Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of proposed construction of the Southern California Edison Company (SCE) Santa Barbara County Reliability Project (SBCRP or proposed project). SCE filed an application [Application No. A.12-10-018] for a Permit to Construct (PTC) with the CPUC to rebuild and upgrade a portion of its transmission infrastructure in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties between the City of San BuenaVentura (Ventura) and the City of Carpinteria. The applicant’s request was granted by the Commission on November 5, 2015 (Decision 15-11-003). This site provides access to public documents and information relevant to the CEQA review process.
Construction of the project is anticipated to begin in October 2016. Information about the CPUC’s monitoring of construction activities for environmental compliance is provided here.
In 1998, SCE determined the need to increase reliability by reinforcing its existing 66 kilovolt (kV) subtransmission system in northwestern Ventura County and southeastern Santa Barbara County to meet customer electrical demand within the electrical needs area (ENA) during emergency conditions while also enhancing operational flexibility. The ENA includes the cities of Goleta, Carpinteria, and Santa Barbara, and adjacent areas of unincorporated southern Santa Barbara County (Figure 1-1). Customers in northwest Ventura County would also benefit from the modernized facilities.
SCE commenced construction activities within the proposed project area in 1999 under the assumption that the construction activities were exempt from permitting pursuant to CPUC General Order 131-D and the California Coastal Act (California Public Resources Code § 30000 et seq.). Between 1999 and 2004, the following construction activities occurred:
- Some substation modifications were completed at the Carpinteria, Goleta, Isla Vista, Ortega, and Santa Clara Substations;
- New subtransmission structures and 66 kV conductor were installed in Segment 1 from Santa Clara Substation to Casitas Substation, and the existing 66 kV conductor was removed;
- New subtransmission structures and 66 kV conductor were installed in Segment 2 from Casitas Substation to the ‘Y’ (the point along the corridor where Segments 2, 3B, and 4 converge) located near Casitas Pass just west of Lake Casitas in Ventura County, and the existing 66 kV conductor was removed;
- New subtransmission structures and 66 kV conductor were installed in Segment 3A from Carpinteria Substation to the Santa Barbara/Ventura County line, and existing wood subtransmission structures were removed or topped;
- Subtransmission structures in Segments 1 and 2 were partially removed; and
- Two footings for tubular steel poles (TSPs), two lightweight steel (LWS) H-frames, one LWS pole, and two switches at the Getty Tap location were installed, and two wood H-frames and one wood pole were removed.
In 2004, Coastal Commission staff determined that these construction activities did not qualify for an Exemption from a Local Coastal Development Permit (CDP) and construction ceased. In 2012, SCE submitted an application to the CPUC for a permit to construct the SBCRP in order to complete the previous construction activities and to the Coastal Commission to obtain a CDP for the required portions of the proposed project.
Major components of the proposed SBCRP would include:
- Reconstructing existing 66 kV subtransmission facilities within existing and new utility rights-of-way between the existing Santa Clara Substation in Ventura County and the existing Carpinteria Substation located in the City of Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County (Segments 4 and 3B);
- Modifying subtransmission, substation, and/or telecommunications equipment within the existing Carpinteria, Casitas, Getty, Goleta, Ortega, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and Ventura Substations; and
- Installing fiber optic telecommunications equipment for the protection, monitoring and control of subtransmission and substation equipment along Segments 1, 2, and 4 and at Carpinteria, Casitas, Santa Clara, and Ventura Substations.
The proposed project components have been divided into discrete geographic segments to facilitate discussions.
- Segment 1:
- Spans from Santa Clara Substation in the east to Casitas Substation in the west.
- Segment 2:
- Spans from Casitas Substation in the east to the ‘Y’ in the west.
- Segment 3A:
- Spans from Carpinteria Substation in the west to the Santa Barbara County/Ventura County border in the east.
- Segment 3B:
- Spans from the Santa Barbara County/Ventura County border in the west to the ‘Y’ in the east.
- Segment 4:
- Spans from the ‘Y’ in the east to Carpinteria Substation in the west.
- Segment 5:
- Spans between Segment 3B and Segment 4. Conductor and tower removal only.
