• Draft EIR for Cal-Am Test Well Now Available for Comment

    NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary  (MBNMS) has released a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of a proposal by California American Water to develop and operate a temporary slant test well for obtaining information about the geologic, hydrogeologic, and water quality characteristics of coastal aquifers. It is now valuable for public review and comment until July 26, 2014 . The data obtained during the 24-month testing and monitoring phase would be used to facilitate the planning and final design of a proposed subsurface slant well intake system and desalination plant to serve as the primary future water supply source of the Monterey Peninsula.

    The slant test well would be drilled in the coastal foredune area of the CEMEX sand mining facility and would extend diagonally under the floor of the Pacific Ocean into the submerged lands of MBNMS. The slant test well would pump up to 2,500 gallons per minute from the underlying aquifers for a two-year operational testing and monitoring period. The pumped water, consisting of untreated, brackish groundwater, would be discharged into MBNMS via an existing ocean outfall pipeline extending approximately 2 miles offshore.

    The project includes the development and operation of four to 12 temporary vertical monitoring wells to evaluate the hydrogeologic response to pumping activities at the slant well site. Upon completion of the testing and monitoring activities, the slant test well, vertical monitoring wells, and all appurtenant facilities would be decommissioned, excavated, and removed, and the site would be restored to its original condition.

    The test project requires approvals from MBNMS and other state and federal agencies for the proposed drilling activities and discharge of untreated groundwater into MBNMS.

    The Draft EA is available:

    The public may submit comments on the environmental assessment (identified as NOAA-NOS-2014-0078) by any of the following methods:

    • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go tohttp://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NOS-2014-0078, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields and enter or attach your comments.
    • Mail: Submit written comments to: Bridget Hoover, Water Quality Protection Program Director, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 99 Pacific Street, Building 455a, Monterey, CA 93940.

    Attention: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by MBNMS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. MBNMS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bridget Hoover, Water Quality Protection Program Director, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 99 Pacific Street, Building 455a, Monterey, CA 93940. Bridget.hoover@noaa.gov

    posted to Cedar Street Times on June 30, 2014

    Topics: Front PG News, Water

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