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. In accordance with CEQA, the CPUC, as the Lead Agency, is preparing an environmental review document to evaluate the proposed project. This site provides access to public documents and information relevant to the CEQA review process.
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 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)
The CPUC published a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for the proposed project to the State Clearinghouse, responsible and trustee agencies, other agencies, tribes, elected officials, organizations, owners and occupants of contiguous properties, residents, and other interested parties on April 23, 2013. The circulated NOP opened a 30-day public comment period on the scope and content of the document from April 23, 2013 to May 23, 2013. The CPUC’s Energy Division conducted a public scoping meeting for the proposed project on May 7, 2013 at the Carpinteria City Hall Council Chambers (5775 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria, California) to provide interested parties the opportunity to learn more about the proposed project, ask questions, and submit comments.
The public review and comment period for the NOP ended at 5:00 pm, May 23, 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.
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. Please click on the links below to access the Final EIR. The Administrative Law Judge is currently reviewing the Final EIR, and will rely on information provided in this document to prepare a Proposed Decision. A hearing date on the Proposed Decision has not yet been set.Table of Contents
0.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Project Description
4.3 Air Quality
4.4 Biological Resources
4.5 Cultural Resources
4.6 Geology, Soils, Minerals
4.7 Greenhouse Gas
4.8 Hazards and Hazardous Materials
4.9 Hydrology and Water Quality
4.10 Land Use
4.12 Population and Housing
4.13 Public Services and Utilities
5.0 Comparison of Alternatives
6.0 Cumulative and Other CEQA
7.0 Past Work Along Segment 3A
8.0 Past Work Along Segments 1 and 2
9.0 List of Preparers
10.0 Mitigation Monitoring Plan
Appendix A: CEQA Scoping Summary Report
Appendix B: Example SWPPP BMPs Provided by SCE
Appendix C: Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Calculations
Appendix D: Biotechnical Report
Appendix E: Special Status Species with Potential to Occur
Appendix F: Geotechnical Surveys
Appendix G: County of Santa Barbara Land Use Compatibility
Appendix H: Screening Report for the Proposed Project Alternatives and Options for the Past Work
Appendix I: Cultural Resources Technical Report
Appendix J: Biological Surveys
Appendix K: Delineation Report
Appendix L: Coast Live Oak Disturbance
Appendix M: Response to Comments
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.
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