Desalination projects have always been a contentious issue in Monterey County and a proposal that will be mulled by elected officials Tuesday afternoon is sure to raise the eyebrows of advocates for publicly owned desal projects.

The idea that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors during its afternoon session beginning at 1:30 p.m. is an amendment to an existing ordinance allowing only public ownership of desal plants rather than private ownership.

Tuesday’s action won’t approve or deny the ordinance, rather it will allow supervisors to give the nod to placing it on the June 21 agenda where they will consider what’s called a negative declaration, meaning under the California Environmental Quality Act requirements, the presiding governmental body finds that a project will have no significant environmental damage.