In 2019, EBDA was approached by Cargill, Incorporated with a proposal to discharge brine from Cargill’s Solar Salt Facility in Newark, California, via EBDA’s transport pipeline and outfall to the San Francisco Bay. Cargill manages a vast network of salt ponds separated from the Bay by a system of berms. Mixed sea salts (MSS) are what remains after product streams have been harvested from sea water. The ponds containing the MSS are adjacent to the Bay and could be impacted in the future by significant storms and King Tides, coupled with sea level rise. Cargill is taking a proactive approach to protecting the Bay through enhanced commercial processing and accelerated removal of its inventory of MSS by sending MSS brine through the EBDA system. The proposed project includes improvements at the Newark Solar Salt Facility, including the construction of a new pump station and an approximately 16-mile pipeline to connect to EBDA’s system downstream of the Oro Loma Sanitary District/Castro Valley Sanitary District Water Pollution Control Facility. The brine would then be blended with effluent from EBDA’s member agencies and discharged through EBDA’s deep water outfall to the Bay.
In accordance with the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Public Resources Code [PRC] Section 21000 et seq.), EBDA has determined that the proposed project requires preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). EBDA is serving as the lead agency for CEQA compliance.
Following a public review process, a Final Environmental Impact Report has been drafted, including responses to all comments received. EBDA’s Commission will consider certification of the EIR at its Commission Meeting on June 15, 2023 at 12:00 pm. This public meeting will be held at 2655 Grant Avenue, San Lorenzo, CA 94580.
For additional information on the proposed project, please see these slides, presented by Cargill and EBDA staff at EBDA’s March 17, 2022 Commission Meeting. A recording of the presentation and discussion are also available here.
On May 20, 2022 the East Bay Dischargers Authority (EBDA) issued the original Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the proposed project (State Clearinghouse [SCH] No. 2022050436) and a scoping meeting was conducted on June 1, 2022. A recording of the public scoping meeting can be viewed here: Scoping Meeting. A revised NOP was issued on July 8, 2022, following a change in the proposed pipeline route.
EBDA issued a Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Cargill Mixed Sea Salt Processing and Brine Discharge Project on January 4, 2023. A public meeting to receive comments on the Draft EIR was held on January 24, 2023. A recording of the meeting can be found here. A copy of the sides presented can be accessed here.
References are available for public review at East Bay Dischargers Authority, 2651 Grant Avenue, San Lorenzo, CA 94580.