Environmental Review Process

Draft EIR- Public Review Summary Report

The public comment period  on the scwd2 Regional Seawater Desalination Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is now closed.  The public review period on the scwd2 Regional Seawater Desalination Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) was from May 13, 2013 to August 12, 2013.  The original 60-day public review period constituted an extension of the normal 45-day review period required by CEQA. The 60-day public review period was further extended to 90 days to allow for more public involvement and in response to requests by members of the community.   Two public meetings were held during the comment period:  June 3, 2013 during the day in Aptos and July 1, 2013 in the evening in Santa Cruz.  Approximately 300 people attended the public meetings. 

If you would like to access a .pdf version of the draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR), please click here

Question:  "What's inside the  Public Review Summary Report?"
The Public Review Summary Report has been prepared which summarizes the Draft EIR public review process and provides a detailed account of the public noticing and public meetings conducted, and of the public comments received on the Draft EIR.

405 written and oral comments were submitted during an extended public comment period between May 13, 2013 and August 12, 2013. Approximately 300 separate individuals, organizations, or agencies commented on the Draft EIR.


The City of Santa Cruz (City) and Soquel Creek Water District (District) have pre-released these comments in advance of any analysis and response to them. The usual CEQA process entails releasing the comments and questions with accompanying answers and responses at the same time. This allows for citizens to have complete context and a better understanding of the comments/questions posed by them or others. However, due to considerable public interest on the proposed project and at the request of City/District customers, we have deviated from the traditional approach and pre-released the comments.
 
Question:  "How many comments were submitted? "
In total 405 written and oral comments were received on the Draft EIR, including 74 oral comments received at the public meetings and 331 written correspondence. Approximately 300 separate individuals, organizations, or agencies commented on the Draft EIR. Eighteen comment letters were received from agencies, including almost all of the federal, state, regional, and local agencies involved in the project as permitting, trustee, or responsible agencies. Comments were also received from non-profit groups, attorneys, businesses, and individuals.

Many comments request additional information and further study. Information is already in the Draft EIR (an appendix or reference) to respond to a number of these comments but may need to be presented in a more user friendly manner. However, there are comments that may require additional analysis.
Question:  "Are there responses to the comments submitted?"
No, not yet. The City Council and District Board will be considering options for furthering review of the comments on the Draft EIR.
Question:  "Why are comments being released without being answered or responded to?"
While many projects that go through a Draft EIR do not post comments before the final EIR is completed, it was a request by City/District customers that we include this in our process.

The typical CEQA process entails release of the public comments and questions with accompanying responses and answers. This allows for citizens to have complete context and a better understanding to the comments/questions posed by them or others. As stated above, the City and District are deviating from this approach and pre-releasing the comments.
Question:  "How will comments be used in the decision making process?"
The scwd2 partnership appreciates the time taken by community members to review the Draft EIR and provide comments. Depending upon direction from the City Council and District Board, responses would help 1) further vet alternatives to the proposed project; 2) fully inform the public about the project and alternatives; and 3) assist in the eventual decision making on the project by the City, District, and community.

Currently, the City and District are defining the degree to which comments will be responded to and also  the timing of further work.    
Draft EIR  Public Review Summary Report File Size Date Posted
Summary Report    
Summary Report 159 KB 10/31/2013
Appendix A- Notification Materials    
Notice of Availability (NOA) and Mailers and Notice of Extensions and Mailers 1,745 KB 10/17/2013
Press Releases 197 KB 10/17/2013
Display Ads 911 KB 10/17/2013
Email Notices 870 KB 10/17/2013
Appendix B- Public Meeting Materials    
Meeting Programs 395 KB 10/17/2013
Exhibit Boards 2,165 KB 10/17/2013
Presentations 3,392 KB 10/17/2013
Appendix C- Comments Received on the Draft EIR    
**Note:  scwd2 is currently working on responding to comments. 
No responses are provided to comments below. **
Submitted Written Comments    
Summary of Commenters (Table includes name of organization/individual, date submitted, and code) 98 KB 1031/2013
Comments from Federal, State, Regional, and Local Agencies (A-D) 2,962 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Organizations and Businesses (E1) 17,692 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Organizations and Businesses (E2-E6)
(Comment E2 was edited as requested by submitter)
2147 KB 10/17/2013
 Comments from Organizations and Businesses (E7-E14) 3,646 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Organizations and Businesses (E-15, redacted) 48,394 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Organizations and Businesses (E16-E20) 2,425 KB 10/31/2013
Comments from Individuals(F1-F20) 1,291 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Individuals (F21-F40) 4,867 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Individuals (F41-F64) 4,230 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Individuals (F65) 9,237 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Individuals (F66-F166) 4,468 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Individuals (F167-F194) 4,966 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Individuals (F195-F228) 4,187 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Individuals (F229-F265) 4,067 KB 10/17/2013
Comments from Individuals (F266-F293) 1,275 KB 10/31/2013
Transcripts of Verbal Comments    
Transcripts from June 3 and July 1 Public Meeting (G1 and G2) 830 KB 10/17/2013
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