The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Board of Directors has provided an update in its efforts to comply with the state-mandated chloride limit, including the next step in the process, which is finalizing the Recirculated EIR released for public comment in May.
In October 2013, after nearly two years of extensive public input, meetings, hearings, and environmental review, the SCV Sanitation District Board of Directors approved an EIR that evaluated the impacts of two actions: a Chloride Compliance Project to meet a State-mandated limit on the level of chloride (salt) in our 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 SCV 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 threespine stickleback fish, associated with the Recycled Water Project, is completed. Work to complete the additional stickleback study will take longer than anticipated due to the extensive regulatory consultation necessary.
To address the court’s orders, and facilitate work on the state-mandated Chloride Compliance Project, a focused environmental review process began in February 2017 to: (1) evaluate the potential environmental impacts, if any, of pursuing the Recycled Water Project separately from the Chloride Compliance Project; and (2) review and update the previously reported impacts of the Chloride Compliance Project.
A Draft Recirculated EIR was released for public review in May 2017 and concluded that separation of the Recycled Water Project from the Chloride Compliance Project would 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 Recirculated EIR does not change the Chloride Compliance Project previously presented to the community and approved by the SCV Sanitation District Board.
The proposed project still consists of advanced treatment facilities including reverse osmosis, enhanced brine concentration equipment at the Valencia Water Reclamation Plant, and limited trucking of concentrated brine (an average of six trucks per day, 10 maximum, during off-peak hours) to an existing industrial facility, the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts’ Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson.
Two public hearings were held in May.
A Final Recirculated EIR is being prepared that provides responses to all comments received during the public review period. We expect to release that Final Recirculated EIR document on or about Friday, August 18.
The SCV Sanitation District Board of Directors is expected to consider certification of the Final Recirculated EIR at a meeting tentatively scheduled for August 30 at 6 p.m. at Santa Clarita City Hall. There will be an opportunity for public comment at this meeting.