Panoche Valley Solar Project Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

Panoche Valley Solar Farm Project: Final EIR

Panoche Valley
Solar Project
Final Supplemental Environmental Impact
Report
CUP No. UP 1023-09-A

State Clearinghouse No. 2010031008

Prepared
for:
County of San Benito, California

Department of Planning and Building Inspection Services

Prepared
by:
 

Aspen Environmental Group 

San Francisco, CaliforniaApril 2015

These
files are in Portable Document Format (PDF). To view them, you will
need to download the free Adobe
Acrobat Reader
if it is not already installed.
Errata to Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report
Notice of Availability
VOLUME 1
Cover

Title Page

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

ES.1. Changes to the Draft SEIR

ES.2. Changes to the Approved Project

ES.3. Agency Review Processes

ES.4. Project Objectives

ES.5. Environmental Analysis

ES.6. Areas of Controversy

ES.7. Issues to be Resolved

ES.8. Summary of Alternatives Analysis

ES.9. Summary of Impacts and Mitigation Measures

Figure ES-1. Project Location

Figure ES-2. Revised Project
Boundaries

A. Introduction

A.1. Purpose and Intended Uses of the Supplemental
EIR

A.2. Overview of Revised Project

A.3. Purpose and Need for the Revised Project

A.4. Public Involvement

A.5. EIR Process and Agency Review

A.6. Reader’s Guide to the Supplemental EIR

A.7. References

B. Description of Revised Project

B.1. Introduction

B.2. Project Objectives

B.3. Revised Site Description

B.4. Revised Solar Project Components

B.5. Revised Solar Project Site Design & Engineering

B.6. Interconnection and Network Upgrades

B.7. Revised Solar Project Construction Components

B.8. Revised Solar Project Operations and Maintenance

B.9. Solar Project Decommissioning

B.10. Changes to Applicant Proposed Measures for Revised Solar Project

B.11. PG&E Transmission System Upgrades

B.12. References

Figure B-1. Project Location

Figure B-2. Revised Project Boundaries

Figure B-3. Project Roads

Figure B-4. Temporary and Permanent
Ground Disturbance

Figure B-5. Interconnection Facilities

Figure B-6. PG&E Upgrades:
OPGW

Figure B-7. PG&E Upgrades:
Microwave Towers

Figure B-8. Microwave Tower Design

Figure B-9. Panoche Mountain Existing Microwave Tower

C.1 Introduction to Environmental
Analysis
C.1.1. Organization of Section C

C.1.2. Environmental Assessment Methodology

C.1.3. Applicant Proposed Measures and Mitigation Measures

C.1.4. Mitigation Monitoring

C.2 Aesthetics

C.2.1. Environmental Setting

C.2.2. Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.2.3. Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.2.4. Summary of Impacts

C.3 Agriculture

C.3.1 Environmental Setting

C.3.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.3.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.3.4 Summary of Impacts

C.3.5 References

Figure C.3-1. Williamson
Act Land Near Revised Project

Figure C.3-2. FMMP Designations
Near Revised Project

Figure C.3-3. FMMP Designations
Near PG&E Upgrades

Figure C.3-4. Helm Microwave
Tower Agricultural Land

C.4 Air Quality

C.4.1 Environmental Setting

C.4.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.4.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.4.4 Summary of Impacts

C.4.5 References

C.5 Climate Change/Greenhouse
Gas
C.5.1 Environmental Setting

C.5.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.5.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.5.4 Summary of Impacts

C.6 Biological Resources

C.6.1 Environmental Setting

C.6.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.6.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.6.4 Summary of Impacts

C.6.5 References

Figure C.6-1a. Biotic
Habitat for PG&E Upgrades

Figure C.6-1b. Biotic Habitat
for PG&E Upgrades

Figure C.6-1c. Biotic Habitat
for PG&E Upgrades

Figure C.6-1d. Biotic Habitat
for PG&E Upgrades

Figure C.6-2. Biological Survey
Data Overview

Figure C.6-3. Golden Eagle
Nesting Survey Results

Figure C.6-4a. 2013 Giant
Kangaroo Rat Observations Revised Project Footprint

Figure C.6-4b. 2013 Giant
Kangaroo Rat Observations Valley Floor Conservation Lands

Figure C.6-5. 2013 San Joaquin
Antelope Squirrel Observations

Figure C.6-6. San Joaquin Kit
Fox Den Locations

Figure C.6-7. Federal and State
Waters Overviews

Figure C.6-8. Drainage Impacts

C.7 Cultural and Paleontological
Resources
C.7.1 Environmental Setting

C.7.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.7.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.7.4 Summary of Impacts

C.7.5 References

C.8 Geology, Mineral Resources,
and Soils
C.8.1 Environmental Setting

C.8.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.8.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.8.4 Summary of Impacts

C.8.5 References

C.9 Hazards and Hazardous Materials

C.9.1 Environmental Setting

C.9.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.9.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.9.4 Summary of Impacts

C.9.5 References

C.10 Land Use and Recreation

C.10.1 Environmental Setting

C.10.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.10.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.10.4 Summary of Impacts

C.10.5 References

C.11 Noise

C.11.1 Environmental Setting

C.11.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.11.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.11.4 Summary of Impacts

