Local sanitation officials have unveiled a revised version of their plan to reduce the amount of chloride discharged into the Santa Clara River.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District announced Friday it will “recirculate a revised version of its 2013 Chloride Compliance Environmental Impact Report 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.”
In June, sanitation officials stopped all work on their four-year plan to reduce the amount of salty chloride that ends up in the river – as promised to state water officials in 2013 – when a judge ordered them to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more environmentally-friendly plan.
The revised plan was unveiled Friday with the understanding that the public be given a chance to weigh in on the changes.
Santa Clarita Valley residents are invited to attend “informational meetings” at the Santa Clarita Activities Center located at 20880 Centre Point Parkway at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on March 7.
As well, anyone wanting to comment on the district’s analysis of its anticipated impact on the environment must have their comments submitted by March 20, 2017.
The district’s revised EIR unveiled Friday does not change the Chloride Compliance Project it previously presented to the community but is “expected to contain few changes to the environmental analysis previously released for public review,” officials said in a news release issued Friday.
The revised environmental impact report – tweaked to address concerns raised by Judge James C. Chalfant – is being “recirculated” for public review.
The environment impact of the sanitation district’s plan to reduce chloride, approved by state officials in 2013, was challenged in court on two key fronts.
The judge wanted an additional study done on the impacts the chloride reduction plan would have on the endangered unarmored threespine stickleback fish and on the potential impacts on the fish associated with the district’s recycled water project.
According to sanitation officials, the revised report out today addresses those two concerns.
It includes a Chloride Compliance Project designed to meet a state-mandated limit on the level of chloride 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.
The district has returned to the drawing board more than once, responding to environmental concerns.
Responding to concerns raised in a lawsuit filed by a group of unhappy SCV ratepayers – the Affordable Clean Water Alliance – the district modified its plan to reduce chloride by calling for the salty brine extracted in the reduction process to be trucked out of the SCV.
The added task of having to respond to environmental concerns only delays the sanitation district’s plan to reduce chloride in the Santa Clara River, district officials said.
“Work to complete the additional stickleback study will take longer than anticipated due to the extensive regulatory consultation necessary,” they said in their news release Friday.
“The Sanitation District is still mandated by the Regional Water Board, a state agency, to implement a chloride compliance project,” they said.
To move forward with the Chloride Compliance Project and minimize fines to ratepayers, the sanitation district is “recirculating a revised version of the 2013 EIR,” Grace Hyde, SCV Sanitation District Chief Engineer and General Manager, said.
“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,” she said.
“Proceeding separately enables us to move forward with our mandated compliance project and minimize state fines while taking the time necessary for additional stickleback study.”
A Notice of Preparation was released on Feb. 17, 2017 and is available at www.lacsd.org.
For more information, please contact Ms. Jodie Lanza at (562) 908-4288, extension 2707 or [email protected].
The SCV Sanitation District is the public agency responsible for the treatment and management of all the sewage discharges to the sewer system in the Santa Clarita Valley.
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