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Background

On May 20, 2004, the BPU approved the Discharge Relocation Project Implementation Plan. The Discharge Compliance Project Draft Engineering Report identifies the location, size, and conceptual design for discharge alternatives. Regarding the CEQA process, the BPU adopted the project-specific Purpose and Needs Statement for the Discharge Compliance Project on January 19, 2006. The Council confirmed the Purpose and Needs Statement on March 16, 2006. The BPU authorized a contract amendment for preparation of the Notice of Preparation for the Discharge Compliance Project EIR on May 18, 2006, and on July 20, 2006, the BPU authorized preparation of the Draft EIR.

Discharge will continue to be an essential element of the Subregional Water Reuse System because the amount of recycled water produced varies substantially from year to year due to local weather conditions, and weather-related increases in recycled water production are considered unreliable for reuse options such as the Geysers Recharge Project and urban and agricultural irrigation projects.

Santa Rosa currently discharges to the Laguna de Santa Rosa. New water quality regulations, namely the California Toxics Rule (CTR), have placed new restrictions on the discharge of recycled water. To meet these regulatory requirements imposed by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, all or a portion of the discharge may be relocated from the Laguna de Santa Rosa to the Russian River. No new discharge is being considered over and above the current permitted capacity of the treatment plant.