Environmental Review Process

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is CEQA?
  2. What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?
  3. How can I access a copy of the draft EIR?  When does the comment period close?
  4. What topics are evaluated in the Draft EIR? What topics are not evaluated?
  5. Does the  Draft EIR evaluate alternatives?
  6. What are the key findings of the Draft EIR?
  7. What is the schedule for the EIR?
  8. How can the community participate in the EIR process?
  9. What are some tips on how to comment on the Draft EIR?
  10. How will we be notified of public review periods or CEQA-related meetings?
  11. What permit approvals are required for this project to go forward and who makes these decisions?

1.  What is CEQA?  

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a California statute or law that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of the projects they propose and/or approve. Specifically, CEQA requires agencies to identify any significant environmental impacts due to their proposed actions, as well as any feasible alternatives or mitigation measures that will avoid or minimize those impacts.

 2.  What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?

An EIR is an informational document that evaluates the potential environmental impacts of a proposed project and provides key data and analysis for decision-makers and the public. An EIR must be certified and considered by a public agency or agencies prior to approval or disapproval of a project. An EIR identifies and evaluates the significant environmental impacts of a project, whether the impacts can be avoided or reduced, and alternatives to the project that should also be considered. Visit the EIR Process page to learn more.

3.  How can I access a copy of the draft EIR?  When does the comment period close?

To access the draft EIR on-line, click here.  You can also access the document at a public hearing, local library, or City Water Department or Soquel Creek Water District offices. 

The coment period closed on August 12, 2013.

4.  What topics are evaluated in the Draft EIR? What topics are not evaluated?

The EIR will likely include analysis of the environmental topics listed below. However, the scoping process will further define the issues that will be evaluated, based on input received from agencies, the public, and other interested parties. For more information, click here. As CEQA focuses on physical effects on the environment, evaluation of social or economic effects is not required.

  • Aesthetics
  • Air Quality
  • Biological Resources
  • Cultural Resources
  • Geology and Soils
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Hazards
  • Hydrology and Water Quality
  • Land Use and Planning
  • Noise
  • Transportation
  • Wastewater and Solid Waste
  • Growth
  • Alternatives

5.  Does the Draft EIR evaluate alternatives?

In compliance with CEQA, the draft EIR evaluates a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed project that could feasibly attain all or most of the basic objectives of the project and avoid or reduce any significant environmental effects of the project.

As required under CEQA, the draft EIR includes a No Project Alternative, which will describe the conditions that will likely occur if the proposed project is not implemented. There is a No Project Alternative for the City and also one for the District.  Based on currently available information, other alternatives include:

  1. Facility component design alternatives (e.g., seawater intake design alternatives),
  2. Facility component location alternatives (e.g., facility plant site and/or pipeline corridor location alternatives),
  3. Operational or capacity alternatives, and
  4. Other water supply alternatives .  For a list of these, click here

6.  What are the key findings of the Draft EIR?

Please see the information on the key findings  by clicking here.

 

7.  What is the schedule for the EIR?

8.  How can the community participate in the EIR process?

Please see the information on public participation by clicking here.

9.  What are some tips on how to comment on the Draft EIR?

Please see the information on commenting on the Draft EIR  by clicking here.

10.  How will we be notified of public review periods or CEQA-related meetings?

Please see the information on staying informed by clicking here.

11.  What permit approvals are required for this project to go forward and who makes these decisions?

The proposed project will need to acquire several permits to go forward.  Please refer the Permit Table

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