Commitment to Environmental Stewardship
Since 2002, West Basin has taken a responsible, science-based approach to its Ocean Water Desalination Program to protect marine life, maximize energy efficiency and minimize cost. West Basin has conducted numerous, methodical, ocean protection and operational efficiency research studies to meet California’s environmentally protective regulations and District commitments. The District’s commitments include water reliability, water quality, financial and resource management, environmental stewardship and customer service.
Environmental Review and Public Comments
West Basin has conducted an environmental review to evaluate the possible impacts and mitigation measures of a potential ocean water desalination facility to produce drinking water, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
CEQA is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify adverse environmental impacts that projects may have, as well as identify ways to avoid or mitigate those impacts if possible. Through CEQA, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) must be prepared by the lead agency when there is sufficient evidence that significant environmental impacts may occur from the project. The District, the lead agency on the Project, released a Final EIR that detailed the envrionmental impact research and conclusions in addition to responses to over 200 submitted regulatory and public comments and questions regarding the Draft EIR.
West Basin is committed to a thorough environmental review process and has provided opportunities for public input during multiple public comment periods and stakeholder meetings. Input from the public has been a critical part of the CEQA process, as it has helped inform and refine the Project. The Final EIR was released on October 23, 2019, allowing a 25-day public review period.
The West Basin Municipal Water District held a public Special Board of Directors Meeting on Monday, November 18, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at the Carson Event Center, Community Hall A, 801 East Carson Street, Carson, CA 90746.
At this Board Meeting, the West Basin Board of Directors adopted:
- Resolution No. 11-19-1105 to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Proposed Ocean Water Desalination Project (State Clearinghouse No. 2015081087); and
- Resolution No. 11-19-1106 to approve the North Site Local Project subject to conditions, authorizing staff to continue evaluating the conditions, adopting Findings of Fact, a State of Overriding Considerations and a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program.
Implementation of the Project shall be contingent upon meeting the following conditions of approval. Construction shall not commence until all conditions are met to the satisfaction of the Board:
- Securing the relevant permits from responsible and trustee agencies, including but not limited to City of El Segundo, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commissions, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife;
- Development of cost estimates consistent with current Engineering News-Record construction cost indices;
- Development and approval of a financial evaluation and plan;
- Completion of a cost and benefit analysis of implementing the Project as a drinking water supply in the West Basin service area; and
- Development and approval of design and project delivery documents.
As a result of the West Basin Board of Directors’ adopted resolutions to certify and approve with conditions the potential Project, West Basin Municipal Water District filed a Notice of Determination on November 21, 2019.
CEQA Review Process and Schedule
|Notice of Preparation (NOP) Release||August 31, 2015|
|Public Comment Period||August 31 – October 15, 2015 (45 Days)|
|Environmental Community Scoping Meeting||September 29, 2015|
|El Porto Community Scoping Meeting||September 29, 2015|
|Agencies and Interested Parties Scoping Meeting||September 30, 2015|
|General Public Scoping Meeting||September 30, 2015|
|Draft EIR Preparation||October 16, 2015 to March 26, 2018|
|Draft EIR Release||March 27, 2018|
|Draft EIR Public Comment Period (2 Public Meetings)||March 27 to June 25, 2018 (91 Days)|
|Final EIR Preparation||June 26, 2018 to October 22, 2019|
|Final EIR Release||October 23, 2019|
|Final EIR Special Board of Directors Meeting||November 18, 2019|
|Notice of Determination (NOD)||November 21, 2019|