Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District board members approved a proposal for what staffers are calling their only viable option to attain chloride compliance in the Santa Clarita Valley — trucking brine out of the valley.
The three board members unanimously OK’ed the plan at Wednesday night’s meeting, but uncertainties remain regarding the cost.
“The capital cost for the project, we don’t know exactly what it will be until we obviously identify what the solution is going to be,” said Phil Friess, head of Technical Services of the district. “We hope and expect it will be similar to the approved project and are hoping to build the project within the approved rate package that has been approved through 2019 without any change.
Officials project the cost will be about $130 million, the same as the previous plan which included a deep well injection site that was turned down by residents last month.
“We do expect that the annual cost for brine minimization by truck hauling for the residual (brine) to an alternate location and the annual operation and management cost will be higher than the previous approved injection well project,” Friess added.
Brine is the salt removed from chloride which is added to water through soaps and other household chemicals.
“The conclusion we reached, based on the levels of analysis we did is we would be unable to implement DWI (deep well injection) or a brine pipeline to meet the timeline we have,” Friess said, in a previous story. “The only method of brine management that we think we can still implement by July 2019, our final compliance deadline, would be some form of brine minimization and truck hauling.”
A plan was previously approved by board members to install a deep injection well in Stevenson Ranch near the Valencia TPC golf course but the plan fell through after protest from Santa Clarita Valley residents.
“We were approved for brine management (by trucking) that we could implement within the time available,“ Friess said. “Hopefully, this is an approach the community can support and will be the best approach for our compliance project.”
The next step is an environmental review.
“Pending Board direction, staff will proceed with an environmental review to comply with CEQA including an alternatives analysis,” according to a previous Sanitation District statement. “The CEQA process would commence this summer with a public scoping meeting, followed by information meetings this fall to provide an update on the overall project.”