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Agenda Date: 11/18/2015

Agenda Placement: 10A

Continued From: October 21, 2015

Napa County Planning Commission

Board Agenda Letter

 

TO: Napa County Planning Commission

FROM: Charlene Gallina for David Morrison - Director

Planning, Building and Environmental Services

REPORT BY: DONALD BARRELLA, PLANNER III - 707-299-1338

 

SUBJECT: Syar Napa Quarry CEQA Findings and Project Approval

 

RECOMMENDATION

SYAR NAPA QUARRY EXPANSION PROJECT - SURFACE MINING PERMIT (P08-00337-SMP)

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Status: Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Syar Napa Quarry Expansion Project (State Clearinghouse No.2009062054) certified on October 21, 2015.

 

Request: Approval of request for a Surface Mining Permit (SMP) P08-00337-SMP to modify the mining and reclamation plan and associated aggregate processing, production and sales as currently permitted under UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225 to allow: a) an approximate 106-acre expansion of the current surfacing mining and reclamation plan for a 35 year term; b) an increase in mining depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level (msl) to no greater than 50 feet above msl; c) an increase in production of aggregate materials from approximately 1 million tons per year to 1.3 million tons per year; and d) add Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment to the existing asphalt batch plant and an increase in asphalt production up to 300,000 tons per year (inclusive of total annual production).  This SMP would replace UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225, and bring existing and expanded mining and reclamation areas and associated aggregate processing, production and sales under one permit.

 

The project site is located on the east side of State Highway 221 (Napa-Vallejo Highway) at its intersection with Basalt Road and 2301 Napa-Vallejo Highway, within the unincorporated portion of Napa County within both the Industrial and Agricultural Watershed zoning districts. Assessor's Parcel Numbers (APNs) 045-360-005,046-370- 012, -013, -015, -022, -025, 046-390-002, -003, and 046-450-071.

 

Staff Recommendation: That the Commission adopt the proposed Resolution: (1) Adopting findings and rejecting the Proposed Project, No Project Alternative, and the Reduced Footprint/Conservation Alternative pursuant to CEQA; (2) Finding the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C (the Reduced Production Alternative) consistent with the Napa County General Plan; (3) Adopting the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program; (4) Adopting the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C (Reduced Production Alternative); and (5) Approving Surface Mining Permit No. P08- 00337-SMP.

 

See Figure 3f in Attachment A (Resolution 2015-02) or Attachment C (Revised Mining and Reclamation Plan Dated November 9, 2015) for an illustration of the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C.

 

Staff Contact: Donald Barrella, 707-299-1338 or donald.barrella@countyofnapa.org

Applicant Contact: Jennifer Gomez, 707-259-5728 or jgomez@syar.com

 

The public hearing is closed. Final action on this item was continued from the October 21, 2015, Planning Commission meeting.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Proposed Action:

That the Planning Commission:

Adopt the proposed Resolution: (1) Adopting findings and rejecting the Proposed Project, No Project Alternative, and the Reduced Footprint/Conservation Alternative pursuant to CEQA; (2) Finding the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C (Reduced Production Alternative) consistent with the Napa County General Plan; (3) Adopting the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program; (4) Adopting the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C (Reduced Production Alternative); and (5) Approving Surface Mining Permit No. P08-00337-SMP subject to modified conditions of approval.

 

Discussion:

The item before the Commission today is adoption of a proposed Resolution making required CEQA findings, adopting revised conditions of approval and approving Syar Napa Quarry's Surface Mining Permit P08-00337-SMP to allow: a) an approximate 106-acre expansion of the current surfacing mining and reclamation plan for a 35 year term; b) an increase in mining depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level (msl) to no greater than 50 feet above msl; c) an increase in production of aggregate materials from approximately 1 million tons per year to 1.3 million tons per year; and d) add Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment to the existing asphalt batch plant and an increase in asphalt production up to 300,000 tons per year (inclusive of total annual production). This SMP would replace UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225, and bring existing and expanded mining and reclamation areas and associated aggregate processing, production and sales under one permit. At the October 21st meeting, the Commission closed the public hearing, certified the Final EIR and adopted a motion of intent to approve a modified project with modified conditions of approval. The proposed Resolution reflects the Commission's intent as expressed on October 21st.

 

The public hearing is closed however. Public comments is limited to whether or not the proposed Resolution accurately reflects the Commission's intent as expressed on October 21st is allowed. Because the public hearing is closed and the EIR has been certified, comments regarding the adequacy of the EIR or merits of the project are not appropriate.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

Is there a Fiscal Impact? No

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

A Final Environmental Impact (Final EIR) has been certified for the Syar Napa Quarry Expansion Project in compliance with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines, and local procedures for implementing CEQA.

 

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION

At the conclusion of the October 21 public hearing the Commission adopted a resolution certifying the Project EIR, and adopted a motion of intent to approve the Syar Modified Project (which includes a production limitation of 1.3 million tons per year for a 35 year term) plus a footprint that excluded an approximate 4-acre area located in the southeast corner of the project area, identified as Area C (the Passini Pond Area) in the Alternative Analysis Memo (dated July 10, 2015) from the proposed expansion areas for a total expansion of approximately 106-acres. The project the Commission tentatively voted to approve on October 21st is hereafter referred to as the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C. Language has been added to the conditions of approval reflecting these footprint modifications.

 

See Figure 3f in Attachment A (Resolution 2015-12) or Attachment C (Revised Mining and Reclamation Plan Dated November 9, 2015) for an illustration of the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C.

