Draft EIRs issued for Mission Trails and Seawater Desalination projects

Short Title
Draft EIRs issued for Mission Trails and Seawater Desalination projects
Water Authority seeks public comment on draft environmental impact reports
March 31, 2006

The San Diego County Water Authority's ongoing effort to diversify its water supply portfolio and ensure reliability took another step forward with the release of two draft environmental impact reports for public comment. The individual reports cover the Water Authority's Mission Trails Project in Mission Trails Regional Park east of Tierrasanta and the Regional Seawater Desalination Project at the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. Each EIR will be available for public comment for 45 days.



A draft EIR provides an objective description of the proposed project and identifies any potential environmental effects associated with the project construction or operation. It identifies alternatives to reduce or eliminate significant impacts, feasible mitigation measures to lessen impacts and adverse impacts that remain after mitigation.


Public agencies and county residents will have the opportunity to provide comments on the draft documents during the public comment period, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act. 



Public comment on the draft environmental impact report on the Mission Trails Project will be accepted through May 10, 2006. Copies of the draft EIR will be available at the Water Authority offices, Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center, San Diego Public Library and branch libraries in Tierrasanta and San Carlos. Interested parties can view and download the report at the Water Authority Web site at http://www.sdcwa.org/infra/cip-missiontrailsEIR.phtml. 


Written comments can be submitted to the Water Authority at 4677 Overland Ave., San Diego, Calif. 92123 c/o Mark Tegio. A public hearing to receive comments on the draft EIR will be held, April 27, 2006, at the Water Authority. 



The project will upgrade and expand a portion of the Water Authority's water delivery infrastructure with a new underground reservoir and pipeline tunnel. Two existing untreated water pipelines will be replaced with a larger single pipeline to deliver more water to local water treatment plants. 



When completed, the Water Authority will remove most of the blue pipeline vent stacks visible on the park's hilltops. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2007, with completion in early 2009.



Public comment on the seawater desalination project draft EIR will be accepted through May 18, 2006. Copies of the draft EIR are available at the Water Authority offices, the San Diego Public Library and branch libraries in Carlsbad, Vista and San Marcos. Interested parties can view and download the report on the Water Authority Web site at http://www.sdcwa.org/desalination 



Written comments can be submitted to the Water Authority at 4677 Overland Ave., San Diego, Calif. 92123, c/o Larry Purcell. Public hearings to receive comments on the draft EIR will be held April 24, 2006, at the Aviara Oaks Elementary School in Carlsbad and at the Water Authority, April 27, 2006. 



The seawater desalination project includes construction of a 50-million-gallon-per-day seawater desalination facility, and a pump station and pipeline to convey the desalinated water to the Water Authority's second aqueduct. If approved, the regional facility would provide a new, drought-proof supply of water for San Diego County. The Water Authority projects that seawater desalination will represent up to 15 percent of the region's water supply in 2020 and
provide enough water to supply more than 100,000 households annually by 2011.
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