As the next step in complying with a strict state-mandated limit on the amount of chloride allowed in treated wastewater discharged to the Santa Clara River, the Santa Clarita Sanitation District has drafted an environmental impact report proposing to separate the Chloride Compliance Project from the associated Recycled Water Project.
The Sanitation District released the draft EIR, titled “Draft Recirculated Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Chloride Compliance Project Environmental Impact Report – Separation of Recycled Water Project” (Draft Recirculated EIR), on May 3, 2017, for public commentary through June 19.
The 2013 Chloride Compliance Facilities Plan and Environmental Impact Report (2013 EIR) evaluated the impacts of two actions: a Chloride Compliance Project to meet a state-mandated limit on the level of chloride (salt) in Santa Clarita’s treated water; and a Recycled Water Project to enable the community to reuse more treated water that would otherwise be discharged to the river.
In early 2016, the Sanitation District modified the Chloride Compliance Project by certifying a Supplemental EIR for Brine Concentration and Limited Trucking for brine management.
The 2013 EIR was challenged in court and the Chloride Compliance and Recycled Water Projects have been delayed until additional study of endangered unarmored three-spine stickleback fish is completed. Potential stickleback impacts are associated with the Recycled Water Project.
Work to complete the additional stickleback study will take longer than anticipated due to the extensive regulatory consultation necessary.
The Sanitation District is still mandated by state and federal law to implement a chloride compliance project. To move forward with the Chloride Compliance Project and minimize the risk of fines to ratepayers, the Sanitation District is circulating the Draft Recirculated EIR.
The Draft Recirculated EIR will allow the public to (1) review the potential environmental impacts of pursuing the Recycled Water Project separately from the Chloride Compliance Project; and (2) review any modifications to the previously reported impacts of the Chloride Compliance Project.
The Sanitation District strongly supports the use of recycled water and will continue the stickleback study in support of the Recycled Water Project, but will do so as a separate project with its own timeline.
The Draft Recirculated EIR does not change the Chloride Compliance Project previously presented to the community and contains few changes to the environmental analysis previously released for public review.
The Draft Recirculated EIR concludes that separation of the Recycled Water Project from the Chloride Compliance Project would generally reduce impacts on environmental resource areas analyzed in the 2013 EIR and 2016 Trucking SEIR, as there would be no significant changes to current operations. Analysis of the resource areas did not result in any new or substantively modified mitigation measures relative to the 2013 EIR and 2016 Trucking SEIR.
The Draft Recirculated EIR will follow the normal EIR process which includes public review of the draft document (May 3 through June 19, 2017), preparation of a final document with responses to comments received, and a hearing before the Sanitation District Board to consider certification of the Draft Recirculated EIR, all in accordance with state requirements.
The Draft Recirculated EIR is available at the Valencia and Stevenson Ranch Public Libraries, the City of Santa Clarita City Hall and on our website at www.lacsd.org.
Public hearings on the Draft Recirculated EIR were held on May 25, 2017 at the Santa Clarita Activities Center. Public comments are due by June 19.
The following Notice of Availability contains additional information.