Judge criticizes Marin County desalinization proposal

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Redondo Beach, Marin, C.A.

Supporters of a plan to turn millions of gallons of salt water from San Francisco Bay into drinking water for Marin County residents appear set to suffer a setback.

A county judge has issued a tentative ruling rejecting the Marin Municipal Water District's 2009 approval of a $105 million desalination proposal. The decision on Monday came in a lawsuit filed by the North Coast Rivers Alliance and other opponents of the desalination effort.

In her decision, Judge Lynn Duryee said the project's environmental review was flawed in part because it failed to fully assess the impact on marine life.

Water district officials dispute that, telling the Marin Independent Journal the environmental impact report met state requirements.

Duryee is expected to hear additional arguments on Tuesday before issuing a final ruling.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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