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Appeal for Meeting on Santa Rosa’s Outfall to Steelhead Beach

Hi everyone!!

PLEASE PASS THIS EMAIL AROUND  ANYONE CONCERNED ABOUT THE RUSSIAN RIVER
DIRECT DISCHARGE (SR DISCHARGE COMPLIANCE PROJECT)….Also, please forgive
duplications of this message.

Tomorrow (Thursday) at 5 PM in City Council Chambers the BPU will hold a
meeting to certify the Final EIR on the Discharge Compliance Project, which
includes two direct discharge locations and continued use of the Laguna.
This is not project selection, which will occur in early December.

The length of the BPU meeting will depend on how many people show up.  We
don’t expect a huge crowd but hope to see many of you there.  The BPU had
anticipated certifying the document tomorrow, but we think there is a major
flaw in it.  It is significant that this change in the EIR came as a total
surprise to us.  No one from the City said a word.  The EIR was released on
Sept. 22nd, we could not get it until Sept. 24th, giving us only eight days
to study it.

RRWPC, Friends of Steelhead Beach,  and may others have serious concerns
about this certification action.  We believe there is a flaw in this
document that should prohibit certification at this time.  SR  decided
(without alerting us) to mitigate the damage to Osprey Trail by changing the
route of the pipeline.  That is good for Osprey Trail (most of it anyway)
and shows we (and the Parks Dept.) are having a strong impact on the
process.

The bad part is they did not discuss impacts of laying 48″ pipe in a very
sensitive 1/2 mile on River Rd. (from the park entrance to approximately Rio
Vista, where the pipe will turn into the park and strongly impact the West
end of the park). Remember, they had said they needed a 50′ work area to
install the pipe.  I think that would take the whole road.  There is a
significant drop on the north side of the road, so there really is no
shoulder most of the way.  I have sent a letter (attached) to them
expressing strong concerns and telling them they cannot certify the EIR
without determining  impacts and allowing the public to weigh in on them
(with response).  This could set the process back considerably which they
don’t want to do.

The construction period would last 18 months, a fact that I don’t think was
revealed in the Draft EIR.  It sounds like they would basically shut down
the west end of the park, closing access to very popular Children’s Beach
for at least one summer.  They would close the access at Rio Vista into the
park.  With the construction time up to 18 months, they could go into two
summers.  They would build a coffer dam in order to put the diffuser in the
river.  They would allow boating around it, but it’s likely to be a very
unpleasant experience for people looking to get away from that sort of
thing.

I write a great deal in my letter as to why I don’t think this project is
necessary.  I hope you can take the time to read it.

I hope many of you can come.  This is very important.  They are rushing this
certification process and need to follow CEQA regarding this significant
change in the pipeline route.

BPU MEETING TOMORROW AT 5 PM AT CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS!!

See you there.

BrendaA