BBARWA releases draft environmental impact report for groundwater recharge study

Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency EIR covers its Recycled Water Master Plan, including a proposed groundwater recharge project...

BIG BEAR CITY, CA, Nov. 16, 2005 -- Under the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency has authorized the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for their Recycled Water Master Plan which includes the study of groundwater recharge.

"The purpose of the draft EIR is to provide decision makers, agencies and the public with an objective and impartial assessment of the potential environmental impacts that could result if the project is approved," said BBARWA General Manager Steven Schindler. "The draft EIR does not constitute authorization or approval of the project."

The purpose of the draft EIR is also to ensure that public agencies will examine all possible alternatives and feasible mitigation measures available, which would substantially lessen the significant environmental effects of a project. BBARWA's draft EIR contains evaluations of potential adverse environmental effects including but not limited to air quality, biological and cultural resources, hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality.

Due to the constraints on local groundwater supplies, BBARWA staff was urged by their Governing Board and other local agencies to consider examining ways to utilize recycled water, which is produced by their wastewater treatment plant for beneficial uses in the Big Bear Valley. Recycled water is currently discharged down the hill to Lucerne Valley. In order to study a wide range of alternatives, BBARWA and consultants have been working to develop a Recycled Water Master Plan, which includes examination of several recycled water use alternatives including groundwater recharge.

The period of public review for this draft EIR begins on November 14th and extends to December 29th. Copies of the draft EIR are available for review at the public libraries and the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency offices during the 45-day review period. The draft EIR is also available on the website www.bigbearwatersolutions.org.

A public workshop will be held to provide an overview of the draft EIR on Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m. in the BBARWA Board Room located at 121 Palomino Drive, Big Bear City.

BBARWA was established in 1974 to transport, treat and dispose of wastewater for the Big Bear Valley area residents and businesses. BBARWA is conducting studies to expand its recycled water program and to develop a new groundwater recharge system.

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