 

A. Direction to Staff/Motion of Intent October 21, 2015:

An updated Mining and Reclamation Plan (MRP) dated November 9, 2015, based on Commission direction and proposed mitigation measures and conditions of approval has been developed by Syar and is included as Attachment C. It should be noted that any items not in the updated MRP or that need to be incorporated into the plan as a result of Commission deliberation on the Surface Mining Permit will be addressed by Condition of Approval No. 1C, which requires the Permittee to ultimately prepare an updated MRP to reflect the totality of any Commission action approving the project. The Following Figures in the updated MRP (dated November 9, 2015) have not yet been updated to reflect the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C Project: Figures 3aa through 3e (Current Site Boundary and Work Areas), Figure 13 (Test Planting Plot Location Map), Figures 14b and 14c (Final Grade Sections) and Figure 14d (Final Revegetation Plan). As noted these figures will ultimately be updated pursuant to Condition of Approval No. 1C.

 

The Commission also directed staff to address the following issues in the modified plan and/or conditions:

 

Reclamation

The Commission directed staff to identify areas within the Quarry that could be reclaimed on short, medium and long term schedules. Condition of Approval No. 3B (Reclamation timing) has been modified to include the commencement of reclamation on this type of schedule.

 

Final reclamation to commence in the short term (i.e., commencing within 12 months of the effective date of the Permit) includes reclamation of areas north and west of the State Blue Pit including surrounding areas within 10 feet of the groundwater potentiometric elevation, and the reclamation of the areas occupied by the Former Grey Rock Plant including areas to the immediate south and west, and the area identified as R-1 in the 2012 Mining and Reclamation Plan as they are both located within no mining exclusion areas.

 

Reclamation to commence in the mid-term (i.e., commencing generally between years 2 and 30 of the permit term), includes the reclamation of areas that have reached the limits of vertical excavation and have reached the minimum 10 feet of vertical separation from the groundwater potentiometric elevation and have been determined to be complete. Areas identified to be reclaimed in the mid-term would generally be identified through the annual compliance and assurance review procedures identified pursuant to Condition of Approval No. 2L and through annual inspections of the Quarry Facility pursuant to Napa County Code (NCC) Section 16.12.500 and Public Resources Code Section 2774.

 

Reclamation to commence in the long-term (i.e., occurring within the last 5 years of the permit term) also includes areas identified pursuant to Condition of Approval No. 2L and through annual inspections of the Quarry Facility pursuant to NCC Section 16.12.500 and Public Resources Code 2774, as well as, the processing areas and any other areas the have been disturbed by mining activities whether or not mining is complete in any given area. Scheduling of final reclamation occurring in the long term will be detailed in the Annual Mining Plan prepared by Syar and in the annual inspection reports prepared by the County.

 

Completion of Mining

To ensure that reclamation of mining areas would commence at the earliest opportunity after mining is completed in a given area, a definition has been added to Condition of Approval No. 11 detailing when mining in a given area shall be considered complete. In particular, the definition includes the provision that the determination of completion of Aggregate Mining Operations shall be at the discretion of the Director.

 

Planning Commission Compliance Review

While Condition of Approval No. 1F requires the permit to be reviewed by the Commission every 5 years to determine compliance with the conditions, mitigation measures, and the mining and reclamation plan, the Commission wants the flexibility to have any significant compliance issues brought back to them prior to this 5 year rolling term. Language has been added to Condition of Approval No. 1F in order to ensure that any significant compliance issues are presented to the Commission at the earliest opportunity.

 

Annual Compliance and Assurance Update Report (Condition of Approval No. 2L)

The Commission wants to ensure that the Annual Compliance and Assurance Update Report required pursuant to Condition of Approval No. 2L could be prepared by a third party consultant and/or that an outside consultant may be used to peer review the permittee-submitted report at staff's discretion. Language has been added to Condition of Approval No. 2L the County may hire a consultant at the Permittee's expense to either prepare or peer review this report.

 

Upgrading Quarry Fleet and Equipment

While air quality mitigation measures have identified the activity levels (or production rates) at which cleaner engines (or higher tier motors) are necessary to reduce potential air quality impacts to a less than significant level, the Commission directed staff to include a condition requiring the upgrading of equipment on a schedule rather than related to annual production levels. Language has been added to Condition of Approval No. 2M (Air Quality) requiring that at least 3 pieces of Tier 0 equipment be retired and replaced with higher tier motors within the first five (5) years of the Permit. Thereafter, equipment shall be replaced as necessary to comply with mitigation measures and/or State Requirements.

 

The State requires that Syar annually replace and retire at least 10% of equipment in its overall fleet that have Tier 0 or Tier 1 motors. The proposed condition language is consistent with State requirements and should not pose an undue burden on Syar in updating its Napa Quarry fleet.

 

Timing of Blasting in Proximity of Skyline Wilderness Park

During public testimony and Commission deliberation it was commented that the potential effects of blasting in close proximity to Skyline Wilderness Park (SWP) earlier in the day (i.e., in the AM hours) could be more noticeable or detrimental because it was indicated that a majority of the park users use the park in the AM hours. Staff consulted with the president of the Skyline Park Citizens Association and reviewed the proposed conditions of approval to determine the appropriate time to blast in the proximity of SWP. Condition of approval No. 2F (Blasting) as currently worded would limit all blasting operations, regardless of location, to weekdays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. No blasting would be allowed outside these identified hours, on weekends, or on any major federally recognized holidays. Therefore, staff believes that the condition of approval as currently worded would be sufficient to limit detrimental effects of blasting on park users.

 

Fencing

A concern was raised that any fencing installed as part of the project or ongoing operations do not inhibit or be a detriment to wildlife movement. The current language within Condition of Approval No. 2G (Safety and Security) generally limits the fencing to three (3) strand barbed wire fencing and requires the locations of new or relocated fencing to be approved prior to its installation. To ensure that any new fencing is wildlife friendly, fencing Condition of Approval No. 2G has been modified to require the use of three strand wire fencing (the word "barbed" has been deleted form the condition) and language has been added that not only the location but the design of any new fencing be approved by the Planning Division prior to installation.

