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Protest Planned in Redondo Beach Tonight: 'Tear Down This Power Plant!'

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A Redondo Beach power plant that's been an issue of contention over the years could be sticking around longer than locals hope. That's why tonight a group of people tonight will be protesting at a corner on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Because of the environmental impacts, the state has put a stop to coastal power plants that use ocean water for cooling. By 2020, all must be phased out, including the AES power plant in Redondo Beach.

"Because the plant is outdated, AES has expressed an interest in building a new plant with a large desalination plant next to it on the land it currently occupies," said the South Bay Parkland Conservancy in a press release. "If a new plant is built, nearby residents may be exposed to the noise and visual disturbance of cooling towers/big fans in addition to stacks that emit dangerous air pollutants into our backyards."

Additionally, a 2004 staff city of Redondo Beach staff report called the plant “the major blighting influence in the area due to the size of the site, the visual impact of the use on the surrounding area and the undesirable environmental impacts on the use that effect the public health, safety and welfare.”

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Despite neighborhood opposition and a 2005 advisory vote to turn the land into open space, the Parkland Conservancy says Redondo Beach City Councilmembers are in discussions with AES about their new plans, prompting tonight's protest. Opponents say the plant rarely operates -- about 10% of its capacity -- and is not a significant source of power.

Protestors will be at the corner of Herondo/190th and PCH from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. (map), just one block away from the plant.