Meeting Date:

February 24, 2005





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Henrietta Stern

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  The District is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the MPWMD Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Project.  An early step in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process is to circulate a Notice of Preparation (NOP) to interested agencies, groups and individuals, and to hold public hearings to solicit comments on the proposed scope of study of the EIR.  Jones & Stokes Associates (JSA), the District’s environmental consultant, has prepared a Scoping Report (Exhibit 5-A) that summarizes written and oral comments received on the NOP. 


The Scoping Report (Exhibit 5-A) reviews the CEQA process, describes key aspects of the NOP, highlights topics of interest, summarizes each comment letter individually, and summarizes issues raised by the oral comments.  Exhibit 5-A does not include the report Appendices A, B and C, which entail (a) the original NOP, (b) public hearing sign-up sheets, and (c) submitted letters.  The full report with appendices is available at the District office for review, and has been submitted to the Board under separate cover. 


RECOMMENDATION:  The Board should receive and review the Scoping Report.  No action is recommended at the February 2005 meeting.  However, some comments raise policy issues that will need Board consideration at the March 21, 2005 meeting.  There is the potential for the EIR scope of work and consultant contracts to be amended in response to some comments although the need for such amendment has not been determined as yet.  Staff is currently gathering more information and meeting with key agencies in anticipation of the March 21, 2005 meeting.  Please see the “Discussion” section below for more information.


BACKGROUND:  At its October 2004 meeting, the Board authorized preparation of an EIR on the District’s ASR Project and a contract with JSA to assist the District in this effort.  The NOP was released for public comment on December 13, 2004 with a deadline of January 17, 2005 (extended to January 18 due to Martin Luther King Day).  Two public hearings to receive oral scoping comments were held on January 12, 2005.  A total of 13 letters (including one e-mail) were received; a total of 11 (non-District) people attended the public hearings.

Entities that submitted written comments include:



Letter Author



Local agency

California American Water (Cal-Am)

Private company

California Dept. Health Services (DHS)

State agency

California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB)

State agency

Cal-Trans, District 5

State agency

Carmel Area Wastewater District

Local agency

KMT&G Law for BM&M

Private company

Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District (MBUAPCD)

Local agency

Monterey County, Division of Environmental Health (DEH)

Local agency

Monterey County Planning and Building Inspection Dept.

Local Agency

NOAA Fisheries

Federal agency

U.S. Army (BRAC) – e-mail

Federal agency

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Federal agency


Though not a formal comment letter on the EIR, the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) submitted a letter received on December 27, 2004 that responded to an October 22, 2004 letter from MPWMD soliciting input on reclamation as an alternative to ASR or possibly as an alternative source of supply for injection.  The letter notes that their focus is on groundwater recharge rather than reclaimed water for direct use via ASR.  A presentation by MRWPCA on this issue is planned for the March 21, 2005 meeting.


DISCUSSION:  A variety of issues on the scope of the EIR (and thus the potential cost and time line) are raised by the comments submitted.  Looking forward to the March 21, 2005 Board meeting, Exhibit 5-B is a memorandum from JSA highlighting key issues raised by the comments that should be considered by the Board.   Staff and consultants are coordinating with commenting agencies, gathering additional information, and developing cost estimates associated with some of the suggested changes in order to provide more thorough information to the Board in March 2005.  The issues described in Exhibit 5-B include: 


Ø      National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance and coordination with U.S. Army;

Ø      Amend project purpose to include water augmentation, and expand alternatives analysis;

Ø      Coordinate project with Cal-Am and its Coastal Water Project, including a variety of changes to the project description and technical analysis;

Ø      Broaden assessment of alternatives;

Ø      Perform technical studies required for state and federal permits in the EIR rather than after the EIR as part of the permit process;

Ø      Consider relocation of pipeline alignment due to road widening plans by FORA. 



5-A      Scoping Report for the MPWMD ASR Project EIR

5-B      Memorandum from JSA re ASR Project EIR Scoping Report and Potential Scope Revisions