CEQA for the Pure Water Soquel Project

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires state and local agencies to identify the significant effects a proposed project may have on the physical environment. The review and input of the public, agencies, and interested parties is an important part of the CEQA process, which provides a number of opportunities for public participation. In accordance with CEQA, an Environmental Impact Report has been prepared to identify and evaluate the potential environmental effects of the proposed Pure Water Soquel Project, indicate how and whether the significant effects can be mitigated or avoided, and describe and analyze possible alternatives to the Project. Preparation of an EIR ensures that the District considers potential environmental effects of the proposed Project and public input when deciding whether to approve the Project.

For this project, the notice of preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (State Clearninghouse NO. 2016112045 )was issued on November 16, 2016 and a revised notice of preparation was issued June 22, 2017.  The public review period for the Pure Water Soquel: Groundwater Replenishment and Seawater Intrusion Prevention (Project) Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was held June 29 through August 13, 2018. 

A Responses to Comments document for the above-referenced project was prepared and, along with the Draft EIR, was before the Soquel Creek Water District  Board of Directors as the Final EIR on December 18, 2018. This Final EIR was prepared in compliance with CEQA (California Public Resources Code, Sections 21000 et seq.), and the CEQA Guidelines (Code of Regulations Title 14, Chapter 3, Sections 15000 et seq.).

On December 18, 2018, the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors certified the EIR and approved the Pure Water Soquel Project. Click here to access Press Release

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Certification and Project Approval

Final EIR

The Final EIR is comprised of the following three documents which include:

Community Handbook: A Guide to the Draft Environmental  Impact Report and Review Process

The Community Handbook is an easy-to-follow 24-page guide to the Draft EIR. It’s intended to provide a summary and overview of the proposed Project and key elements of the environmental analysis in the Draft EIR, including design features, mitigation measures, and feasible alternatives. The handbook also provides information about the environmental review process and how to provide comments on the Draft EIR.

Responses to Comments

The Responses to Comments Document can be accessed by sections below

Cover, Table of Contents, Chapter 1 248KB
Chapter 2 List of Persons Commenting 169KB
Chapter 3 Comments and Responses, part 1 20.8MB
Chapter 3 Comments and Responses, part 2 40.5MB
Chapter 4 EIR Text Revisions 6.5MB

Draft EIR with Appendices

The Draft EIR with Appendices can be accessed by sections (below in smaller files) or two comprehensive files (the Draft EIR and Appendices).

Sections File Size
Notice of Availability 1.03 MB
Cover and Table of Contents 99 KB
Acronyms and Glossary 57 KB
Chapter 1: Summary 254 KB
Chapter 2: Introduction and Background 687 KB
Chapter 3: Project Description 2.2 MB
Chapter 4: Environmental Setting, Impacts, and Mitigation Measures
    4.1. Overview 72 KMB
    4.2. Aesthetics 2.1 MB
    4.3. Air Quality 210 KB
    4.4. Biological Resources 5.7 MB
    4.5. Cultural Resources 251 KB
    4.6. Energy Conservation 109 KB
    4.7. Geology and Paleontology 537 KB
    4.8. Greenhouse Gas Emissions 123 KB
    4.9. Hazards and Hazardous Materials 321 KB
    4.10. Hydrology Resources – Groundwater 2.5 MB
    4.11. Hydrology Resources – Surface Water 1.1 MB
    4.12. Land Use and Recreation 325 KB
    4.13. Noise and Vibration 1.1 MB
    4.14. Population and Housing 77 KB
    4.15. Transportation 186 KB
    4.16. Tribal Cultural Resources 37 KB
    4.17. Utilities and Service Systems 87 KB
Chapter 5: Cumulative Impacts 622 KB
Chapter 6: Other CEQA Considerations 117 KB
Chapter 7: Alternatives 267 KB
Chapter 8: Report Preparers 15 KB
Appendices for Draft EIR (all sections listed below)  
    A. NOP and Scoping Report 73 MB
    B. Health Risk Assessment and Construction Emissions Estimates 3 MB
    C-1. Special Status Species Considered for the Proposed Project 320 KB
    C-2. Terrestrial and Freshwater Species Considered for the Proposed Project 279 KB
    C-3. Local Plans and Policies Relevant to Biological Resources 78 KB
    D. Pure Water Soquel Model Simulation Results 7 MB
    E. Summary of Impacts and Mitigation Measures from City of Capitola and County of Santa Cruz General Plan EIRs    974 KB





























Hard copies of the Draft EIR are at the following locations:

  • Soquel Creek Water District Office, 5180 Soquel Dr., Soquel
  • Santa Cruz Public Libraries 
    • Aptos Branch, 7695 Soquel Drive, Aptos
    • Branciforte Branch, 230 Gault Street,Santa Cruz
    • Downtown Branch, 224 Church Street, Santa Cruz
    • Garfield Park Branch, 705 Woodrow Avenue, Santa Cruz
    • La Selva Branch, 316 Estrella Avenue, La Selva Beach
    • Live Oak Branch, 2380 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz
  • Porter Memorial Public Library, 3050 Porter Street, Soquel

Draft EIR Process (June 29-August 13, 2018)

The 45-day comment period was from June 29 through August 13, 2018. All comments had to be postmarked or received via email by August 13, 2018 for consideration in the Final EIR.  

People could comment by:

  • Email - Submit comments via email to purewatersoquelceqa@esassoc.com
  • Mail- Mail written comments to: Pure Water Soquel Project CEQA, 4041 Soquel DR, STE A-501, Soquel, CA 95073 -3105

Public Meeting was held on July 31, 2018 (6:00–8:00 pm at Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Dr., Monschke Hall, Aptos, CA 95003).

Scoping Process (November 2016 – July 2017)

Here is an overview of the elements of the Scoping Process for this proposed Project, which took place November 2016 through June 2017.

Notice of Preparation/Initial Study (NOP/IS)

Public Scoping Meetings

To Learn About the Project

Go to our Pure Water Soquel page for our current activities