CEQA/NEPA Documentation

Calleguas Regional Salinity Management Project EIR/EA, Ventura County, California

Project Name: Calleguas Regional Salinity Management Project EIR/EA, Ventura County, California
Services: CEQA/NEPA, Permitting, and Mitigation Planning and Monitoring
Client: Calleguas Municipal Water District

Padre has been involved in the development and implementation of numerous phases of the Calleguas Regional Salinity Management Project. Padre’s involvement began with the preparation a Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the 32 mile-long wastewater pipeline, extending from Simi Valley to Oxnard, on behalf of the Calleguas Municipal Water District and Bureau of Reclamation. The purpose of the project is to dispose of tertiary treated wastewater and byproducts of advanced treatment (brine) that cannot be discharged to local streams due to a chloride Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) limits. Primary issues assessed in the document included water quality (ocean and freshwater), water quantity (loss of current wastewater discharge to stream), biological resources, noise, air quality, cultural resources and agriculture.

This project was complex and controversial requiring substantial stakeholder involvement. Stakeholders include various water districts, municipalities, regulatory agencies (e.g., Regional Water Quality Control Board), public interest organizations (e.g., Environmental Defense Center) and the general public. Therefore, Padre actively participated in numerous meetings directly associated with the project as well as the related Calleguas Creek Watershed Chloride Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) meetings along with the stakeholders.

Since the completion of the original Program EIR, Padre has continued to support the subsequent CEQA/NEPA compliance requirements for the project, as well as obtaining project component specific permits. A Supplemental EIR/EA was required to address a change in the location and configuration of the project ocean outfall. Padre supported the siting and refinement of an ocean outfall for the project including the environmental review of several outfall alternatives. This effort entailed providing support to the engineering design team to conduct the necessary site investigations for the proposed outfall.

Upon completion of the Supplemental EIR/EA, Padre provided permit acquisition services for the District which included a Coastal Development Permit, State Tidelands lease, Sections 404 and 401 permits and NPDES Permit.

Construction of the projects ocean outfall was completed in July 2010. In order to minimize environmental impacts, the project included an approximately 3,200 foot horizontal directional drill from the Port Hueneme public beach to an offshore transition pit. During installation, Padre provided both onshore and offshore mitigation compliance monitoring services including frac-out monitoring, marine mammal monitoring and archaeological monitoring.

AT&T Asia America Gateway Fiber Optic Project, San Luis Obispo County, California

Project Name: AT&T Asia America Gateway Fiber Optic Project, San Luis Obispo County, California
Services: CEQA, and Mitigation Planning and Monitoring
Client: California State Lands Commission

Padre was the prime contractor for the preparation of an EIR for the installation, operation, and abandonment of the California offshore and inland segment of a fiber optic cable from Southeast Asia to the U.S. The CEQA documentation involved the review of applicant-provided data reports on the seafloor and onshore habitats, marine and terrestrial biological cultural resources, and equipment/vessel emissions that Padre staff subsequently incorporated into the EIR. Specific issues of concern focused on the potential impacts of the placement of the offshore portion of the buried fiber optic cable on commercial fishing, hardbottom biota, and cultural resources. Onshore concerns centered on vehicle access to existing buried conduits across streams and other sensitive terrestrial habitats.

An extensive air quality modeling effort, including the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, was completed for the project and mitigations to reduce air, water, and land-related impacts were included in a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Plan (MMRP). Seasonal restrictions to reduce potential effects on listed species, including marine mammals and nesting raptors, were included in the plan as was an onboard monitoring requirement for fisheries and marine wildlife effects.

In addition to preparing the EIR and MMRP, Padre was the State’s mitigation monitor, which entailed biologists, cultural resource specialists, and other technical experts to be on-site during the offshore cable laying/burial operations and for the documentation of onshore impacts from vehicle access and conduit excavation. Padre marine scientists were also responsible for reviewing applicant-provided videotapes of the offshore cable laying operations and for the reporting of effects of those operations on seafloor habitats along the 60 mile-long offshore cable corridor.

Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project, Santa Barbara County, California

Project Name: Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project, Santa Barbara County, California
Services: CEQA
Client: Santa Barbara County Public Works Department, Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division

The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department, Resource Recovery & Waste Management (RRWM) Division proposes to modify the operation of the Tajiguas Landfill to add a Resource Recovery Project (Project) that would process recyclables and organic material from municipal solid waste. The Project includes the addition of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Dry Fermentation Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Facility to the Tajiguas Landfill. Recyclables would be recovered at the MRF and processed for sale. Recovered organic material would be processed in the AD Facility and residue would be disposed at the landfill. The AD facility would produce biogas which would be used as a source of energy at the facility and digestate which would be cured into soil amendments.

Padre assisted the RRWM with the preparation of a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for the Project. The SEIR evaluated eight alternatives in detail including the proposed Project. No significant and unavoidable impacts were determined to result from implementation of the Project, excluding those associated with extending the life of the landfill (which is an objective of the Project). Significant but mitigable impacts were identified in the areas of scenic resources, biological resources, hazardous materials, geological hazards, land use, water resources. The Project is also generally sensitive to the public due to the location of the Tajiguas Landfill in the Gaviota coast rural region.

The SEIR was subject to extensive internal review by the “Public Participants” for the project which include the jurisdictional areas served by the Tajiguas Landfill. Specifically, the Public Participants include the County of Santa Barbara, and cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Buellton and Solvang.

Santa Rosa Creek Flood Mitigation Project, San Luis Obispo County, California

Project Name:Santa Rosa Creek Flood Mitigation Project, San Luis Obispo County, California
Services:CEQA, Wetland Delineation and Special-Status Species Surveys
Client:County of San Luis Obispo

Padre prepared an Environmental Impact Report for the Santa Rosa Creek Flood Mitigation Project, located in the West Village of Cambria. The EIR evaluated environmental impacts associated with six project alternatives including flood bypass structures, supplemental berms, bridge replacement, floodwater detention basins, gravity-pressure storm drains, and auxiliary pumping plants. Primary issues analyzed in the EIR included biological resources, noise, air quality, cultural resources, and recreation. In addition to preparing the EIR, Padre staff conducted jurisdictional wetland delineations and surveys for California red-legged frog, two-striped garter snake, and southwestern pond turtle. The final EIR was certified by the Board of Supervisors in fall of 2001, and construction was completed in 2004. Padre’s technical studies were used by the County to secure state and federal permits for the project.