- Getty Tap:
- The ‘Getty Tap’ is located approximately in the middle of Segment 1.
Construction of the SBCRP would take approximately 2 years.
Figure 1-1: Regional Location and Electrical Needs Area of the Proposed Project shows an overview of the proposed project route and the ENA.
The CPUC developed a Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan (MMCRP) in coordination with SCE to provide guidance and procedures for environmental monitoring during project construction. The MMCRP is a tool to ensure compliance with the applicant proposed measures (APMs) and mitigation measures approved in the Final EIR.
The MMCRP can be viewed here. (2.3MB)
Notices to Proceed
The CPUC issues Notices to Proceed (NTPs) to the applicant for each phase of construction activity, after confirming that SCE has complied with pre-construction environmental requirements. Each NTP for the project is listed in the table below.
|NTP No.||Project Components/Phase||Date NTP Approved|
|None as of 6/21/2016|
Construction Monitoring Reports
Monthly reports issued on construction progress as part of mitigation monitoring and compliance are listed here.
|Construction Month||Associated Notice to Proceed|
|None as of 6/21/2016|
Minor Project Refinements
SCE may submit Minor Project Refinements (MPRs) for project changes that are not major enough to warrant potential revision of the certified CEQA document. The CPUC will review any MPRs submitted by the applicant per the process described in the MMCRP. Each MPR request submitted for the project is listed in the table below.
|MRP No.||Associated NTP||Description||Date CPUC Approved|
|None as of 6/21/2016|
The Final Decision approving the Santa Barbara County Reliability Project was published on November 5, 2015. The Final Decision may be viewed here.
As the CEQA Lead Agency, the CPUC prepared a Draft EIR for the proposed project in accordance with CEQA. The Notice of Availability (NOA) and the Draft EIR may be viewed here.
A 45-day public comment period on the Draft EIR began on September 26, 2014, and ended on November 12, 2014. A public meeting on the Draft EIR was held on October 29, 2014 at the Carpinteria City Hall.
The CPUC published the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for SCE’s Santa Barbara County Reliability Project on May 19, 2015. he Final EIR and appendices can be found here.
Final EIR Erratas
After publishing the Final EIR on May 19, 2015, it was discovered that one comment letter was inadvertently omitted from Appendix M. The comment letter, which was submitted by the County of Santa Barbara in November 2014, did not result in textual changes to the body of the Final EIR. The addition of this comment letter and the responses to the comments did not result in significant new information as described in Section 15088.5(a) of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines and did not require recirculation of the document. Therefore, on May 29, 2015, the CPUC published an errata to the Final EIR, which may be viewed here.
Following publication of Errata 1, minor edits to the Final EIR for the project were incorporated to provide clarification that will facilitate the use of the Final EIR to support Santa Barbara County’s consideration for issuing a Coastal Development Permit. Other minor clarifications and corrections were also included. All of the information included in this Errata document clarifies, amplifies, or makes insignificant modifications to the Final EIR. This information did not result in significant new information as described in Section 15088.5(a) of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines and did not require recirculation of the document. Therefore, on July 28, 2015 the CPUC published Errata 2 to the Final EIR, which may be viewed here.
Notice of Preparation (NOP) was published April 23, 2013.The 30-day public commenting period was April 23, 2013 to May 23, 2013 with a public scoping meeting for the proposed project on May 7, 2013. A summary of the scoping process and comments received during the scoping period is included in the final Scoping Report which is available here.
The application and PEA for the SBCRP may be viewed here.
Deficiency Letter #1 (November 19, 2012)
Deficiency Letter #2 (January 11, 2013)
Application Deemed Complete Letter (March 4, 2013)
SCE Response to Deficiency Letter #1 (December 21, 2012)
SCE Response to Deficiency Letter #2 (February 11, 2013)
SCE Response to Deficiency Letter #2 – Cumulative (February 22, 2013)
To request additional information or to be added to the mailing list, please contact us by email, fax, or phone, as follows:
Project fax: 415-398-5326
Project voicemail: (855) 894-8054 (toll free)
The CPUC’s Project Manager is:
Jensen Uchida, CPUC Project Manager
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel.: (415) 703-5484