 

B. CEQA Findings:

Prior to approving a project for which an EIR has been prepared, there are two procedural steps that must be

satisfied under CEQA: (1) certification of a CEQA resolution; and (2) adoption of CEQA findings. On October 21,

2015, the Commission completed the first step when it adopted Resolution No. 2015-01 certifying that the Final

EIR complied with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines and the County's local procedures for implementing CEQA.

The second step which is before the Commission today is adoption of a resolution making CEQA findings.

 

Mitigation Measures

When an EIR identifies significant environmental impacts that may result from a project, the lead agency must make one or more of the following specific findings: (1) that changes or alterations have been required or incorporated into the project that avoid or substantially lessen the significant environmental impact identified in the EIR; (2) such changes or alterations are within the responsibility and jurisdiction of another public agency that has adopted, or can and should adopt, such changes; or (3) specific economic, social, legal, technological, or other considerations make infeasible the mitigation measures or project alternatives identified in the EIR. (CEQA Guidelines Section 15091(a).) Section 6 of the proposed Resolution before the Commission identifies each potentially significant impact resulting from implementation of the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C and the corresponding mitigation measure that would reduce each impact to less than significant.

 

Project Alternatives

If the project will result in significant environmental impacts that will not be avoided or substantially lessened by mitigation measures, the lead agency must consider the environmentally superior alternatives identified in the EIR and find that they are infeasible before approving the project. (CEQA Guidelines Section 15091 (a)(3).) Section 7 of the proposed resolution analyzes the project alternatives. The Reduced Production Alternative is incorporated into the Syar Modified Project Plus Area C.

 

C. Findings for Approval of Project:

Section 8 of the proposed Resolution contains the findings and analysis required for approval of Surface Mining Permit No. P08-00337-SMP.

 

D. Comments Received and Project Documents:

For comments received from August 12, 2015 through November 10, 2015, including comments submitted during the October 21, 2015 Commission hearing, as well as, other pertinent documents associated with this matter including the Draft EIR, the Final EIR, and the 2012 Mining and Reclamation Plan, please go to the County Planning, Building and Environmental Services Department Current Projects Webpage for this project - http://www.countyofnapa.org/Syar/

 

For copies of previous Staff Reports associated with this item (January 7th, February 18th, April 1st, August 12th, and September 2nd, 2015) and video archives of these meetings, please go the Napa County Planning Commission Agenda and Minutes Webpage - ttp://napa.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=21

 

E. October 21st Recording Malfunction:

Because of an incredibly rare software malfunction that was out of the county’s control, there is no recording of the Oct. 21 Planning Commission meeting, including the public hearings regarding the Syar project . Since the software malfunctioned and not the equipment, there was no warning, no system error message and no way to discern that the recording was not functioning properly. County officials and the software manufacturer have exhausted all efforts to salvage the recording but were unsuccessful. The software malfunction has been corrected by the vendor and, out of an abundance of caution, the County has now implemented a backup system to ensure there is a duplicate electronic record. While this is extremely unfortunate and frustrating to all, it does not jeopardize or invalidate the actions taken by the Planning Commission on October 21st.

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

A . Resolution 2015-02

B . Proposed Conditions of Approval

C . Syar Napa Quarry Mining and Reclamation Plan, November 2015

D . Applicant Correspondence Dated November 9, 2015

E . Previous Commission Staff Reports

Napa County Planning Commission: Approve

Reviewed By: Charlene Gallina


 

Agenda Date: 10/21/2015

Agenda Placement: 9C

Continued From: September 2, 2015

Napa County Planning Commission

Board Agenda Letter

 

TO: Napa County Planning Commission

FROM: Charlene Gallina for David Morrison - Director

Planning, Building and Environmental Services

REPORT BY: DONALD BARRELLA, PLANNER III - 707-299-1338

 

SUBJECT: Syar Napa Quarry EIR Public Hearing

 

RECOMMENDATION

SYAR NAPA QUARRY EXPANSION PROJECT - SURFACE MINING PERMIT (P08-00337-SMP)

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Status: Consideration and possible certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared for the proposed project. A Final Environmental Report (EIR) has been prepared and circulated. Prior to consideration of the associated Surface Mining Permit, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State CEQA Guidelines, and local procedures for implementing CEQA, and that the Final EIR reflects the County's independent judgment and analysis. The project site is not on any of the lists of hazardous waste sites enumerated under Government Code Section 65962.5.

 

Request: Approval of request for a Surface Mining Permit (SMP) P08-00337-SMP to modify the mining and

reclamation plan and associated aggregate processing, production and sales as currently permitted under UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225 to allow: a) an approximate 110-acre expansion of the current surfacing mining and reclamation plan for a 35 year term; b) an increase in mining depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level (msl) to no greater than 50 feet above msl; c) an increase in production of aggregate materials from approximately 1 million tons per year to 1.3 million tons per year; and d) add Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment to the existing asphalt batch plant and an increase in asphalt production up to 300,000 tons per year (inclusive of total annual production). This SMP would replace UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225, and bring existing and expanded mining and reclamation areas and associated aggregate processing, production and sales under one permit.

 

The project site is located on the east side of State Highway 221 (Napa-Vallejo Highway) at its intersection with Basalt Road and 2301 Napa-Vallejo Highway, within the unincorporated portion of Napa County within both the Industrial and Agricultural Watershed zoning districts. Assessor's Parcel Numbers (APNs) 045-360-005,046-370- 012, -013, -015, -022, -025, 046-390-002, -003, and 046-450-071.

