Drilling and Construction of Monitoring Wells – Indian Wells Site

Summary

SCH Number
2021020003
Public Agency
California Department of Water Resources (DWR)
Document Title
Drilling and Construction of Monitoring Wells – Indian Wells Site
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Received
Posted
2/1/2021
Present Land Use
Open Land, owned by BLM

Document Description
The Department of Water Resources Technical Support Services Program proposes to install three nested monitoring wells in a single borehole at the location described above. The Indian Wells Groundwater Authority (IWGA) and its stakeholders require groundwater monitoring data, collected from the proposed wells, to correlate existing geophysical survey data with the subsurface conditions at the proposed Project site through the interpolation of the subsurface conditions with the subsurface conditions at the nearest existing well. To accomplish this objective, an exploratory borehole would be drilled to approximately 1,500' below ground surface (bgs) or to bedrock, whichever is shallower, using a mud rotary drill rig. After conducting a geophysical survey in the borehole, three monitoring wells would be constructed. The depths of the completed monitoring wells would be dependent on drilling conditions, encountered lithology, and data from the geophysical survey; the estimated depths of the monitoring wells are approximately 300' to 340' bgs, 800' to 840' bgs, and 1,300' to 1,340' bgs. The proposed wells would be constructed within an area, 250 ft2 , on the south side of the unimproved road heading east from Highway 14. Construction would consist of three phases. The mobilization phase of approximately one week would initiate the proposed Project by transporting equipment and supplies to the site and assembling equipment. The next phase would drill and construct the monitoring wells.

Contact Information
Albert Lu
Department of Water Resources
Lead/Public Agency
770 Fairmont Ave. Suite 200
Glendale, CA 91203

Phone : (818) 549-2330
albert.lu@water.ca.gov

Department of Water Resources
Project Applicant

Location

Coordinates
35°32'56.6"N 117°54'38.6"W
Counties
Kern
Regions
Countywide Statewide
Zip
93527
Total Acres
<1
State Highways
14
Township
27S
Range
38E
Other Location Info
The proposed Project site is in Kern County, on land owned by the Federal Government, the Bureau of Land Management. The proposed wells would be constructed immediately off the intersection of two unimproved, dirt roads approximately 1 mile east of Highway 14 (also known as the Midland Trail). The eastward heading road begins immediately off Highway 14 approximately 0.5 mile north of the unincorporated community of Armistead. Armistead is located approximately 9 miles South-Southwest of the Inyokern Airport.

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Minor Alteration of Land, Class 4, 15304, Title 14 CCR; Information Collection, Class 6, 15306, Title 14 CCR
Reasons for Exemption
The proposed Project is categorically exempt under Class 4, Section 15304, because the construction activities consist of temporary, nonsignificant impacts to the condition of the land and vegetation and do not remove healthy, mature, scenic trees. The proposed Project is also categorically exempt under Class 6, Section 15306 because it consists of basic data collection and resource evaluation activities that do not result in a significant impact to an environmental resource. A preconstruction survey was conducted which revealed no sensitive resources on the proposed Project site. The California Natural Diversity Database shows that Xerospermophilus mohavensis (Mohave Ground Squirrel) and Athene cunicularia (Burrowing Owl) populations are located nearby. The proposed Project site scouted for potential microhabitats and found none on the site. Red-taped flora nearby the proposed construction site are marked as microhabitats for Xerospermophilus mohavensis and would be avoided during construction. Desert Tortoise awareness training would be administered to all site visitors and workers and would sign documentation to indicate having taken the training. Vehicles would not travel on unpaved roads at speeds exceeding 20 miles per hour for dust control mitigation. Vehicles would operate in conformance with California Vehicle Code. Drip pans would be placed under parked equipment and under the porta-potty. The preexisting denuded area would be utilized to minimize additional denudation. Silt fencing would be installed around the perimeter of the site. Water, fluids, and hazardous materials are not expected to contact the ground. Visqueen plastic sheeting would be spread in the work area, and the drill rig would be parked above the Visqueen. A spill kit would be on site to contain any fluids that may get on the Visqueen. The Visqueen is expected to have minimal foot-traffic; vehicle traffic would be avoided. Silt fencing would be installed at the perimeters of the Visqueen to prevent erosion. The completed monitoring wells would be covered by a ground-flush-mounted lid and a water-tight gasket. A flush-mounted 30 in x 30 in cement form would surround the well box. Overall, no significant impacts are anticipated for biological resources, air quality, visual impact, water quality, land surface, or historic and archaeological resources. Operation of the drill rig will create noise; the completed monitoring wells will be silent. A well permit has been filed with the Kern County Water Agency. USA DigAlert would be notified prior to commencing work.

Attachments

Notice of Exemption
Indian_Wells_NOE_01   PDF 272 K

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