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Hydro plant planned near Joshua Tree NP misses licensing deadline; enviros declare project failed

The developer trying to build a massive hydroelectric power plant just outside Joshua Tree National Park failed to start construction by a key deadline this week, in what critics of the controversial project are calling a serious setback.

Conservationists are bitterly opposed to Eagle Crest Energy Company's plan to pump billions of gallons of groundwater in the open desert east of the Coachella Valley and use the water to generate electricity in the Eagle Mountain area, on a property as close as 1.5 miles to the edge of the national park. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a license for the project in 2014. But the commission said construction had to begin by June 19, 2018 — and now that deadline has passed.


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