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North Bay Water Recycling Program (formerly North San Pablo Bay Restoration and Reuse Project), California

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and notice of public hearings.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), as the National Environmental Policy Act Federal lead agency, and the Sonoma County Water Agency, acting as administrator for the North Bay Water Reuse Authority (NBWRA) and the California Environmental Quality Act State lead agency, have made available for public review and comment the North Bay Water Recycling Program Draft EIS/EIR. The purpose of the project is to create a regional wastewater reuse project to provide recycled water for agricultural, urban, and environmental uses as an alternative to discharging treated wastewater to San Pablo Bay. In this way, water demand issues and wastewater discharge issues of the region can be addressed in an integrated and synergistic manner. Three public hearings will be held to receive comments from individuals and organizations on the Draft EIS/EIR.

DATES:

Three public hearings have been scheduled to receive oral or written comments regarding environmental effects:

  • June 9, 2009, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Novato, CA.
  • June 10, 2009, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sonoma, CA.
  • June 11, 2009, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Napa, CA.

A 1-hour open house to view project information and interact with the project team will precede the public hearings.

The Draft EIS/EIR will be available for a 60-day public review period. Comments are due by July 13, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

The public hearings will be held at the following locations:

  • Novato at Margaret Todd Senior Center, 1560 Hill Road.
  • Sonoma at Sonoma Community Center, 276 East Napa Street.
  • Napa at Napa Elks Lodge, 2840 Soscol Avenue.

Written comments on the Draft EIS/EIR should be sent to Mr. Marc Bautista, Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA Start Printed Page 2217695403; or e-mailed to mbautista@scwa.ca.gov.

Copies of the Draft EIS/EIR may be requested from Mr. Marc Bautista, by writing to the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), P.O. Box 11628, Santa Rosa, CA 95406; by calling 707-547-1998; or by e-mailing mbautista@scwa.ca.gov.

The Draft EIS/EIR is also accessible from the following Web site: http://www.usbr.gov/​mp/​nepa/​nepa_​projdetails.cfm?​Project_​ID=​2157.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Marc Bautista, 707-547-1998; mbautista@scwa.ca.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Draft EIS/EIR documents the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects to the physical, biological, and socioeconomic environment that may result from North Bay Recycled Water Program.

The NBWRA, comprised of four wastewater utilities and one water agency in the North San Pablo Bay region of California, plans to expand the use of recycled water and reduce discharge into San Pablo Bay with this long-term inter-agency project. The area encompasses 318 square miles of land in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties. Participants include Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District (LGVSD), Novato Sanitary District (Novato SD), Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District (SVCSD), and Napa Sanitation District (Napa SD). In addition, North Marin Water District and the County of Napa are participating financially and providing support. Sonoma County Water Agency is acting as project administrator, and will be the CEQA Lead Agency. Reclamation is the Federal lead agency for NEPA because the Proposed Action may be partially federally funded under Title XVI of Public Law 102-575, as amended, which provides a mechanism for Federal participation and cost sharing in approved water reuse projects.

The North San Pablo Bay regions of Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties are facing long-term water supply shortfalls. Surface and groundwater supplies within these areas are limited, and some local groundwater basins are overpumped, with detrimental effects on water levels and water quality. Recycled water can augment local water supplies on a regional basis, provide water that meets agricultural and municipal nonpotable quality needs, and provide increased reliability.

Additionally, reliable water supply is needed in order to continue the restoration of tidal wetlands in San Pablo Bay that contain habitat for endangered and threatened species. Wastewater treatment agencies also face strict regulatory limits on the timing and quality of the treated wastewater they can discharge to San Pablo Bay, as well as the rivers and streams that flow to it. By treating wastewater to the stricter regulatory levels required for reuse, the agencies can recycle the water productively to address water supply needs and reduce the amount released to San Pablo Bay and its tributaries.

The project would provide recycled water for agricultural, urban, and environmental uses thereby reducing reliance on local and imported surface water and groundwater supplies and reducing the amount of treated effluent releases to San Pablo Bay and its tributaries. Some of the project benefits include reduction of wastewater discharge to regional waterways and the resulting environmental benefit to fish and wildlife.

NBWRA has developed a regional program for expanding cooperative water reuse within the North San Pablo Bay region. The Proposed Action consists of distribution facilities, treatment capacity improvements, and storage to make between 17,000 and 25,000 acre-feet per year of recycled water available for environmental, agricultural, and municipal reuse, consistent with the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, pertaining to the use of tertiary-treated recycled water. At this time, there are no known or possible Indian trust assets or environmental justice issues associated with the Proposed Action.

Special Assistance for Public Meetings

If special assistance is required to participate in the public meetings, please contact David White at 916-978- 5074, TDD 916-978-5608, or via e-mail at dtwhite@mp.usbr.gov. Please notify Mr. White as far in advance as possible to enable Reclamation to secure the needed services. If a request cannot be honored, the requestor will be notified. A telephone device for the hearing impaired (TDD) is available at 916-978-5608.

Public Disclosure

Before including your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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Dated: April 1, 2009.

Richard M. Johnson,

Acting Regional Director, Mid-Pacific Region.

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[FR Doc. E9-11040 Filed 5-11-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MN-P