southern wetlands of the San Diego Bay. The park is shared by the County of San Diego and the Cities of San Diego and Chula Vista and is one of the last areas of open space in south San Diego County.