Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

Since 2002, West Basin has taken a responsible, science-based approach to its Ocean Water Desalination Program to protect marine life, maximize energy efficiency and minimize cost. West Basin has conducted numerous, methodical, ocean protection and operational efficiency research studies to meet California’s environmentally protective regulations and District commitments. The District’s commitments include water reliability, water quality, financial and resource management, environmental stewardship and customer service.

 

Environmental Review and Public Comments

West Basin has conducted an environmental review to evaluate the possible impacts and mitigation measures of a potential ocean water desalination facility to produce drinking water, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

CEQA is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify adverse environmental impacts that projects may have, as well as identify ways to avoid or mitigate those impacts if possible. Through CEQA, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) must be prepared by the lead agency when there is sufficient evidence that significant environmental impacts may occur from the project. The District, the lead agency on the Project, released a Final EIR  that detailed the envrionmental impact research and conclusions in addition to responses to over 200 submitted regulatory and public comments and questions regarding the Draft EIR.

West Basin is committed to a thorough environmental review process and has provided opportunities for public input during multiple public comment periods and stakeholder meetings. Input from the public has been a critical part of the CEQA process, as it has helped inform and refine the Project. The Final EIR was released on October 23, 2019, allowing a 25-day public review period.

The West Basin held a public Special Board of Directors Meeting on Monday, November 18, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at the Carson Event Center, Community Hall A, 801 East Carson Street, Carson, CA 90746.

At this Board Meeting, the West Basin Board of Directors adopted:

  1. Resolution No. 11-19-1105 to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Proposed Ocean Water Desalination Project (State Clearinghouse No. 2015081087); and
  2. Resolution No. 11-19-1106 to approve the North Site Local Project subject to conditions, authorizing staff to continue evaluating the conditions, adopting Findings of Fact, a State of Overriding Considerations and a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program.

Implementation of the Project shall be contingent upon meeting the following conditions of approval. Construction shall not commence until all conditions are met to the satisfaction of the Board:

  1. Securing the relevant permits from responsible and trustee agencies, including but not limited to City of El Segundo, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commissions, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife;
  2. Development of cost estimates consistent with current Engineering News-Record construction cost indices;
  3. Development and approval of a financial evaluation and plan;
  4. Completion of a cost and benefit analysis of implementing the Project as a drinking water supply in the West Basin service area; and
  5. Development and approval of design and project delivery documents.

As a result of the West Basin Board of Directors' adopted resolutions to certify and approve with conditions the potential Project, West Basin Municipal Water District filed a Notice of Determination on November 21, 2019.

 

CEQA Review Process and Schedule

Activity

Timeframe

Notice of Preparation (NOP) Release

August 31, 2015

Public Comment Period

August 31 – October 15, 2015 (45 Days)

Environmental Community Scoping Meeting

September 29, 2015
El Porto Community Scoping Meeting

September 29, 2015

Agencies and Interested Parties Scoping Meeting

September 30, 2015

General Public Scoping Meeting

September 30, 2015

Draft EIR Preparation

October 16, 2015 to March 26, 2018

Draft EIR Release

March 27, 2018

Draft EIR Public Comment Period (2 Public Meetings)

March 27 to June 25, 2018 (91 Days)

Final EIR Preparation

June 26, 2018 to October 22, 2019

Final EIR Release

October 23, 2019

Final EIR Special Board of Directors Meeting November 18, 2019

Notice of Determination (NOD) 

November 21, 2019