 

Staff Recommendation: Open public hearing, take testimony, deliberate and provide direction to Staff.

Staff Contact: Donald Barrella, 707-299-1338 or donald.barrella@countyofnapa.org

Applicant Contact: Jennifer Gomez, 707-259-5728 or jgomez@syar.com

 

CONTINUED FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2, 2015 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

(THIS ITEM TO BE DISCUSSED AT 1:30 PM)

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Today’s public hearing is being held pursuant to County Code Section 16.12.370 for proposed #P08-00337-SMP. The Commission will hear and consider evidence and testimony from staff, the applicant and interested parties: the County's EIR consultants will be available for questions.

 

This report responds to comments received from Stop Syar Expansion (SSE) on August 11th (including a submittal from Dale La Forest & Associated on behalf of SSE received on September 1, 2015). These responses cover the following four impact categories after the Final EIR was completed: Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hydrology and Water Quality, Noise and Vibration, and Transportation. Attachment B (Appendix C to the Final EIR, Syar Napa Quarry Response to August 2015 Comments, October 2015) includes responses to the SSE comments. This report also includes responses or discussion on topics such as: the use of recycled water, the term of the permit, the ability of the County Health and Human Services Department to conduct long term health monitoring in the vicinity of the Quarry, financial assurances for reclamation, a comparison of the air quality and health risk mitigation measures and conditions applied to Syar's Lake Herman Quarry located in Solano County as compared to those proposed for this project, the reclamation plan, as well as discussion of CEQA processing.

 

The Background and Discussion Section of this report (Attachment A) has been broken into the following Subsections for ease of reference: A) CEQA Determination including discussion of Alternatives, B) Air Quality and Health Risk, C) Lake Herman Quarry, D) Financial Assurance Cost Estimate (FACE) and Review Process, E) Enforcement, F) Recycled Water, G) Permit Terms, H) Annual Compliance and Assurance Update Report (Proposed Condition #2L), I) General Plan and Zoning Designations, J) Responses to Comments, K) Surface Mining Permit Findings, L) Draft Conditions of Approval, M) Reclamation Plan, and N) Project Documents.

 

Upon close of the public hearing, staff is recommending that: (1) the Commission consider adoption of the proposed Resolution certifying the Final EIR; and (2) provide direction to staff on one of the following Proposed Actions:

 

Proposed Actions:

Option 1 – Certify the EIR and Provide Direction to Staff on Approval of the Project as Mitigated, or One of the Project Alternatives or a Combination thereof.

 

Action Required: Adopt the proposed Resolution certifying the Final EIR, and adopt a motion of intent to approve the project, one of the alternatives or a combination thereof. Staff recommends that the Commission consider adoption of the Reduced Production and Reduced Footprint (Hybrid) Alternative: see Attachment C (Alternatives Analysis July 2015) and Section A under Project Alternatives of the Background and Discussion attachment (Attachment A) of this report for additional details. Staff would bring a resolution with the required CEQA findings and project approval to the Commission for consideration at a future meeting.

 

Option 2 – Certify the EIR and Deny the Project

 

Action Required: Certify the EIR so that it can be relied upon in the event Syar desires to revise the project and submit a new application in the future. This would also allow the EIR to be used as an informational document so that the technical studies and cumulative analysis may be referred to on other non-quarry projects in the vicinity. In the event the Commission determines that the project does not, or cannot meet the required findings for grant of a SMP, for environmental reasons or General Plan inconsistency, Commissioners should articulate the basis for their decision. The Commission would take a tentative motion to deny the project and remand the matter to staff for preparation of findings. Staff would bring the findings back for the Commission’s consideration at a future meeting.

 

Option 3 – Deny the Project

 

Action Required: In the event the Commission determines that the project does not, or cannot meet the required findings for grant of a SMP for environmental reasons or General Plan inconsistency, Commissioners should articulate the basis for their decision. The Commission would take a tentative motion to deny the project and remand the matter to staff for preparation of findings. Staff would bring the findings back for the Commission’s consideration at a future meeting.

 

Option 4 – Continuance

 

Action Required: Continue the public hearing to a date certain for continued testimony, discussion and deliberation on the merits of the proposed SMP and provide direction to staff on any further edits or clarifications to the project alternatives, mitigation measures and draft conditions.

 

Documents associated with this application and staff report, public comments received to date (February 2015

through September 17, 2015) including the Draft EIR, the Final EIR, and the 2012 Mining and Reclamation Plan can be accessed at http://www.countyofnapa.org/Syar/. Staff reports including attachments and video archive of previous meetings (January 7th, February 18th, April 1st, August 12th, and September 2nd, 2015) can accessed at http://napa.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=21

 

FISCAL IMPACT

Is there a Fiscal Impact? No

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

A Final Environmental Impact (Final EIR) has been prepared and circulated. Written responses to comments received during the public review and comment period have been incorporated into the Final EIR which consists of the Draft EIR, public and agency comments, responses to comments, and required clarifications and changes to the text of the Draft EIR. As a result of additional comments received before, during and after the January 7th hearing on the adequacy of the EIR, Staff presented expanded and clarified responses to these comments at the August 12th hearing within Appendix B to the Final EIR: Master Responses to comments received after Publication of the November 2014 Final EIR in the following impact areas: Aesthetics, Air Quality, Hydrology, and Noise and Vibration.

 

Responses to substantive comments received from Stop Syar Expansion (SSE) on August 11th (including a submittal from Dale La Forest & Associated on behalf of SSE received on September 1, 2015) related to Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hydrology and Water Quality, Noise and Vibration, and Transportation are included in Attachment B (Appendix C to the Final EIR, Syar Napa Quarry Response to August 2015 Comments, GHD October 2015) of this report.

