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Notice of Time Extension of Public Review and Comment Period for the Draft Program EIR for Public Review for the Replenish Big Bear Program

In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency (BBARWA), as the Lead Agency, has completed a Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (DPEIR), pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the State CEQA Guidelines, for the Replenish Big Bear Program (Program)(State Clearinghouse # 2022110595).  A Notice of Availability of a DPEIR for the Replenish Big Bear Program was previously distributed to the public on December 21, 2023, which began a 45-day public review and comment period. Thus, this notice is to announce that the public comment period has been extended to Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 5:00 PM to allow the public a total of 60 days to submit public comments on the Replenish Big Bear Program DPEIR.

 Project Location

The Program will span just east of Big Bear Lake to the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) at Baldwin Lake and then south to Shay Pond, and southeast of Big Bear Lake to the Bear Mountain Ski Resort Storage Pond and Sand Canyon Recharge Area. Each of these elements are discussed in further detail below. The Program is located within several USGS 7.5-minute topographic maps, including the following: Big Bear City, CA; Big Bear Lake, CA Moonridge, CA; and, San Gorgonio, CA. The central point for this Program is the BBARWA WWTP site, for which the geographic coordinates of the proposed project are 34.268906º, -116.815575º, which is located in Section 7, Township 2 North, Range 2 East of the Big Bear City, CA USGS 7.5-minute topographic map.

Project Description

The Program includes permitting, design, and construction of an Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) at the existing BBARWA WWTP, about 6.59 miles of pipeline for Program Water and reverse osmosis (RO), brine minimization, three pump stations, groundwater recharge, and up to four monitoring wells to implement a Program that would retain recycled water in the Big Bear Valley for beneficial use to increase the sustainability of local water supplies. The Program is currently estimated to produce approximately 1,950 acre-feet per year (AFY) of high-quality Program Water, and may produce up to 2,200 AFY by 2040 through utilization of a high-recovery brine minimization technology. The Program includes the following uses and benefits:

  • Sustain Stanfield Marsh Habitat and Increase Educational Opportunities: By providing a consistent water source to Stanfield Marsh through the discharge of Program Water to Stanfield Marsh, the habitat therein would be sustained, and educational opportunities for the community and visitors would be created;
  • Enhance Big Bear Lake Benefits: The Program would discharge Program Water to Stanfield Marsh, allowing the Program Water to flow through Stanfield Marsh and provide new inflow to Big Bear Lake. The Program will increase inflows and Lake level, thereby enhancing recreational opportunities and aquatic habitat in both Big Bear Lake and Stanfield Marsh, and would support water quality improvements;
  • Expand Local Water Supplies: When there is space in the groundwater basin to increase water levels and there is available Program Water stored in Big Bear Lake, Program Water could be pumped to Sand Canyon to recharge the groundwater basin to strengthen the sustainability of the groundwater basin;
  • Sustain Unarmored Threespine Stickleback Fish with Program Water: To sustain the habitat for the Federally listed Unarmored Threespine Stickleback (Stickleback) fish with a new sustainable water source, Program Water will be discharged to Shay Pond in place of potable groundwater.
Replenish Big Bear Overview

Environmental Documentation and Review Period

Electronic copies of the entire Program DPEIR can be accessed at: https://www.replenishbigbear.com/eir-process. The DPEIR is available for an additional fifteen (15) days, with public review period now ending on February 20, 2024.  Any person wishing to comment on the DPEIR may provide written comments by 5:00 PM on February 20, 2024 addressed as follows: 

 

Bridgette Burton

Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency

121 Palomino Drive

P.O. Box 517

Big Bear City, CA 92314

Email: bburton@bbarwa.org | Telephone: 909-584-4524

 

Notification of the date, time, and place of future public hearings will be provided in compliance with CEQA requirements. 

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