Notice of Availability of a

Draft Environmental Impact Report for the



Montecito Water District, as lead agency, announces the availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Report that assesses the environmental impacts associated with the proposed Ortega Reservoir Improvement Project.


Document Availability. The Draft Environmental Impact Report is available for review at Montecito Water District, 583 San Ysidro Road, Montecito; Carpinteria Valley Water District, 1301 Santa Ynez Avenue, Carpinteria;  Montecito Library, 1469 East Valley Road, Montecito; and Carpinteria Library, 5141 Carpinteria Avenue, Carpinteria. Please contact Robert L. Roebuck, General Manager, at 805-969-2271 if you have questions or comments.


Community Workshop. All interested persons are encouraged to attend an informal Community Workshop to be held on September 13, 2004, at Montecito Fire District, 595 San Ysidro Road, Montecito, from 6:30-9:00 pm. Information about the proposed project will be presented, and attendees are welcome to discuss the proposed project, ask questions, and provide oral and/or written comments.


Public Hearing. A Public Hearing will be held on the Draft Environmental Impact Report on October 4, 2004,at Montecito Fire District, 595 San Ysidro Road, Montecito, from 6:30 to 9:00.


Project Location. Ortega Reservoir is located on the 400 block of Ortega Ridge Road, Summerland, Santa Barbara County.


Project Description. Ortega Reservoir provides potable water storage for Montecito Water District and Carpinteria Valley Water District. It is a 21-million gallon capacity, concrete-lined, uncovered storage facility. The property and reservoir are owned by the US Bureau of Reclamation, and operated by the Cachuma Operations and Maintenance Board.


The California Department of Health Services has determined that a water quality problem (health hazard) arises from the fact that Ortega Reservoir is uncovered and is continually exposed to both bacterial contamination and disinfectant degradation. New uncovered reservoirs are no longer permitted in the state, but existing reservoirs are allowed to continue to operate, though they must meet increasingly stringent standards. In its present uncovered state, the reservoir will be unable to meet these standards.


The purpose of the proposed project is to remediate the water quality problems associated with the reservoir’s present uncovered state and improve water circulation in order to continue to meet legal standards.


It is proposed to provide a fixed structural roof over the reservoir with suitable support structures, make changes to promote water circulation within the reservoir, modify the overflow structure, widen the reservoir perimeter road, and install an interior reservoir wall to permit isolation of one-half of the reservoir while in service for maintenance purposes.


Project Impacts.  Significant impacts identified in the Draft EIR include degradation of visual quality associated with the proposed roof, reduction in recreational quality of hiking/equestrian trails due to visual impacts, and short-term construction related impacts to soil erosion, geologic hazards, air quality, water quality and transportation.


How to Comment. You are invited to provide written comments to Robert L. Roebuck, General Manager, at Montecito Water District, 583 San Ysidro Road, Montecito, CA 93108, prior to the close of work on October 11, 2004.*  Oral comments will also be accepted at the October 4, 2004 public hearing.


*Note that if you challenge this item in court, you may be limited by law to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the Community Workshop or Public Hearing described in this notice or in written correspondence delivered to Montecito Water District on or before October 11, 2004.


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