A citizen’s panel on the future of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and the pristine acres that surround it has some new members, after a lengthy search to replace some folks that retired from the panel.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the “Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel” on Aug. 12 appointed three new members and the reappointed four members to new terms.

“The panel provides community input to PG&E as the company prepares a site-specific plan for the future decommissioning of Diablo Canyon Power Plant,” the company said in a news release.

New members are: Timothy Auran of Avila Beach, Patrick Lemieux of Morro Bay and Charlene Rosales of San Luis Obispo.

Members that were reappointed were: Lauren Brown, Kara Woodruff and Scott Lathrop of San Luis Obispo, and Linda Seeley of Los Osos.

Continuing members are: David M. Baldwin of Atascadero, Dena Bellman of Pismo Beach, Sherri Danoff of Avila Beach, Alex Karlin of San Luis Obispo, Trevor Keith of San Luis Obispo County (Ex Officio), and Maureen Zawalick of San Luis Obispo, (PG&E rep.).

Panel members interviewed 50 applicants. “On behalf of the panel,” panel facilitator Chuck Anders said, “we sincerely appreciate the time and effort put forth by each candidate to apply, and we’re thrilled that so many experienced and talented community leaders offered to be a part of this important process. We welcome these new members and feel confident that the diverse composition of the panel will enable the group to capture the community’s collective vision related to the future decommissioning of Diablo Canyon.”

The new appointees replace Frank Mecham and Dr. Nancy O’Malley, as well as an additional role created by the conversion of Trevor Keith’s role on the panel to that of an Ex Officio member.

Anders explained that for the purposes of the panel, the “ex officio” position “represents an organization that is deemed important to the mission of the Panel, in this case the County of San Luis Obispo. The position is advisory and does not participate in any decision process.”

Keith is the County planning director and whatever is decided upon for the property’s future, the County Planning Department will be the lead agency on land use and zoning decisions.

“We have benefitted from the many contributions of Frank Mecham and Nancy O’Malley on this panel,” Anders said, “and we sincerely thank them for their insights and efforts.”

Finally, Zawalick, who leads PG&E’s decommissioning program, will now represent the company on the panel, taking the seat previously held by Chief Nuclear Officer, Jim Welsch.

The Engagement Panel is a forum to facilitate the 2-way flow of information between local community members and PG&E on matters related to the plant’s decommissioning. Started in 2018, the panel meets regularly to discuss decommissioning topics important to the community such as future use of the facility and lands surrounding the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

See the Panel’s website at: DiabloCanyonPanel.org for information or to submit questions and comments to the panel.