HIGHLAND, CA, MAY 23, 2017 -- The Sterling Natural Resource Center(SNRC) today announced a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled in its favor in a lawsuit filed by the City of San Bernardino against coordinating agencies San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District) and East Valley Water District. The lawsuit, which challenged the recycled water project's Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under the toughest environmental law in the United States, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), was overthrown by the judge in SNRC's favor on all accounts. The positive ruling affirms the SNRC is in compliance with CEQA, and allows the project to advance with its plans of creating a state-of-the-art recycled water facility.
"This ruling brings the San Bernardino Valley one step closer to building a project that will reduce the amount of water used only once locally and then sent down the Santa Ana River for Orange County to treat and reuse," said Valley District Board President Susan Longville. "The Sterling Natural Resource Center will treat up to 10 million gallons of wastewater every day that will be used to recharge our own local groundwater basin year after year."
Recently, the State Water Resources Control Board authorized a 1211 permit to the SNRC, a crucial permit that will allow the project to move forward with its plans of recharging the Bunker Hill Basin with up to 10 million gallons of recycled water daily. It also received a Section 7 authorization, a positive affirmation of the project's EIR by federal agencies U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Army Corp of Engineers, among others.
The Sterling Natural Resource Center will bring hundreds of temporary construction jobs, directly and indirectly initiate nearly 1,400 jobs, offer job training and educational opportunities to local students and provide a community gathering space. Many local business owners and community members have spoken out in support of the project and all that it brings to our community.
The City of San Bernardino cited public health, cost and environmental concerns in the lawsuit against the project's EIR, but the court found no evidence to prove any of its claims against the Sterling Natural Resource Center.
"This is a major win for the residents of Highland and San Bernardino," said East Valley Water District Board Chairman Ron Coats. "This victory means that the Sterling Natural Resource Center will move forward with development and taxpayer dollars will no longer be spent on legal fees."
About Sterling Natural Resource Center
The Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) is a state-of-the-art facility in Highland, Calif., that will provide a sustainable new water supply to boost the region's water independence. Capable of treating up to 10 million gallons a day, the SNRC recharges the local Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin and creates new opportunities for the surrounding community in the form of education and training, community space, neighborhood improvements, and new habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker fish. Located on North Del Rosa Drive between East Fifth and East Sixth Streets, SNRC is a project of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District and treats wastewater generated within East Valley Water District's service area. For more information visitwww.sterlingnrc.com.
About San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District) was formed in 1954 to import supplemental water. As a regional water provider, they bring water into its service area through participation in the State Water Project (SWP) and manage groundwater storage within its boundaries. Valley District covers 353 square miles in southwestern San Bernardino County and serves a population of approximately 770,000. The District boundary spans the eastern two-thirds of the San Bernardino Valley, and the cities of San Bernardino, Colton, Loma Linda, Redlands, Rialto, Bloomington, Highland, Mentone, Grand Terrace, and Yucaipa. For more visitwww.sbvmwd.com.
About East Valley Water District
East Valley Water District was formed in 1954 and provides water and wastewater collection services to more than 100,000 residents within the City of Highland and portions of both the City and County of San Bernardino. EVWD operates under the direction of a five-member elected Board. More information is available atwww.eastvalley.org.