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Sonoma County Waste Management Agency

Notice of Availability

Draft Environmental Impact Report and Public Hearing

Project Title: SCWMA Compost Facility

Project Applicant: Sonoma County Waste Management Agency

Date: December 21, 2011

The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency (SCWMA), as the lead agency under the California Environmental Protection Act (CEQA), has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the SCWMA Compost Facility. The DEIR identifies impacts and environmental issues related to the SCWMA Compost Facility (proposed project), and also discusses and analyzes alternatives to the proposed project, as required by CEQA.
The proposed project would process (either through windrow or aerated static pile [ASP] methods) up to 200,000 tons of compost materials per year. The new compost facility may be selected from the three sites studied at project-level in this document. These sites include:

  • The project site (Site 5A) -- a 70-acre compost facility located on 100 acres in unincorporated Sonoma County, approximately 6 miles southeast of the City of Petaluma, between Lakeville Road and the Petaluma River;
  • The Site 40 Alternative -- a 48-acre compost facility located on 390 acres in unincorporated Sonoma County, located approximately 2.5 miles east of the City of Petaluma at the intersection of Adobe Road and Stage Gulch Road (State Route 116); and
  • The Central Site Alternative -- a 38-acre compost facility on the 400-acre Central Disposal Site, approximately 1.5 miles southwest of the City of Cotati, off of Mecham Road.

The proposed project includes constructing a new compost facility that would replace the existing composting facility at the Central Disposal Site. The objectives for the proposed project are the relocation of the SCWMA’s composting operations from its current location at the County’s Central Disposal Site; the establishment of a permanent composting facility in Sonoma County with sufficient capacity for current and future quantities; and to assist jurisdictions within SCWMA’s service area in meeting the goals and objectives for waste diversion as set forth in the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB 939). The DEIR provides the environmental information and evaluation of three sites at the project level of detail. The DEIR is necessary for the planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of the project and is intended to provide sufficient environmental documentation to inform the public and allow the SCWMA Board Members to make an informed decision concerning approval, disapproval, or modification of the proposed project.

Significant adverse environmental impacts

The following significant adverse impacts associated with the proposed project (Site 5A), the Site 40 Alternative, and the Central Site Alternative would be unavoidable, even with the implementation of the mitigation measures identified in this report:

Proposed Project (Site 5A)

  • Impact 5.1 – Project construction (either windrow or aerated static pile (ASP) composting option) emissions of NOx.
  • Impact 5.10 – Project contribution during construction (windrow composting option) to cumulative emissions of NOx.
  • Impact 5.11 – Project contribution during construction (ASP composting option) to cumulative emissions of NOx.
  • Impact 8.5: The project would be located within a FEMA-defined 100-year floodplain, and would result in the displacement of flood waters.
  • Impact 9.2 – The project has the potential to conflict with the Sonoma County General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, resulting in adverse physical effects.

Site 40 Alternative

  • Impact 15.1 – Site 40 Alternative construction (either windrow or aerated static pile (ASP) composting option) emissions of NOx.
  • Impact 15.6 - Site 40 Alternative (windrow composting option) may lead to increases in chronic exposure of sensitive receptors in the vicinity to certain toxic air contaminants from various stationary and mobile sources.
  • Impact 15.10 – Site 40 Alternative contribution during construction (windrow composting option) to cumulative emissions of NOx.
  • Impact 15.11 – Site 40 Alternative contribution during construction (ASP composting option) to cumulative emissions of NOx.
  • Impact 19.2 – The Site 40 Alternative has the potential to conflict with the Sonoma County General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, resulting in adverse physical effects.
  • Impact 19.3: The Site 40 Alternative would result in the conversion of agricultural land, specifically Prime Farmland, Farmland of Statewide Importance, Farmland of Local Importance and Grazing Land.

Central Site Alternative

  • Impact 29.2 - Operation of the Central Site Alternative composting facility could expose persons to or generate noise levels in excess of standards established in the local general plans or noise ordinances, or applicable standards of other agencies.

The following significant adverse impacts would be unavoidable for the proposed project (Site 5A) if mitigation measures identified in the EIR were found to be infeasible, as the County of Sonoma has ultimate jurisdiction in making the proposed roadway improvements:

  • Impact 12.2 – The project could worsen traffic safety at the intersection of Twin House Ranch Road and Lakeville Road due to existing roadway design.
  • Impact 12.4 – The project would generate turning movements by heavy vehicles to and from Lakeville Road at Twin House Ranch Road, increasing the potential for road hazard conflicts between project traffic and through traffic under Near-Term Cumulative conditions.
  • Impact 12.5 – The project would contribute to significant Long-Term Cumulative traffic volumes at study intersections.
  • Impact 12.6 – The project would generate turning movements by heavy vehicles to and from Lakeville Road at Twin House Ranch Road, increasing the potential for road hazard conflicts between project traffic and through traffic under Long-Term Cumulative conditions.                    

DEIR Availability, Commenting Procedures, and Meeting on DEIR

The Draft EIR is available for a 45-day public comment period from December 21, 2011 through February 3, 2012. Copies of the DEIR are available to the public for review or purchase at the SCWMA office in Santa Rosa (2300 County Center Drive, Suite B100, Santa Rosa, CA 95403) and available for review at local libraries throughout the County. Electronic copies of the DEIR are also available online at: http://www.recyclenow.org/agency/reports.asp.

The public may present comments and concerns regarding the adequacy of the DEIR. Comments may be submitted in writing to:
Mr. Patrick Carter, Waste Management Specialist
Sonoma County Waste Management Agency
2300 County Center Drive, Suite B100
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Fax: (707) 565-3701
patrick.carter@sonoma-county.org

Please be sure to include your name, address, and telephone number in your correspondence. Written comments on the DEIR must be postmarked or received by fax or e-mail no later than 4:00 pm, February 3, 2012.

The SCWMA will also hold a public hearingon Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. in the City of Santa Rosa Council Chambers, 100 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95404.  This hearing will allow public comment on the DEIR for the proposed compost facility project.  Comments received during the comment period, including the public hearing, will be considered by the SCWMA during the preparation of the Final EIR.

 

Sonoma County Waste Management Agency ● 2300 County Center Drive, Suite B-100 ● Santa Rosa, CA 95403