By Eric Heinz

As the lawsuit filed by Citizens’ Oversight Projects against the California Coastal Commission over a permit to store spent nuclear fuel on-site at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) continues, the next court hearing has been moved to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, in San Diego Superior Court.

The lawsuit has been in the middle of a settlement discussion since the beginning of summer.

In a motion to continue, Mike Aguirre, an attorney representing Citizens’ Oversight in the case, stated, “Sufficient progress has been made with respect to a settlement such that, with additional time, an agreement may be reached, which would resolve this matter.”

Emails to Citizens’ Oversight asking to clarify the meaning of “significant progress” were not returned to the San Clemente Times by press time, but because the settlement talks are still ongoing, it’s unlikely they’ll be discussed in public until the time of the hearing.

Citizens’ Oversight claims in its suit that the permitting process conducted by the Coastal Commission and Southern California Edison, the majority stakeholder of SONGS, was done improperly and without enough research in 2015. They also claimed the required inspections of the canisters planned to house the spent nuclear fuel was not frequent enough in the permit.

An informal meeting originally planned to take place in Malibu during a regularly scheduled Coastal Commission meeting, which will include representatives from the Commission, Southern California Edison and other officials, has been relocated. The Oct. 11-13 meeting—now in San Diego—was moved in order to accommodate more people who live closest to the now-shuttered nuclear power plant, according to Coastal Commission officials. The exact location for the meeting has not yet been published.

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