Final environmental impact report for BBARWA recycled water plan released

The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency (BBARWA) has addressed comments and finalized the Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for their Recycled Water Master Plan which includes the study of groundwater recharge. The final document will be submitted to the BBARWA Governing Board for approval at the next board meeting on Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m. The public is welcome...

Feb 15th, 2006

BIG BEAR CITY, CA, Feb. 13, 2006 -- The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency (BBARWA) has addressed comments and finalized the Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for their Recycled Water Master Plan which includes the study of groundwater recharge. The final document will be submitted to the BBARWA Governing Board for approval at the next board meeting on Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at 121 Palomino Drive in Big Bear City. The public is welcome.

"The PEIR is an important milestone in the process of studying new water supply alternatives for the Big Bear Valley," stated BBARWA General Manager Steven Schindler. "I am appreciative of the cooperation we received from the public and other agencies while developing this document."

Approval of the final PEIR by the Governing Board does not indicate that a specific project would move forward. BBARWA would still need to narrow down the alternatives, conduct pre-design and design engineering studies, examine related costs and hold an advisory vote of the community before building and operating a groundwater recharge project.

The Recycled Water Master Plan and PEIR were developed because 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 for irrigation of alfalfa fields. In order to study a wide range of alternatives, BBARWA and consultants have been working to develop the Recycled Water Master Plan, which includes examination of several recycled water use alternatives including groundwater recharge.

The PEIR developed examines the alternatives put forth by the Recycled Water Master Plan and all feasible mitigation measures available, which would substantially lessen the significant environmental effects of a project. BBARWA's final PEIR contains evaluations of potential adverse environmental effects including but not limited to air quality, biological and cultural resources, hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality.

Hard copies of the final PEIR are available for public review at the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency, Big Bear Community Services District, Big Bear Lake Library, and the City of Big Bear Lake's Department of Water. Copies of the document can also be purchased from BBARWA (either hard copy, CD or DVD) for a nominal fee or it can be downloaded at www.bigbearwatersolutions.org.

BBARWA (www.bigbearwatersolutions.org) was established in 1974 to transport, treat and dispose of wastewater for the Big Bear Valley area residents and businesses. For more information visit the Web site at www.bigbearwatersolutions.org.

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