California Environmental Quality Act Meetings and Comments
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires state and local agencies to identify the significant effects a proposed project may have on the physical environment. In accordance with CEQA, a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) has been prepared to identify and evaluate the potential environmental effects of the proposed Pure Water Soquel Project, indicate how and whether the significant effects can be mitigated or avoided, and describe and analyze possible alternatives to the Project.
Pure Water Soquel is a proposed groundwater replenishment and seawater intrusion prevention project using advanced water purification methods to purify recycled water for replenishing the groundwater basin and protecting against seawater intrusion.
The Project includes facilities in portions of the cities of Santa Cruz and Capitola, and in the Live Oak, Soquel, and Aptos communities of unincorporated Santa Cruz County, California. The District has identified three potential sites for the Project water treatment facilities, five potential sites (among four properties) for recharge wells, and several options for conveyance pipeline alignments.
The Project treatment system could include components at: (1) the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility, (2) District-owned property near the Capitola Avenue-Soquel Drive intersection, and/or at property on the southwest corner of the Soquel Avenue-Chanticleer Avenue intersection. Pipeline routes would generally follow road or railroad rights-of-way. Potential recharge well locations include: (1) two sites at Cabrillo College; (2) one site at Twin Lakes Church, (3) one site on District property near Willowbrook Lane, and (4) one site on District property near the Monterey Avenue-Kennedy Drive intersection.
The Project would help increase the sustainability of the District’s groundwater supply, upon which it currently relies for 100 percent of its water supply, reduce the degree of overdraft conditions in the District’s groundwater basin, protect against and aid in preventing further seawater intrusion of the groundwater basin, and promote beneficial reuse by reducing discharge of treated wastewater to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The project is currently is in Year 4 of it’s evaluation with technical feasibility and environmental review underway. If the project is approved, construction could begin as early as 2019 with the goal of being on-line by 2022.
It is anticipated that the cost of the proposed project would be approximately $90 million. The District has been awarded over $2 million dollars in grants for planning efforts and is exploring federal and state grant programs for implementation/construction. The Pure Water Soquel Project meets the criteria to compete for grant funding through programs such as the State’s Prop 1 Groundwater Program (up to $50 million), US Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI Program (up to $20 million) as well as low-interest loans through the State Revolving Fund program and WIFIA.
The review and input of the public, agencies, and interested parties is an important part of the CEQA process, which provides a number of opportunities for public participation. Preparation of an EIR ensures that the District considers potential environmental effects of the proposed Project and public input when deciding whether to approve the Project.
How To Comment
The environmental review process, under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) provides many ways for the public to get involved and comment during the process.
The 45-day comment period is from June 29 through August 13, 2018.
All comments must be postmarked or received via email by August 13, 2018 for consideration in the Final EIR. There are several ways you can comment:
- Attend the public meeting on July 31, 2018 from 6:00–8:00 pm at Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Dr., Monschke Hall, Aptos, CA 95003.
- Submit comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail written comments to: Pure Water Soquel Project CEQA, 4041 Soquel DR, STE A-501, Soquel, CA 95073-3105
Community Handbook: A Guide to the Draft Environmental Impact Report and Review Process
The Community Handbook is an easy-to-follow 24-page guide to the Draft EIR. It’s intended to provide a summary and overview of the proposed Project and key elements of the environmental analysis in the Draft EIR, including design features, mitigation measures, and feasible alternatives.
The handbook also provides information about the environmental review process and how to provide comments on the Draft EIR.