Continuation of Maintenance Program for Two Sediment Basins, Rathbun Creek


SCH Number
Public Agency
Big Bear Municipal Water District
Document Title
Continuation of Maintenance Program for Two Sediment Basins, Rathbun Creek
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption

Document Description
In 1993 MWD constructed two sediment basins just upstream of the mouth of Rathbun Creek where the creek enters Big Bear Lake. The purpose is to capture sediment entrained in creek flows from developed areas upstream. The removal of sediment is a key component of efforts to reduce the inflow of nutrients, which are attached to the sediment, into the Lake. Rathbun Creek is one of the largest in Big Bear Valley and it has historically contributed a substantial volume of nutrients to the Lake, with the result that the Lake presently experiences eutrophication. The Regional Board recently adopted a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) threshold for Big Bear Lake, and the continued, effective functioning of the two sediment basins is one essential component to reducing the nutrient load in the Lake. The basins have not been maintained over the past couple of years and the maintenance permits with regulatory agencies have expired. The MWD intends to re-authorize and re-initiate general maintenance and sediment removal from the two basins this fall after flows in Rathbun Creek end. In addition, MWD intends to seek long term maintenance permits from the regulatory agencies for authorization to continue maintenance activities within the basins.

Contact Information
Scott Heule
Big Bear Municipal Water District
Lead/Public Agency
40524 Lakeview Drive P.O. Box 2863
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Phone : (909) 866-5796


Big Bear Lake
San Bernardino

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Reasons for Exemption
The State CEQA Guidelines provide a series of categorical exemptions for projects that have been deemed to have minimal impacts on the environment. The proposed project is the continued maintenance, including sediment removal, from two sediment capture basins located just upstream of the mouth of Rathbun Creek where it enters into Big Bear Lake. The basins are man-made (excavated in 1993) and they have been maintained in the past (including removal of sediment) by the MWD to reduce both the sediment load and nutrient load in Big Bear Lake. The continued maintenance of these basins in the fall after the bird nesting and annual plant season has no potential to cause significant adverse effects on the environment and will ensure the basins continue to operate effectively. Categorical Exemption Class 1 exempts "operation, repair, maintenance.. or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities and mechanical equipment…involving negligible or no expansion of use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency's determination." Section 15301(i) specifically applies to this project based on the following text: "maintenance of…….stream channels (clearing of debris) to protect fish and wildlife resources." The exceptions to the issuance of categorical exemptions have been evaluated for the proposed project activities and found not to have a potential to cause a significant adverse environmental impacts and qualifies with the requirements for Class 1 exemption.

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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