 

The Draft EIR was circulated for public review and comment on September 6, 2013. The statutory 45 day review and comment period pursuant to CEQA was extended an additional 45 days at the request of the public, resulting in a 90 day review and comment period. The formal comment period closed on December 5, 2013. Public hearings on the Draft EIR took place on October 2, 2013 in front of the Planning Commission (a.m.) and the Napa County Main Library (p.m.). While the comment period on the EIR has been closed since that time the County has continued to accept comments into the record and has attempted to continue to respond to substantive comments received after the close of the comment period.

 

Prior to taking an action on the proposed Surface Mining Permit (SMP) for the Syar Napa Quarry Expansion Project, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines, and the County's Local Procedures for Implementing CEQA. The Planning Commission will consider approval or denial of the project following certification of the Final EIR.

 

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION

A detailed Background and Discussion on this matter is attached to this report as Attachment A (Background and Discussion, Syar Napa Quarry, October 21, 2015 Commission Meeting). The Background and Discussion section has been broken into the following Subsections for ease of reference: A) CEQA Determination including discussion of Alternatives, B) Air Quality and Health Risk, C) Lake Herman Quarry, D) Financial Assurance Cost Estimate (FACE) and Review Process, E) Enforcement, F) Recycled Water, G) Permit Terms, H) Annual Compliance and Assurance Update Report (Proposed Condition #2L) , I) General Plan and Zoning Designations, J) Responses to Comments, K) Surface Mining Permit Findings, L) Draft Conditions of Approval, M) Reclamation Plan, and N) Project Documents.

 

Comments Received and Project Documents:

For comments received from August 12, 2015 through September 17, 2015, including comments submitted during the September 2, 2015 Commission hearing, as well as, other pertinent documents associated with this matter including the Draft EIR, the Final EIR, and the 2012 Mining and Reclamation Plan, please go to the County Planning, Building and Environmental Services Department Current Projects Webpage for this project - http://www.countyofnapa.org/Syar/

 

For copies of previous Staff Reports associated with this item (January 7th, February 18th, April 1st, August 12th, and September 2nd, 2015) and video archives of these meetings, please go the Napa County Planning Commission Agenda and Minutes Webpage - http://napa.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=21

 

Summary of Commission Hearings:

On January 7, 2015, the Commission conducted a public hearing to consider certification of the EIR and the merits of the proposed quarry expansion and associated SMP. Prior to the hearing, comments were received on the project, as well as, the adequacy of the proposed Final EIR. During the hearing, there were several hours of testimony presented primarily by interested parties. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Commission continued the hearing to February 18, 2015 and directed staff to: evaluate and respond to public comments; clarify potential impacts and how they were assessed; clarify the benefits and disadvantages of the project alternatives identified in the EIR; provide a hybrid project alternative for consideration; and clarify and refine proposed mitigation measures and conditions of approval.

 

On February 18, 2015, the Commission received additional testimony and comments from interested parties on the EIR and project. At staff’s request, the Commission continued the item to the April 1, 2015 to allow staff and the consultant additional time to evaluate and respond to comments. The Commission also directed staff, at the request of interested parties, to explore the option of conducting a special meeting on the proposed project to allow a more convenient opportunity for the public to attend and participate in the hearing process.

 

On April 1, 2015, the Commission dropped the item from its agenda so that it could be re-noticed for a special meeting to allow staff adequate time to evaluate the applicant's project modifications and to develop a hybrid alternative.

 

On August 12, 2015, at 4:00 PM the Commission conducted a special public hearing to consider certification of the EIR and the merits of the proposed quarry expansion and associated SMP. Public notice of this meeting was mailed, posted and published on July 11, 2015. Immediately prior to the hearing, extensive comments and technical reports were received on the project. During the hearing, there were several hours of testimony presented primarily by interested parties. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Commission continued the hearing to

 

September 2, 2015, to allow time for Staff and County consultants to review and evaluate the comments.

On September 2, 2015, at 1:30 PM the Commission received additional testimony and comments from interested parties on the EIR and project. At staff’s request, the Commission continued the item to the October 21, 2015 Commission hearing (at 1:30 PM), to allow staff and the consultant time to adequately respond to comments.

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

A . Background and Discussion Syar Quarry 10-21-15 PC report

B . Appendix C to the Final EIR_Responses to August 2015 Cmts_Syar

C . Alternatives Analysis Memo July 2015

D . Resolution Certifying Environmental Impact Report October 2015

E . General Plan and Zoning Consistency Analysis

F . Draft Surface Mining Permit Findings October 2015

G . Draft Conditions of Approval October 2015

H . Lake Herman Quarry Approval Conditions

I . Previous Commission Staff Reports

J . Graphics

 

Napa County Planning Commission: Approve

Reviewed By: Charlene Gallina

 

 

 


 

Agenda Date: 9/2/2015

Agenda Placement: 12A

Continued From: 8-12-2015 Special Meeting

Napa County Planning Commission

Board Agenda Letter

TO: Napa County Planning Commission

FROM: Charlene Gallina for David Morrison - Director

Planning, Building and Environmental Services

REPORT BY: DONALD BARRELLA, PLANNER III - 707-299-1338

SUBJECT: Syar Napa Quarry EIR Public Hearing

 

RECOMMENDATION

SYAR NAPA QUARRY EXPANSION PROJECT - SURFACE MINING PERMIT (P08-00337-SMP)

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Status: Consideration and possible certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared for the proposed project. A Final Environmental Report (EIR) has been prepared and circulated. Prior to consideration of the associated Surface Mining Permit, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State CEQA Guidelines, and local procedures for implementing CEQA, and that the Final EIR reflects the County's independent judgment and analysis. The project site is not on any of the lists of hazardous waste sites enumerated under Government Code Section 65962.5.

