As lead agency under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines section 15051, the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District) prepared and certified an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in March of 2016 for the Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC or Project) that would treat wastewater generated in the East Valley Water District (EVWD or District) service area for beneficial reuse in the Upper Santa Ana River watershed. The SNRC would be located in the City of Highland and convey the tertiary-treated water to one or more of the identified discharge points in City Creek, the East Twin Creek Spreading Grounds, or the Redlands Basins. The discharged water would percolate into the groundwater basin, augmenting local water supplies pursuant to Title 22 regulations governing indirect potable reuse (IPR) projects.
In 2018, the lead agency responsibility for the SNRC was transferred from Valley District to EVWD. In July 2019, EVWD adopted an addendum to the 2016 EIR (Addendum No. 1). Addendum No. 1 evaluated specific operational changes to the SNRC facility that did not create new or increased environmental impacts beyond those analyzed and mitigated in the EIR. At this time, EVWD proposes a second modification (Addendum No. 2) to allow: 1) the recharge of SNRC-treated water into the groundwater basin at two additional recharge basin locations in the City of Highland; and 2) the extension of the 2016 EIR-certified treated water conveyance pipeline system to the two new recharge basins (collectively, the Project). EVWD has prepared this Addendum No. 2 pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15164 to evaluate the potential for either of the proposed modifications to result in new significant impacts not previously identified in the 2016 EIR. As described in detail in the Addendum No. 2, impacts to the environment as a result of the SNRC modifications are consistent with and would not create substantial new or increased impacts beyond those which were evaluated in the 2016 EIR.