It Takes a Team to Build a Dam
Saturday, May 20, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. CDT
San Francisco, CA, United States
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Originally built in 1890 and 1925, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Lower Crystal Springs Dam and Calaveras Dam and their reservoirs provide approximately 165,000 acre feet of water storage at full capacity. These reservoirs represent critical storage to ensure water delivery to 2.6 million water users—a particularly important agency mission in view of increasing drought conditions in California. Following Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) operating restrictions that decreased reservoir storage capacity by approximately 16% (LCSD) and 40% (CD), the SFPUC undertook a large scale endeavor to modify LCSD and replace CD which required successful completion of challenging CEQA and permitting processes in order to restore storage in the reservoirs. During construction, the SFPUC implemented an extensive environmental monitoring
and compliance program to meet the projects’ environmental obligations. Both projects encountered a wide variety of environmental obstacles during preparation of the CEQA documents ranging from public access conflicts, traffic, noise, massive spoils disposal, and potential impacts to sensitive habitats and species during construction, air quality and naturally occurring asbestos, and restoration of reservoir water levels. Challenges were also encountered during permitting and construction.
However, through clearly stated team roles and responsibilities, a defined decision making process, set design and implementation protocols, stakeholders and public involvement programs, and commitment to development of a mitigation program on an ecosystem scale, the SFPUC-led teams successfully completed CEQA and obtained the resource agency permits to implement both projects. Join us as we explore the factors which posed potential complications during CEQA, permitting, and construction compliance as well as the solutions that led to their ultimate success. The panelists will represent the key specialty disciplines involved as well as the decision making and approving agencies: SFPUC, SF Planning, and BAWSCA, the water users.
Lynne Bynder, firstname.lastname@example.org