Certifies completion of the Geysers Northern, Mid, and Southern sections Supplemental Environmental Impact Reports

July 1, 1999


RESOLUTION NO. 24046

RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA CERTIFYING THE COMPLETION OF THE: GEYSERS NORTHERN SECTION FINAL SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT; GEYSERS MID-SECTION FINAL SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT AND GEYSERS SOUTHERN SECTION FINAL SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT

WHEREAS, the Northcoast Regional Water Quality Control Board ("Regional Board") requires that, by 1999, the Santa Rosa Subregional Wastewater Reclamation System ("Subregional System") put into place a wastewater disposal solution that meets the Regional Board's reliability requirements, as well as existing and future capacity needs; and

WHEREAS, the City of Santa Rosa ("City") as Managing Partner of the Subregional System proposes to implement a Long-Term Wastewater Project ("Project") to dispose of the reclaimed water from the Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant ("Laguna Plant"), to accommodate the expected long term wastewater disposal needs of the members and customers of the Subregional System and to meet the requirements of the Regional Board; and

WHEREAS, the Project objectives were reviewed and approved by the Santa Rosa City Council ("Council") on December 28, 1993, and reaffirmed by the Board of Public Utilities of the City of Santa Rosa ("Board") on May 27, 1994; and

WHEREAS, the adoption and implementation of the Project requires compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"); and

WHEREAS, on July 13, 1993, the Council entered into a contract with Harland Bartholomew & Associates ("Parsons HBA") to prepare a combined Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement ("EIR/EIS") for the Long-Term Wastewater Project consistent with CEQA and the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"); and

WHEREAS, approximately seventy-five (75) potential project alternatives and components were proposed by individuals, government agencies and organizations prior to March 1993, and approximately sixty (60) additional alternatives and components were proposed through public and agency communications after March, 1993; and

WHEREAS, Parsons HBA and City staff conducted three rounds of public workshops in the Fall of 1993 and Spring of 1994, with approximately 500 attendees; continuously communicated with a mailing list of over 2,600 names; and continuously consulted a Policy Advisory Committee, a Technical Advisory Committee and Technical Review Group, each on the subject of potential Project objectives, Project alternatives, Project issues, Project evaluation criteria and appropriate analyses to be included in an EIR/EIS; and

WHEREAS, on August 31, 1995, the Council determined that an EIR/EIS on the Project should be prepared which evaluated four primary alternatives, and a no action/no project alternative, as required by CEQA, together with additional components that could become part of a potential project, and that all alternatives be evaluated at an equal level of analysis, that no alternative be identified as the preferred alternative, that the alternatives represent the widest spectrum of potential solutions to the Subregional System's objectives and that the alternatives represent the range of feasible alternatives required by CEQA; and

WHEREAS, a Draft EIR/EIS on the Santa Rosa Subregional Long-Term Wastewater Project was released on July 31, 1996, consisting of Volumes I, II and III as the main body of the Draft EIR/EIS and Volumes IV through XVII containing the appendices to the Draft EIR/EIS; and

WHEREAS, written and oral comments provided on the Draft EIR/EIS resulted in the publication of additional volumes which, together with the Draft EIR constituted a Final EIR (with publication of a Final EIS by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to follow); and

WHEREAS, the Final EIR was certified by the Board on June 19, 1997, pursuant to Resolution No. 559 and certified by the Council on June 19, 1997, pursuant to Resolution No. 23168.

WHEREAS, from July 1997 through January 1998 the Board and Council conducted numerous study sessions and public meetings on Project selection and;

WHEREAS, an Addendum to Certified Final EIR dated December 5, 1997, (the "Addendum") was submitted by Parsons HBA to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of a Modified Geysers Alternative and to evaluate any other appropriate update information to be included in the Final EIR, (the Addendum, as corrected, is hereinafter referred to as the "Addendum"); and

WHEREAS, on January 22, 1998, the Addendum was certified by the Board and incorporated into the Final EIR pursuant to Resolution No. 571 and on January 27, 1998, the Council certified the Addendum and incorporated the Addendum into the Final EIR pursuant to Resolution No. 23423; (the Final EIR, including the Addendum is hereinafter referred to as the "Certified EIR"); and

WHEREAS, on January 22, 1998, the Board selected as the preferred Project the Modified Geysers Alternative (or "Geysers Recharge Alternative"), with the aid of the Certified EIR, pursuant to Resolution No. 571 and on January 27, 1998, the Council selected the Geysers Recharge Alternative as the Preferred Project pursuant to Resolution No. 23423; and

WHEREAS, on August 21, 1998, a Notice of Availability of a Final EIS on the Santa Rosa Subregional Long Term Wastewater Project was published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and

