Chuckawalla Valley State Prison Facility Repairs and Replacement of Existing cooling System

1 Documents in Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
Document Title
Chuckawalla Valley State Prison Facility Repairs and Replacement of Existing cooling System
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption

Document Description
FACILITY REPAIRS (CLASS 1 CATEGORICAL EXEMPTION) The California Department of Corrections (CDC) will repair the following Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) facilities: Failing Shower Facilities in the Housing Units. The shower facilities in the housing units, including the water piping, piping supports and underground waste piping, are all failing. Therefore, the shower areas in the housing units must be demolished and rebuilt. Damaged Walls and Roofs. The Walls and the roof decking on certain buildings have deteriorated due to moisture which has resulted in structural damage (such as exposing the structural steel). Structural repairs to the walls and roofs are therefore necessary to limit further structural damage. Deteriorated Roofing. Forty of the housing and facility support building roofs are reaching the end of their useful life; many of the roofs are leaking, causing structural damage, and are in need of replacement. Therefore, roofing will b replaced on these prison buildings. The facility repairs are necessary to properly maintain prison facilities. The repairs will only restore existing deteriorated and damaged facilities; they will not create new facilities or expand capacity of the prison. REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING COOLING SYSTEM (CLASS 2 CATEGORICAL EXEMPTION) CDC will replace the existing evaporative cooling units and direct expansion (DX) cooling units at CVSP with a new, more efficient, central chiller plant that will cool prison facilities to conditions prescribed in CDC's Design Criteria Guidelines. The plant will be located on a disturbed barren area within the fenced 1,782-acre state-owned prison property adjacent to the main prison facility (Exhibits 3 and 4). The prison's current cooling system uses evaporative coolers and DX (air conditioning) units located at the prison buildings. The evaporative coolers run on electricity and work by combining the natural process of water evaporation with a simple air-moving system. Outside air is filtered through saturated evaporative media, cooled by evaporation, and circulated through the buildings by blower wheels. The existing evaporative coolers use approximately 9 million gallons of water per year if they are working properly (more if they are leaking). The evaporative cooling units are 15 years old, are beyond their recommended useful life, are leaking and are deteriorated to such an extent that complete failure is imminent. The DX units, which are similar to typical household air conditioning units, also run on electricity. DX units do not use water, rather the units work by a closed loop of expanding/condensing gas that absorbs heat and cools the air directly. Like the evaporative coolers, DX units are 15 years old and are due for replacement. CDC will replace the evaporative cooling units and DX units with a central chiller plant. A closed loop will distribute chilled water from the central chiller plant to each of the prison buildings, where it will cool the air that is blown through the buildings. The water, warmed from going through the distribution loop, will return to the central plant where it will be re-cooled by a heat exchange process in the chiller units. The heat exchange process transfers heat to a separate loop that circulates water to cooling towers, which will be constructed as part of the plant. Water will evaporate and cool as it falls through the cooling towers. This cooled water will be sent back to the chiller units where it will absorb heat from the closed distribution loop, and the chilled distribution loop water will be sent out to the buildings again. The central chiller plant will use approximately 7 million gallons of water per year, 2 million gallons per year less than the existing system. Like the current system, water vapor from the evaporative cooling process will be the only emissions from the system. The proposed central chiller plant will provide cooling for the same prison facilities as the evaporative cooling units and DX units, serving the same number of buildings and the same prison population, but with greater flexibility to control internal building temperatures. Initially, the central plant will replace only the evaporative coolers. In the future, when the DX units fail, the central plant will also be used to replace these cooling units. The central plant will provide cooler air and will cool the prison more efficiently, using less water 9reducing the total water use for the entire prison by 1 to 2 percent). In addition, although the central plant has a higher initial cost, it will have a longer life and reduce maintenance costs than evaporative coolers and DX units.

Contact Information
Elaine Leatherman
Department of Corrections
Lead/Public Agency
501 J Street, Room 304
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone : (916) 323-2316



Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Article 19, Sec 15301 & 15302(c)
Reasons for Exemption
FACILITY REPAIRS (CLASS 1 CATEGORICAL EXEMPTION) The facility repairs proposed by CVSP, including shower repairs, structural repairs to walls and roofs, and roofing replacement, are consistent with a Class 1 Categorical Exemption (State CEQA Guidlines, Section 15301). The repairs are necessary to properly maintain the existing prison facilities and the repairs will not expand prison facilities or prison capacity.

Disclaimer: The document was originally posted before CEQAnet had the capability to host attachments for the public. To obtain the original attachments for this document, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at or via phone at (916) 445-0613.

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