The Cambrian

Cambria water facility’s environmental report on track, CCSD director says

The Cambria Community Services District expects the environmental impact report on the Sustainable Water Facilty to be complete around August.
The Cambria Community Services District expects the environmental impact report on the Sustainable Water Facilty to be complete around August.

Services district officials still expect to release sometime in August a long-awaited draft environmental impact report for Cambria’s Sustainable Water Facility.

Greg Sanders, member of the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors, recently defined that report as “a comprehensive blueprint for the future of the community,” based on a cap of 4,650 water connections, to make sure Cambria “can sustain itself, even during a drought.” However, impacts on other resources also must be considered.

The report is to identify how plant operations would affect the area’s environment and how those impacts might be mitigated.

Sanders and board President Gail Robinette are on the district’s ad hoc EIR subcommittee.

Meanwhile, San Luis Obispo County has extended the deadline for the district to fill in the data gaps in the district’s application for an emergency permit to operate the plant, formerly titled the Emergency Water Supply project. The new deadline is Dec. 31, county planner Airlin Singewald told North Coast Advisory Council members recently.

Singewald said he had asked the district to provide three things within the next 60 days:

▪  A revised application “so their permit will be consistent with the sustainable water facility” definition now applied to the project.

“The district now intends to use the plant to serve new growth in Cambria,” while the emergency permit limited the plant’s output to current customers during the drought emergency. If supplying growth is the district’s intention for the plant, “they need to submit a revised application that would allow us to refer it back to the NCAC and (California) Coastal Commission, so they can comment, not just on the emergency aspect, but the growth-inducing aspects.”

▪  A formal report with chronological, aggregated data on water levels in district supply wells, and information on when the facility was operated.

▪  An update “describing progress to date toward items on our request for information” based on the emergency permit.

The district can continue to operate the plant as needed, as long as the declaration of water-supply emergency is in place, Supervisor Bruce Gibson and Singewald told council members July 20.

That ability is crucial, various CSD officials have said, not only if the district needs additional water because of the drought, but because state water officials want the district to do a second “tracer” test. That test would determine how long it takes plant-treated water to flow underground before it reaches district supply wells.

State regulations require a minimum 60-day lag after the treated water is injected back into the aquifer.

Special meeting

The CCSD board will hold a special meeting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St. A formal agenda hadn’t been released by press deadline, but Director Jim Bahringer told North Coast Advisory Council members July 20 that the tentative agenda could include a hearing to consider a list of lots to be cleared by the district’s contractor (with bills for the work sent to the property owners); pay scale for wastewater treatment plant operator; and contract for wastewater repairs. For details, call 805-927-6223 or go to