WHEREAS, the Geysers Recharge Project consists of the following components: (i) Head Works improvement at the Laguna Plant; (ii) a pipeline to transport reclaimed wastewater from the Laguna Plant to the Geysers Steamfield, northeast of Healdsburg; (iii) four (4) pump stations to pump the water to the Geysers; (iv) injection of reclaimed wastewater into the existing geothermal wells at the Geysers Steam Field; and (v) discharge of certain reclaimed wastewater into the Laguna de Santa Rosa; and

WHEREAS, the City has retained an engineering team (the "Geysers Design Team") to engineer the Project pipeline alignment and further develop Project design; and

WHEREAS, the Geysers Design Team has divided its analysis of the pipeline and associated pump stations into three sections: (i)Southern Section (from Laguna Subregional Wastewater Treatment Plant to the intersection of Shiloh and Windsor Roads); (ii) Mid-Section (from the intersection of Shiloh and Windsor Roads to the intersection of Highway 128 and Pine Flat Road); and (iii) Northern Section (from the intersection of Highway 128 and Pine Flat Road to the top of Pine Flat Road, where water is transferred to the operators of the Geysers Steam Field for injection); and

WHEREAS, the Geysers Design Team, City staff and the public have proposed for evaluation certain modifications of the Project pipeline alignment, the location of pump stations and other aspects of the selected Geysers Recharge Project; and

WHEREAS, to enable clearer analysis, decision making and public participation, the Board and Council elected to prepare a distinct Supplemental Environmental Impact Report ("SEIR") for each of the three sections of the Project pipeline alignment described above; and

WHEREAS, the Geysers Southern Section Draft SEIR was published on March 23, 1999, the Geysers Mid-Section Draft SEIR was published on March 5, 1999, and the Geysers Northern Section Draft SEIR was published on April 4, 1999, (following an October 1998 publication of an SEIR on a potential "Burns Creek Alignment" in the Northern Section); and

WHEREAS, periods for public oral and written comment for the three SEIRs were provided as follows: (i) Geysers Northern Section SEIR from April 4, 1999, to May 25, 1999; (ii) Geysers Mid-Section SEIR from March 5, 1999, to June 9, 1999; and (iii) Geysers Southern Section SEIR from March 23, 1999, to May 11, 1999; and

WHEREAS, members of the Board and Council attended public hearings, reviewed each Draft SEIR and supporting information and, reviewed all oral and written comments submitted on each SEIR; and

WHEREAS, on June 18, 1999, the Geysers Northern Section Final SEIR, the Geysers Mid-Section Final SEIR, and the Geysers Southern Section Final SEIR were released, each containing all oral and written comment on the Draft SEIRs received within the comment period, responses to each such comment and appropriate changes to each such Draft SEIR; and

WHEREAS, on July 1, 1999, the Board and Council have conducted a joint meeting on the question of certifying each Final SEIR.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this Council each makes the following findings:

1. Each Final SEIR has been completed in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act;

2. The preparation of Supplemental EIRs was appropriate pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15163 because only minor additions or modifications and refinements are necessary to make the Certified EIR adequate for the potential Project changes evaluated in the SEIRs;

3. Each Final SEIR contains information needed to evaluate the potential Project modifications described therein;

4. The members of this Council have reviewed each Draft SEIR, together with each Final SEIR, and the record of oral and written comments received during comment periods on each Draft SEIR and have considered completeness of each Final SEIR;

5. No new information was produced by Parsons HBA, City staff, the Geysers Design Team or public comment during the preparation of the Final SEIRs which would require recirculation pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15088.5;

6. The responses to comments contained in each Final SEIR result from a process of multidisciplinary and agency discussions and represent a responsive, good faith evaluation of each comment;

7. In making these findings the Certified EIR, each Draft SEIR, the comments on each Draft SEIR, the response to such comments, all other information contained in the each Final SEIR, and all written and oral information provided in connection with the July 1,1999, meeting of the Board and Council, and any potential disagreements among the public, agencies, and/or experts, have each been considered by this Council;

8. Public participation in the preparation and review of each Final SEIR has been adequate and in accordance with CEQA;

9. The findings and resolutions adopted hereby represent the independent judgment and analysis of this Council and each Final SEIR is confirmed and adopted by this Council;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Geysers Northern Section Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report, the Geysers Mid-Section Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report and the Geysers Southern Section Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report, each dated June 18, 1999, is certified as complete, adequate and prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Council shall use the Certified EIR, together with each Final SEIR, to assist this Council in the selection of any modifications to the selected Project and City staff may use such documents in submission to any other responsible agency which must make decisions regarding the Project.

IN COUNCIL DULY PASSED this 1st day of July, 1999.

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