 

Request: Approval of request for a Surface Mining Permit (SMP) P08-00337-SMP to modify the mining and reclamation plan and associated aggregate processing, production and sales as currently permitted under UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225 to allow: a) an approximate 110-acre expansion of the current surfacing mining and reclamation plan for a 35 year term; b) an increase in mining depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level (msl) to no greater than 50 feet above msl; c) an increase in production of aggregate materials from approximately 1 million tons per year to 1.3 million tons per year; and d) add Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment to the existing asphalt batch plant and an increase in asphalt production up to 300,000 tons per year (inclusive of total annual production). This SMP would replace UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225, and bring existing and expanded mining and reclamation areas and associated aggregate processing, production and sales under one permit.

 

The project site is located on the east side of State Highway 221 (Napa-Vallejo Highway) at its intersection with Basalt Road and 2301 Napa-Vallejo Highway, within the unincorporated portion of Napa County within both the Industrial and Agricultural Watershed zoning districts. Assessor's Parcel Numbers (APNs) 045-360-005,046-370-012, -013, -015, -022, -025, 046-390-002, -003, and 046-450-071.

 

Staff Recommendation: Open public hearing, take testimony, provide direction to Staff, and continue item to a date certain. As of the date this agenda report was printed, Staff and the consultant were still determining the next meeting date. Staff will have a recommended date for the Commission to consider at the hearing.

 

Staff Contact: Donald Barrella, 707-299-1338 or donald.barrella@countyofnapa.org

Applicant Contact: Jennifer Gomez, 707-259-5728 or jgomez@syar.com

 

CONTINUED FROM THE AUGUST 12, 2015 SPECIAL PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Proposed Action:

 

That the Planning Commission take additional testimony and then continue the public hearing item to a date certain that will be announced by Staff at the meeting.

 

Discussion:

On August 12, 2015, the Planning Commission opened the public hearing to consider the adequacy of the proposed project's EIR, and the merits of the proposed quarry expansion and associated Surface Mining Permit. Prior to the hearing, significant additional comments and technical reports were received on project. During the hearing, there were several hours of testimony presented by staff, the applicant's representative, and interested parties.

 

At the conclusion of the day's proceedings, the Planning Commission voted to continue the item to September 2, 2015, so that Staff and the County's Consultants could evaluate and respond to recently received comments (from June 1, 2015 through August 13, 2015). Due to the extensive nature of the comments, staff requests a continuance to a date certain to allow sufficient time to thoroughly review all additional information. Staff will have a recommended date for the Commission's consideration at this hearing.

FISCAL IMPACT

Is there a Fiscal Impact? No

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

A Final Environmental Impact (Final EIR) has been prepared and circulated. Written responses to comments received during the public review and comment period have been incorporated into the Final EIR which consists of the Draft EIR, public and agency comments, responses to comments, and required clarifications and changes to the text of the Draft EIR. As a result of additional comments received before, during and after the January 7th hearing on the adequacy of the EIR, Staff presented expanded and clarified responses to these comments at the August 12th hearing within Appendix B to the Final EIR: Master Responses to comments received after Publication of the November 2014 Final EIR in the following impact areas: Aesthetics, Air Quality, Hydrology, and Noise and Vibration. The Draft EIR was circulated for public review and comment on September 6, 2013. The statutory 45 day review and comment period pursuant to CEQA was extended an additional 45 days at the request of the public, resulting in a 90 day review and comment period. The formal comment period closed on December 5, 2013. Public hearings on the Draft EIR took place on October 2, 2013 in front of the Planning Commission (a.m.) and the Napa County Main Library (p.m.).

Prior to taking an action on the proposed Surface Mining Permit (SMP) for the Syar Napa Quarry Expansion Project, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines, and the County's Local Procedures for Implementing CEQA. The Planning Commission will consider approval or denial of the project following certification of the Final EIR.

 

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION

Summary of Commission Hearings:

On January 7, 2015, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing to consider certification of the EIR and the merits of the proposed quarry expansion and associated SMP. Prior to the hearing, comments were received on the project, as well as, the adequacy of the proposed Final EIR. During the hearing, there were several hours of testimony presented primarily by interested parties. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Commission continued the hearing to February 18, 2015 and directed staff to: evaluate and respond to public comments; clarify potential impacts and how they were assessed; clarify the benefits and disadvantages of the project alternatives identified in the EIR; provide a hybrid project alternative for consideration; and clarify and refine proposed mitigation measures and conditions of approval.

On February 18, 2015, the Commission received additional testimony and comments from interested parties on the EIR and project. At staff’s request, the Commission continued the item to the April 1, 2015 to allow staff and the consultant additional time to evaluate and respond to comments. The Commission also directed staff, at the request of interested parties, to explore the option of conducting a special meeting on the proposed project to allow a more convenient opportunity for the public to attend and participate in the hearing process.

On April 1, 2015, the Commission dropped the item from its agenda so that it could be re-noticed for a special meeting to allow staff adequate time to evaluate the applicant's project modifications and to develop a hybrid alternative.

On August 12, 2015, at 4:00 PM the Planning Commission conducted a special public hearing to consider

certification of the EIR and the merits of the proposed quarry expansion and associated SMP. Public notice of this meeting was mailed, posted and published on July 11, 2015. Immediately prior to the hearing, extensive comments and technical reports were received on the project. During the hearing, there were several hours of testimony presented primarily by interested parties. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Commission continued the hearing to September 2, 2015, to allow time for Staff and County consultants to review and evaluate the comments.

