Environmental study of Donner site goes before Town Council tonight | SierraSun.com

Environmental study of Donner site goes before Town Council tonight

The location of the proposed water treatment plant at Donner Lake will resurface tonight, but the issue may not be settled for several years depending on the outcome of Town Council’s Sept. 21 meeting.

Town Council will vote to conduct either a full or focused Environmental Impact Report (EIR) regarding the location of the proposed treatment plant, after conflicting environmental reports were heard at their Aug. 31 meeting.

Town Council voted then to uphold the appeal filed by Donner Lake Village Resort over the location of the treatment plant, citing evidence that the location of the plant may be within the 100-year flood plain at Gregory Creek.

Reports by Ensign and Buckley Consulting Engineers, and a deposition by a representative from Sierra Nevada Civil Engineers, contradicted reports by Philip Williams and Associates regarding flood volume.

Town council will decide between an EIR that will focus on the physical environmental effects associated with the water treatment facility regarding flooding and hydrological impacts, or a full EIR.

The duration of a focused EIR on flooding could last anywhere from six to 18 months, but should the town decide to conduct a full EIR, the results could take between 18 and 36 months.

Bob Fortino, president of Donner Lake Water Company, wrote a letter to Donner Lake residents and the town which urges approval of a focused EIR in order to avoid delays to the construction of the treatment facility.

“The finding of our environmental studies, already completed, are supported by both the State Department of Health Services and the Planning Commission,” wrote Fortino.

“The environmental impacts of this project are well understood and the Donner Lake Water Company is committed to addressing all of them. But the biggest impact comes from delays in building the plant. These delays have denied Donner Lake residents adequate supplies of clean drinking water for no good reason,” Fortino said.

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