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LandWatch submits a second letter to the Planning Commission on the Final EIR for GPU 2010

The second LandWatch letter on GPU 2010 submitted to the Planning Commission on July 20th raises questions about some of the County’s assumptions regarding water supply in the Salinas Valley and questions how the County plans to address erosion and sedimentation issues.

The General Plan EIR’s concludes that water supplies in the Salinas Valley will be sufficient through 2030, that over-drafting will not occur, and that seawater intrusion will be halted. But using the County’s own data, the LandWatch letter provides evidence that the Salinas Valley Water Project could not provide sufficient water, halt seawater intrusion, and stop the basin from going further into overdraft.

In regards to erosion and sedimentation issues, the EIR for the General Plan is saying one thing while the County is doing another. Recently the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) proposed to amend the agricultural waiver to require a riparian buffer between streams and agricultural operations which would help erosion and sedimentation issues throughout the County. The RWQCB’s proposal also supports the expert opinion by Robert Curry that LandWatch provided in our first letter on the FEIR. In April of this year, the Board of Supervisors sent a letter to the RWQCB opposing their new requirements. The BOS opposition is inconsistent with the claim in the General Plan EIR that the County can and should rely on the RWQCB waiver to control erosion and sedimentation. The Supervisors’ letter calls into question the County’s good faith in proposing a stream setback ordinance as mitigation of erosion impacts and demonstrates the need for an adequate specification of that mitigation in the EIR itself.

Please click here to read the full LandWatch letter.

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posted08.01.10