Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of proposed construction of the SCE Santa Barbara County Reliability Project (SBCRP). 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 initiated the SBCRP to increase reliability by reinforcing its existing 66 kilovolt (kV) subtransmission system in northwestern Ventura County and southeastern Santa Barbara County to meet the electrical demands of the Santa Barbara South Coast area during emergency conditions while also enhancing operational flexibility. The Santa Barbara South Coast area includes the cities of Goleta, Carpinteria, and Santa Barbara, and adjacent areas of unincorporated southern Santa Barbara County (Electrical Needs Area or ENA). Customers in northwest Ventura County would also benefit from the modernized facilities.
SCE commenced construction of the SBCRP in 1999 under the assumption that the Project was exempt from permitting pursuant to CPUC General Order (G.O.) 131-D and the California Coastal Act (California Public Resources Code section 30000 et seq). Between 1999 and 2004, the following portions of the Project were constructed:
- 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 the Project 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 components of the project not yet constructed, and those portions of the project that would require a CDP.
Major components of the proposed SBCRP would include:
- Reconstructing existing 66 kV subtransmission facilities within existing and new utility rights-of-way (ROW) 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.
- Getty Tap:
- The ‘Getty Tap’ is located approximately in the middle of Segment 1.
Construction of the SBCRP is anticipated to begin in July 2014 and would take approximately 2 years.
Figure 1: Project Location shows an overview of the proposed project route and other major work.
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) on April 23, which is available here. Circulation of the NOP opened a public review and comment period on the scope of the CEQA document. All interested parties, including the public, responsible agencies, and trustee agencies, were invited to present comments about the project and the scope of the CEQA document. In addition, on May 7, 2013, the CPUC’s Energy Division conducted a public scoping meeting for the project in order to provide interested parties the opportunity to learn more about the project, ask questions, and submit comments. The meeting was held at the Carpinteria City Hall Council Chambers located at 5775 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria, California.
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.
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:
Lon Payne, CPUC Project Manager
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel.: (415) 703-3175