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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power

Big Bear Department Of Water And Power Water System Capital Improvement Programs
Initial Study / Environmental Assessment

EPA Region 9 intends to award a grant to the City of Big Bear Lake, in accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of FY2008, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of FY2009, and the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of FY2010 for water system infrastructure improvements. In these appropriations acts, Congress provided a total of $2,168,000 to EPA to fund drinking water infrastructure for Big Bear Lake. The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA) is also providing funding for the proposed project.

EPA Region 9’s award of a grant for the proposed project is a federal action requiring compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 USC §§4321-4370f. In compliance with NEPA; Council of Environmental Quality Regulations, 40 CFR §§1500.1–1508.28; and EPA NEPA regulations, 40 CFR Part 6, EPA is proposing to adopt the environmental assessment (EA) issued by USDA on April, 2010 EPA has prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) to address the results of the additional consultation.

The Environmental Assessment evaluates the environmental effects of the proposed Big Bear Lake Water System Capital Improvement Programs. The proposed project consists of the construction and installation of a combina­tion of new wells and conveyance facilities, specifically the installation of new and replacement transmission and distribution system pipelines.

The Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power intends to drill a total of six wells within the Big Bear Lake, Moonridge, and Fawnskin areas. The drilling and development of each production well will take approximately 3 to 4 weeks. The area around the well sites will be disturbed to the least extent possible (typically 100' x 100') and, after the well installation is completed, the temporarily disturbed areas will be returned to present conditions. Additionally, the proposed project includes the installation of approximately 37,121 linear feet of water distribution pipeline. The proposed pipelines will range in size from 8 to 12-inches in diameter. Each pipeline will be installed by opening a trench about 60-inches wide and up to 10-feet deep along the proposed alignment; installing the new water pipeline; and then closing the trench, including compacting the soil cover to meet compaction requirements established to protect the pipeline. Construction equipment required for pipe installation would include, but not be limited to, the following: two excavators, two loaders, one crane, one dozer, one air compressor, one welder, one water pump, one water truck, and one generator.

The Department’s service area affected by this proposed action is located generally in the Bear Valley area within the San Bernardino Mountains in San Bernardino County. The Bear Valley area includes approximately 135 square miles of unincorporated area surrounding the City of Big Bear Lake. The area is entirely surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. The Big Bear community is located in an approximate 12-mile long valley with an average elevation of 7,200 feet above sea level. The Valley is surrounded by mountain ridges and rugged slopes. Land surface elevations range from 6,000 to 9,900 feet. The elevation of Big Bear Lake itself is 6,740 feet. Big Bear Lake has a surface area of approximately 10 square miles and 23 miles of shoreline.

Interested persons, including those who disagree with this proposal may submit comments to EPA Region 9 within 30 calendar days from the date the SEA is issued. No administrative action will be taken on this proposed project prior to the expiration of the comment period which ends on May 6, 2011.

To obtain additional information about the project, please contact:

    Howard Kahan (kahan.howard@epa.gov)
    Environmental Scientist
    US EPA Southern California Field Office
    600 Wilshire Blvd Suite 1460
    Los Angeles CA 90017
    (213) 244 - 1819
    Fax: (213) 244 - 1850


March 2010

EPA is considering authorizing the expenditure of funds awarded to the Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power. The proposed project consists of the construction and installation of a combination of new wells and conveyance facilities consisting of new and replacement transmission and distribution system pipelines. The Department intends to drill and/or equip a total of six wells within the Big Bear Lake, Moonridge, and Fawnskin areas. The proposed project also includes the installation of approximately 37,121 linear feet of pipeline throughout the Department’s service area.

The proposed project includes the testing, development and equipping of six water production wells within the Department’s Big Bear Lake/Moonridge and Fawnskin water systems. The drilling and development of each production well will take approximately 3 to 4 weeks. The area around the well sites will be disturbed to the least extent possible (typically 100' x 100') and, after the well installation is completed, the temporarily disturbed areas will be returned to present conditions. The wells will be drilled using the fluid reverse circulation rotary drilling method and will require at least two separate drilling passes. A submersible pump will be located inside the wells when completed. The wells will be enclosed in a 15-foot by 20-foot wood frame building designed and painted to blend with the surrounding buildings.

Additionally, the proposed project includes the installation of approximately 37,121 linear feet of water distribution pipeline. The proposed pipelines will range in size from 8 to 12-inches in diameter. The pipeline will be installed by opening a trench about 60-inches wide and up to 10-feet deep along the proposed alignments; installing the new water pipeline; and then closing the trench, including compacting the soil cover to meet compaction requirements needed to protect the pipeline. Construction equipment required for pipe installation would include, but not be limited to the following: two excavators, two loaders, one crane, one dozer, one air compressor, one welder, one water pump, one water truck, and one generator. The estimated number of con­struction personnel present at any given time is 12. The estimated length of pipeline to be installed each day is 300 feet per team. Two teams laying pipeline at the same time would install 600 feet per day which equates to about 80 days of construction. At this time it is not clear whether all of the pipe would be installed in sequence (about 4 months), or whether pipeline installation would be spread out over a longer period.

In compliance with the NEPA, The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service (USDA RUS) as the lead agency for the Initial Study/ Environmental has prepared an Initial Study (IS)/Environmental Assessment (EA), which examines the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternatives along with the no action alternative. EPA will adopt the IS/EA. As a result of the IS/EA, the EPA has determined the proposed action will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment.

Interested persons, including those who disagree with this proposal may submit comments to EPA Region 9 within 30 calendar days from the date the IS/EA is issued. No administrative action will be taken on this proposed project prior to the expiration of the comment period which ends on April 22, 2010. Comments, via letter, fax or email, should be sent to Howard Kahan at the address listed below. The comments will be forwarded to the USDA RUS.

  • Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (PDF) (6pp, 150K)
    The appendix files, formerly on the www.tdaenv.com/BBL-DWP web site, are no longer available
  • Appendix 1: Aerial Photos (folder of JPEGs) no longer available
  • Appendix 2: Topographical Maps (folder of PNGs) no longer available
  • Appendix 3: FEMA Maps (folder of PDFs) no longer available
  • Appendix 4: Biological Resources Report for the City of Big Bear Lake (PDF) (50 pp, 1.9M)
  • Appendix 5: Identification and Evaluation of Historic Properties (PDF) (38 pp, 41.4M, Large File)
  • Appendix 6: Air Quality Analysis (PDF) (35 pp, 392K)
  • Appendix 7: Hazardous Sites/Spills Information for Big Bear Lake Area (PDF) (4 pp, 18K)
  • Appendix 8: Environmental Report Cover Page and Checklist (PDF) (26 pp, 768K)
  • BBL-144 IS-EA (Rev 022310): Initial Study/Environmental Assessment (Word doc) (494K)
  • BBL-144 IS-EA (Rev 022310): Initial Study/Environmental Assessment (PDF) (91 pp, 3.0M)

Howard Kahan (kahan.howard@epa.gov)
US EPA, Region 9 WTR-4
Southern California Field Office
600 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1460
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Tel: (213) 244-1819
Fax: (213) 244-1850

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