After implosion, massive cleanup begins

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. – An implosion brought down the bay-front power plant in Chula Vista in less than a minute, but it will take crews at least 10 weeks to complete the demolition and cleanup.

The 62-year-old South Bay Power Plant in Chula Vista was successfully demolished Saturday, leaving thousands of pounds of metal and scrap in its wake.

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 5.48.05 PMFor 10 years, environmentalists fought to get rid of the plant and it took just two minutes to bring it down. They see the  demolition as a small victory in a larger battle.

“On the one hand, we just tore down a really outdated, polluting power plant, which is great news,” said Environmental Health Coalition Associate Director Nicole Capretz. “On the other hand, SDG&E is proposing two more outdated fossil fuel plants in San Diego.”

The group fought to have the South Bay Power Plant decommissioned in 2010 and has led opposition to the two proposed power plants in San Diego: one in Santee called Quail Brush and the other in Otay Mesa called Pio Pico.

“The stated decision suggests right now that these two power plants are unnecessary,” said Capretz.

The Public Utilities Commission is expected to make a final decision on the two proposed power plants on February 13 at a meeting in San Francisco. In the meantime, Port of San Diego owns the land under the former South Bay Power Plant. Spokeswoman Tanya Castaneda said crews have already begun clearing the site.

“Dynegy had six enormous excavators on site ready to go this morning starting the work pulling down that metal, getting it ready to recycle,” said Castaneda.

The full demolition of the plant is expected to take about 10 weeks following the strictest environmental guidelines.

Dynegy’s lease on the land runs out at the end of 2013, when it will return to the Port of San Diego.  According to the City of Chula Vista’s master plan, that’s when construction will begin on 500 acres of bay-front property .

“The power plant site is part of that vision,” said Castaneda. “The place where the power plant has stood is eventually going to be a public park and also a public RV park.”

Hotels, commercial business and wildlife preserve are also planned.


  • BobS

    Environmentalists are such idiots. If they were smart, they would have first built a seawall 20 feet out into the water to get the ocean away from the work site and keep it away. Then they can feel free to dig down as far as necessary while cleaning up the site to ensure they get rid of ALL the POTENTIAL environmental mess. Being the idiots that they are, they can't see the value of a seawall, all they see is destruction to the water area. And the thought of digging down is unfathomable, and yet if you don't, you will miss all the mess that 60+ years of a power plant infuses. At some point, and many others, the water is going to be washing bad stuff into the ocean because the area is not secured from the ocean. Idiot Liberals

  • WeThePeople

    THAT would be a great day: the day that environmentalists (alongside state agency rubber stampers) became sanctioned state-paid partners in the plans/development of public utilities/industrial sites to ensure best outcomes for climate and public benefit.

    Instead an incestuous love-affair of BIG MONEY & the agencies that keep them too-BIG-to-restrain, has lead to increased rate-robbery, monopoly and environmental destruction imposed on the public.

    Time for change—the more we learn, the more the people won't allow such rabid corruption and destruction of their communities by Fat Cats anymore! We can all do our part—start CONSERVING today. Get informed! Here's a great start — Feb 17th at 1 PM Mission Bay Park.

    Details here:

  • Oakley Pas Cher

    Or maybe his was a masterstroke designed to draw attention away from Ms Smith in case we were starting to think there was something coordinated about these departures. Coordinated in the way those PPSs quit back in September 2006 to destabilise Tony Blair. Back when Tom Watson visited Gordon Brown in Scotland to drop off a present…From Saturday’s Daily Telegraph

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