 

Request:

Staff is requesting that the item be continued to a date certain to allow staff and the consultant additional time to adequately evaluate and respond to the numerous comments received on the adequacy of the proposed Final EIR, as well as, further clarify proposed mitigation measures and conditions. Staff and the consultant are working diligently to access and address the comments and concerns that have been raised. The public hearing remains open and Staff is encouraging those that did not have the opportunity to speak at the August 12th hearing to provide comment at this hearing. Staff is also encouraging commenters to wait until after reviewing forthcoming additional analysis before providing further feedback unless a commenter has new information or concerns that have not been previously raised.

Comments Received and Project Documents:

For comments received from June 1, 2015 through August 13, 2015, including comments and petitions submitted during the August 12, 2015 Commission hearing, as well as, other pertinent documents associated with this matter, please go to the County Planning, Building and Environmental Services Department Current Projects Webpage for this project - http://www.countyofnapa.org/Syar/

For copies of the August 12, 2015 Staff Report (including other previous Commission Staff Reports associated with this item - January 7, February 18 and April 1, 2015), please go the Napa County Planning Commission Agenda and Minutes Webpage - http://napa.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=21

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

A . Previous Staff Reports

 

 


Agenda Date: 8/12/2015

Agenda Placement:

 

Napa County Planning Commission

Board Agenda Letter

 

TO: Napa County Planning Commission

FROM: Charlene Gallina for David Morrison – Director Planning, Building and Environmental Services

REPORT BY: DONALD BARRELLA, PLANNER III - 707-299-1338

SUBJECT: Syar Napa Quarry EIR Public Hearing

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

SYAR NAPA QUARRY EXPANSION PROJECT - SURFACE MINING PERMIT (P08-00337-SMP)

 

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Status: Consideration and possible certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared for the proposed project. A Final Environmental Report (EIR) has been prepared and circulated. Prior to consideration of the associated Surface Mining Permit, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State CEQA Guidelines, and local procedures for implementing CEQA, and that the Final EIR reflects the County's independent judgment and analysis. The project site is not on any of the lists of hazardous waste sites enumerated under Government Code Section 65962.5.

 

Request: Approval of request for a Surface Mining Permit (SMP) P08-00337-SMP to modify the mining and reclamation plan and associated aggregate processing, production and sales as currently permitted under UP- 128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225 to allow: a) an approximate 110-acre expansion of the current surfacing mining and reclamation plan for a 35 year term; b) an increase in mining depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level (msl) to no greater than 50 feet above msl; c) an increase in production of aggregate materials from approximately 1 million tons per year to 1.3 million tons per year; and d) add Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment to the existing asphalt batch plant and an increase in asphalt production up to 300,000 tons per year (inclusive of total annual production). This SMP would replace UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225, and bring existing and expanded mining and reclamation areas and associated aggregate processing, production and sales under one permit. The project site is located on the east side of State Highway 221 (Napa-Vallejo Highway) at its intersection with Basalt Road and 2301 Napa-Vallejo Highway, within the unincorporated portion of Napa County within both the Industrial and Agricultural Watershed zoning districts. Assessor's Parcel Numbers (APNs) 045-360-005,046-370-012, -013, -015, -022, -025, 046-390-002, -003, and 046-450-071.

 

Staff Recommendation: Open public hearing, take testimony, deliberate and provide direction to Staff.

 

Staff Contact: Donald Barrella, 707-299-1338 or donald.barrella@countyofnapa.org

Applicant Contact: Jennifer Gomez, 707-259-5728 or jgomez@syar.com

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report summarizes the response to comments received in four impact categories after the Final EIR was completed in four impact categories; Aesthetics, Noise and vibration, Air Quality and Dust, and Groundwater Hydrology. Atachment B (Master Responses) includes detailed technical responses to these comments which were received from January 5 through May 31, 2015, including oral comments received at the January 7 Commission hearing. This report also includes responses and/or analysis on topics such as biology, land use (General Plan and Zoning), mineral resource reserves and demand, and facility production levels, as well as discussion on CEQA processing and Surface Mining Permit (SMP) Findings.

 

The Background and Discussion Section of this report (Attachment A) has been broken into the following Subsections for ease of reference: A) Summary of Hearings, B) CEQA Determination including discussion of Alternatives, C) General Plan and Zoning Designations, D) Existing Entitlements History and Background, E) Project Modifications, F) Responses to Comments, G) Surface Mining Permit Findings, H) Draft Conditions of Approval, I) Production Levels, Anticipated Demand, and Potential Reserves, and J) Reclamation Plan.

 

To accommodate public participation Staff has also: translated Chapter 2 (Summary of Impacts and Mitigation Measures) of the Draft EIR into Spanish and posted to the County Website Syar Project page, added a link on the County Website Syar Project page that includes the Commission staff reports for this item which can be translated into four languages, and will have an interpreter available at this hearing. Furthermore, the Planning Department has at least two bilingual staff members that are available during normal business hours that are available to translation services.

 

Today’s public hearing is being held pursuant to County Code Section 16.12.370 for proposed #P08-00337-SMP. The Commission will hear and consider evidence and testimony from staff and the EIR consultant, the applicant and interested parties. Upon close of the public hearing, staff is recommending that: (1) the Commission consider adoption of the proposed Resolution certifying the Final EIR; and (2) provide direction to staff on whether the Commission desires to take one of the following Proposed Actions:

 

Proposed Actions:

Option 1 – Certify the EIR and Provide Direction to Staff on Approval of the Project, or One of the Project Alternatives or a Combination thereof.

