In coordination with Friends of the Santa Clara River and SCOPE, VCK is advocating to protect the water quality and ecological integrity of the Santa Clara River and Ventura County’s coastal waters from the proposed Newhall Development ( Newhall Resource Management and Development Plan (“RMDP”) and Spineflower Conservation Plan (“SCP”).
The Newhall Ranch Project proposes to develop 22,610 homes, seven schools, a golf course and a water reclamation plant that would move roughly 77,000 people into 12,000 acres along the Santa Clara River and it tributaries. During construction, the Project proposes to discharge 19.9 million cubic yards (four football fields over half a mile deep) of dredge and fill material from excavation into 83.2 acres Santa Clara River. After construction, the ongoing long term ecological and water quality impact to the Santa Clara River Watershed and Ventura County’s coastal waters will be devastating if the development is approved with the mitigation measures under any of alternatives set forth in the DEIS/DEIR, except the no project alternative
Not only does the DEIS/DEIR not identify significant water quality impacts in the stretches of the Santa Clara River and Ventura’s Coastal waters downstream of the proposed development, but it erroneously dismisses as irrelevant the effects of the proposed project’s pollutant loading that will lead to bioaccumulation of toxic pollutants and eutrophication in the Santa Clara River Estuary and Ventura’s coastal waters. Additionally, the DEIS/DEIR does not evaluate the chronic toxicity impacts nor full acute toxicity impacts that individual pollutants, the aggregate of pollutants, or pharmaceuticals discharged from the proposed development into the Santa Clara River and Ventura’s coastal waters will have on water quality and aquatic life. Amongst other concerns, the forecast of the proposed project’s discharge of pollutants is unrealistically low in comparison to nationwide statistical data of the concentrations of pollutants commonly found in urban runoff, and in light the inadequate stormwater best management practices set forth in the DEIS/DEIR. VCK is especially concerned that if the DEIS/DEIR is adopted, that the development’s urban runoff will impair Ventura County’s costal waters with pathogens that will threaten the health of beachgoers, surfers, and the general public that comes in contact with Santa Clara River water.
The DEIS/DEIR is also insufficient because it must demand, for the project’s impacts to water quality and aquatic resources to be adequately mitigated, that the development utilizes the low impact development (“LID”) standards required by the 2009 Ventura County MS4 Permit mandating for most sites that the new development meets a 5% Effective Impervious Area requirement.
Click here for L.A. Weekly article - Nov. 2012
Click here for latest Coalition Press Release - Oct. 2012
Click here for Statement from Chumash Ceremonial Elder Mati Waiya
Click here for Case Summary Regarding Significance of Native American Cultural Holding
Click here for Case Summary Regarding Significance of Steelhead Holding
Click here for L.A. Times Article
Click here for Court’s Judgment and Statement of Decision
Click Here for VCK’s, Friends of the Santa Clara River’s, and SCOPE’s Joint DEIS/DEIR Comment Letter
Click here for the EPA’s Comment Letter