No environmental report needed for $9.38 million Tahoe water plant | SierraSun.com

No environmental report needed for $9.38 million Tahoe water plant

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com
This map shows the locations considered for the water treatment plant (WTP) on the West Shore; ultimately, the Lodge site was chosen.
Courtesy TCPUD |

How to comment

• Written comments should be mailed to Matt Homolka, assistant TCPUD general manager, PO Box 5249, 221 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City, CA 96145; or emailed to mhomolka@tcpud.org.

• A public hearing will be held at 5 p.m., Oct. 7, at the TCPUD board room, 221 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City, where the TCPUD board will consider adoption of the MND.

• Hard copies are available during normal business hours at the TCPUD office (221 Fairway Drive) and the Tahoe City Public Library (740 North Lake Blvd.).

• More online: Visit waterplant.tcpud.org to learn more.

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — A proposed treatment plant to address water supply and quality concerns for portions of the West Shore would have no significant environmental impacts, so long as appropriate countermeasures are taken.

This conclusion comes from an initial environmental study released in August that studied 18 areas of interest, ranging from agricultural and forestry resources to hydrology.

Of those areas studied, three could be significantly impacted by the roughly $9.4 million project — aesthetics, biological resources and noise — but through recommend mitigation measures, those effects would be negated.

For that reason, preparation of an environmental impact report is not recommended. Instead, a Mitigated Negative Declaration is intended to be adopted.

This study was based on the plant being constructed at the Lodge Drive site, a vacant parcel owned by the California Tahoe Conservancy located west of Highway 89 adjacent to Lodge Drive.

In July, the Tahoe City Public Utility District board of directors officially selected that site from two other potential sites at Chamberland Drive and Lagoon Road, said Kurt Althof, grants and community information administrator for the district.

Project overview

The project includes construction of a permanent drinking water treatment plant to replace the TCPUD’s roughly decade-old interim seasonal treatment plant at Chambers Landing.

The West Lake Tahoe Regional Water Treatment Plant would increase potable water service reliability and quality for the TCPUD McKinney-Quail Water Service Area, along with other West Shore water systems, according to the district.

Preliminary designs estimate the facility at 3,500 square feet and 21 feet tall. It’s proposed to supply a maximum of 650 gallons per minute with the ability to expand to 1,000 gpm.

The earliest the plant could break ground is fall 2016, with an anticipated year-and-a-half construction timeframe for a late summer 2017 completion.

The $9.38 million price tag includes costs for the initial study prepared by Auburn-based Dudek, Althof said.

Potential project funding sources include grants, low or no-interest loans, water rate and property tax revenues, and capital reserves.

Additional revenue from customers will not be needed, as TCPUD’s most recent water rates were developed to cover a five-year capital plan, including this project.

According to the PUD, the Mitigated Negative Declaration’s 30-day review period began Aug. 10. The deadline for public comment is 4:30 p.m. Sept. 9.