C.12 Population and Housing

C.12.1 Environmental Setting

C.12.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.12.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.12.4 Summary of Impacts

C.12.5 References

C.13 Public Services, Utilities,
and Service Systems
C.13.1 Environmental Setting

C.13.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.13.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.13.4 Summary of Impacts

C.13.5 References

C.14 Transportation and
Circulation
C.14.1 Environmental Setting

C.14.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.14.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.14.4 Summary of Impacts

C.14.5 References

C.15 Water Resources

C.15.1 Environmental Setting

C.15.2 Applicable Regulations, Plans, and Standards

C.15.3 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C.15.4 Summary of Impacts

C.15.5 References

Figure C.15-1. Active and
Inactive Groundwater Well Locations

D. Cumulative Scenario

D.1 CEQA Requirements

D.2 Cumulative Development Scenario

D.3 Cumulative Impact Analysis Methodology

D.4 References

E. Alternatives

E.1 Introduction

E.2 Comparison of the Revised Project to Project Alternatives

E.3 Alternatives Considered but Eliminated from Further Consideration

E.4 Comparison of Alternatives

E.5 References

Figure E-1. Alternative A
Revised

Figure E-2. Alternative B Revised

Figure E-3. Alternative C Revised

Figure E-4. Westlands CREZ Alternative

F. Other CEQA Considerations

F.1 Growth-Inducing Effects

F.2 Significant Irreversible Commitment of Resources

F.3 Significant Effects that Cannot be Avoided

F.4 Energy Conservation

F.4 References

G. Glossary, Acronyms, and Abbreviations

G.1 Terminology

G.2 Glossary, Acronyms, and Abbreviation

H. EIR Preparers and Organizations
Consulted
I. Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting
Plan
VOLUME 2
Cover

Title Page

Table of Contents

Responses to Comments
- Introduction
General Responses

General Response GR-1. Alleged Deferred Mitigation

General Response GR-2. PG&E Microwave Tower on Panoche Mountain

General Response GR-3. Traffic Safety

General Response GR-4. Valley Fever

General Response GR-5. Golden Eagle and Avian Conservation Strategy

Comments from Public Agencies

Comment Set A1 – Bureau of Land Management

Comment Set A2 – California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Comment Set A3 – Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District

Responses to Comments
from Public Agencies
Responses to Comment Set A1 – U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Responses to Comment Set A2 – California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Responses to Comment Set A3 – Monterey Bay Unified APCD

Comments from Groups, Organizations,
and Companies
Comment Set B1 – Joint Conservation Organizations

Comment Set B2 – Mercey Hot Springs

Comment Set B3 – San Benito Residents for Responsible Development

Comment Set B4 – Sierra Club and Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society

Responses to Comments from Groups,
Organizations, and Companies
Responses to Comment Set B1 – Joint Conservation Organizations

Responses to Comment Set B2 – Mercey Hot Springs

Responses to Comment Set B3 – San Benito Residents for Responsible
Development

Responses to Comment Set B4 – Sierra Club and SCV Audubon Society

Comments from Public Hearing

Comment Set C1 – Public Hearing 1-27-15

Responses to Comments
from Public Hearing
Comments from Private Citizens

Comment Set D1 – Will McGuire

Comment Set D2 – Kim Williams

Responses to Comments
from Private Citizens
Responses to Comment Set D1 – Will McGuire

Responses to Comment Set D2 – Kim Williams

Comments from the Applicant

Comment Set E1 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Responses to Comments from the PG&E

Responses to Comment Set E1 – Pacific Gas & Electric Company

APPENDICES
Appendix 1. Scoping
Report, including Notice of Preparation
Appendix 2. Panoche Solar Farm
Traffic Study – November 2014

Appendix 3. Mitigation Measures
and Applicant Proposed Measures Unchanged from 2010 Final EIR

Appendix 4. Documents Supporting the FSEIR:

Appendix
4A-1
. Peak Daily Construction Emissions for PG&E Upgrades

Appendix
4A-2
. Total Construction Emissions for PG&E Upgrades

Appendix
4B-1
. Biological Data and Construction Ponds

Appendix
4B-2
. Biological Data and Project Infrastructure

Appendix
4B-3
. Early Season Rare Plant Surveys

Appendix
4B-4
. Supplemental BNLL Study Plan

Appendix
4B-5
. Historic and Known CTS Breeding Ponds

Appendix
4B-6
. Supplemental CTS Incidental Take Analysis

Appendix
4B-7
. SJKF Trapping and Collaring Report

Appendix
4B-8
. New Vasquez Creek Road Alignment

Appendix 4B-9.
Ephemeral Pools Memo

Appendix
4B-10
. Ephemeral Pool Locations

Appendix 4B-10a.
Pool Locations

Appendix
4B-10b
. Ephemeral Pool Locations

Appendix
4B-11
. Mineral Potential Report Summary

Appendix
4C-1
. 100-Year Floodplain and Project Infrastructure

Appendix
4C-2
. 100-year Flood Analysis

Appendix
4C-3
. Stream Crossing Alternative Study

Appendix
4C-4
. Groundwater Evaluation Memo