Help Protect Our Coast

Help us oppose the Coastal Commission’s approval of Edison’s plan to demolish the spent fuel pools at San Onofre. The spent fuel pools are the last available facilities to contain radiation if storage canisters are damaged.

A Lawsuit to Protect Our Coast

To Protect Our Coast, the Samuel Lawrence Foundation is taking the California Coastal Commission to court. The powerful state agency should not have approved Southern California Edison’s application to deconstruct the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. We are asking the court to overturn that approval. A trial is expected in June.

Why Are We Suing? 

We need facilities at San Onofre to handle the 3.6 million pounds of deadly radioactive waste that will remain on site for decades after the plant is razed. Today, the spent nuclear fuel is stored in steel canisters 100 feet from the ocean. Edison’s decommissioning program provides no plan for repairing or replacing a damaged canister. Coastal commissioners should have required one.

Too much is at stake — our precious coastline, our economy, and the health of 8.6 million people living within 50 miles of the plant.

December 16, 2020

April 19, 2021

May 17, 2021

June 1, 2021

National Coverage of SLF’s Lawsuit on MSNBC

On June 3, 2021, SLF’s lawsuit for the improved management of the radioactive waste at San Onofre was featured by Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC’s The Last Word (watch here). Congressman Mike Levin (D-CA) joins Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the environmental and human impact that radioactive waste has on the millions of people who lear near San Onofre.

How You Can Help

  • Stay up to speed. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media. Share our posts to #protectourcoast
  • Contact members of the California Coastal Commission. Use our click-to-send email to tell them why the issues in our lawsuit are important to you. (Click to take action)
  • Sign up to speak during the public comment portion of monthly California Coastal Commission meetings.  Need some coaching? Contact us and we will get you primed. (Sign up for a speaker request)

Lawsuits are expensive. We greatly appreciate any gift of any size to our legal fund. Together, we can Protect Our Coast and hold regulators and a profit-driven utility accountable.

Potential Impact of the Lawsuit


Petition Signatures

Articles Published

Million Homes Saved

Thousand Camp Pendleton Residents Protected

World Class Surf Sites Preserved

What a Win Would Mean

We believe California Coastal Commission’s approval of Southern California Edison’s decommissioning application merits legal challenge. The risk presented by 3.6 million pounds of deadly radioactive waste that will be left behind with no facilities to handle it is too great to ignore.

A legal victory would set a precedent for all U.S. nuclear plants in decommissioning. The Coastal Commission would be forced to withdraw the Coastal Development Permit that allows Edison to destroy the spent fuel pools, which for now are the only working facility to handle the waste stranded at San Onofre. Edison would be required to reapply for permits. After scrutiny from the courts, Commission staff would be much more thorough in its examination of the evidence and Commissioners would be more circumspect in their review. The evidence for saving the spent fuel pools is overwhelming. The Commission must retain a handling facility for emergencies to protect our coast.

If we lose the case, we still will have scored a victory in the court of public opinion. Thousands of people will be engaged on the issues of radioactive waste and the need for a safe facility to repair and replace storage canisters. The utility, state commissions and elected officials will be placed on notice that this issue is of concern to constituents, our ecosystems, and economy. The case has prompted conversations with leaders at all levels of government. We believe it can serve as a blueprint for future action on the issue.

We need your help!

We must protect our coastline from environmental catastrophe and we need your help. Here’s how:

  • We expect our case to go to trial in June. Please stay in touch as we file legal briefs and make other moves. We will keep you up to speed on our website, newsletter and social media sites.
  • Be ready to show the court that you support our lawsuit. We will issue an online letter for your signature shortly.
  • Make a donation. Lawsuits are expensive. Your donation will help us cover the legal costs we face.


We’ve raised $111,512 for the lawsuit.

Help us reach our goal of $50,000 by June 30.

Together, we can protect our coastline and hold our regulators and a profit-driven utility accountable.

Thank you for your support. Please contact us with any questions.