 

Action Required: Adopt the proposed Resolution certifying the Final EIR and adopt a motion of intent to approve the project, one of the alternatives or a combination thereof. Staff recommends that the Commission consider adoption of the Reduced Production and Reduced Footprint (Hybrid) Alternative: see Attachment C (Alternatives Analysis July 2015) and Section B (CEQA Determination including discussion of Alternatives) in the Background and Discussion Section of this report for additional details. Staff would bring a resolution with the required CEQA findings and project approval to the Commission for consideration at a future meeting.

 

Option 2 – Continuance

 

Action Required: Continue the public hearing to a date certain for continued testimony, discussion and deliberation on the merits of the proposed SMP and provide direction to staff on any further edits or clarifications to the project alternatives, mitigation measures and draft conditions.

 

Option 3 – Certify the EIR and Deny the Project

 

Action Required: Certify the EIR so that it can be relied upon in the event Syar desires to revise the project and submit a new application in the future. This would also allow the EIR to be used as an informational document so that the technical studies and cumulative analysis may be referred to on other non-quarry projects in the vicinity. In the event the Commission determines that the project does not, or cannot meet the required findings for grant of a SMP, for environmental reasons or General Plan inconsistency, Commissioners should articulate the basis for their decision. The Commission would take a tentative motion to deny the project and remand the matter to staff for preparation of findings. Staff would bring the findings back for the Commission’s consideration at a future meeting.

 

Option 4 – Deny the Project

 

Action Required: In the event the Commission determines that the project does not, or cannot meet the required findings for grant of a SMP for environmental reasons or General Plan inconsistency, Commissioners should articulate the basis for their decision. The Commission would take a tentative motion to deny the project and remand the matter to staff for preparation of findings. Staff would bring the findings back for the Commission’s consideration at a future meeting.

 

Documents associated with this application and staff report, including the Draft EIR, the Final EIR, and the 2012 Mining and Reclamation Plan can be accessed at http://www.countyofnapa.org/Syar/. Staff reports including attachments and video archive of previous meetings (January 7th, February 18th, and April 1, 2015) can accessed at http://napa.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=21

 

FISCAL IMPACT

Is there a Fiscal Impact? No

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

A Final Environmental Impact (Final EIR) has been prepared and circulated. Written responses to comments received during the public review and comment period have been incorporated into the Final EIR which consists of the Draft EIR, public and agency comments, responses to comments, and required clarifications and changes to the text of the Draft EIR. Based on additional comments received on the EIR after the close of the comment and comments presented prior to and during the January 7, 2015 Planning Commission hearing on this application, the Commission directed staff to prepare clarified and expanded responses (or master responses) in key impact areas including aesthetics, air quality, hydrology and noise and vibration. These responses are included in Attachment 2 (Appendix B to the Final EIR: Master Responses to comments received after Publication of the November 2014 Final EIR). The Commission also directed staff to clarify the project alternatives analysis and develop a hybrid project alternative for consideration (see Attachment 4), as well as clarify and refine the proposed  mitigation measures (Attachment 3), and draft conditions of approval (Attachment Y).

 

The Draft EIR was circulated for public review and comment on September 6, 2013. The statutory 45 day review and comment period pursuant to CEQA was extended an additional 45 days at the request of the public, resulting in a 90 day review and comment period. The formal comment period closed on December 5, 2013. Public hearings on the Draft EIR took place on October 2, 2013 in front of the Planning Commission (a.m.) and the Napa County Main Library (p.m.).

 

Prior to taking an action on the proposed Surface Mining Permit (SMP) for the Syar Napa Quarry Expansion Project, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines, and the County's Local Procedures for Implementing CEQA. The Planning Commission will consider approval or denial of the project following certification of the Final EIR.

 

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION

A detailed Background and Discussion on this matter is attached to this report as Attachment A (Background and Discussion, Syar Napa Quarry, August 12, 2015 Commission Meeting). The Background and Discussion section has been broken into the following Subsections for ease of reference: A) Summary of Hearings, B) CEQA Determination including discussion of Alternatives, C) General Plan and Zoning Designations, D) Existing Entitlements including status of reclamation, E) Project Modifications, F) Responses to Comments, G) Surface Mining Permit Findings, H) Draft Conditions of Approval, I) Production Levels, Anticipated Demand, and Potential Reserves, and J) Reclamation Plan.

 

Project Documents:

Documents associated with this application and staff report, including the Draft EIR, the Final EIR, and the 2012 Mining and Reclamation Plan can be accessed at http://www.countyofnapa.org/Syar/

 

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION (inserted Attachment A)

A.         Summary of Hearings

On January 7, 2015, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing to consider certification of the EIR and the merits of the proposed quarry expansion and associated SMP. Prior to the hearing, comments were received on the project as well as the adequacy of the proposed Final EIR. During the hearing there were several hours of testimony presented primarily by interested parties. At the conclusion of the proceedings the Commission continued the hearing to February 18, 2015 and directed staff to: evaluate and respond to public comments; clarify potential impacts and how they were assessed; clarify the benefits and disadvantages of the project alternatives identified in the EIR; provide a hybrid project alternative for consideration; and clarify and refine proposed mitigation measures and conditions of approval.

 

On February 18, 2015, the Commission received additional testimony and comments from interested parties on the EIR and project.  At staff’s request, the Commission continued the item to the April 1, 2015 to allow staff and the consultant additional time to evaluate and respond to comments.  The Commission also directed staff, at the request of interested parties, to explore the option of conducting a special evening meeting on the proposed project to allow a more convenient opportunity for the public to attend and participate in the hearing process.

On April 1, 2015, the Commission dropped the item from its agenda so that it could be renoticed for a special meeting to allow staff adequate time to evaluate the applicant's project modifications and to develop a hybrid alternative. The special meeting was scheduled for today. Public notice of the meeting was mailed, posted and published on July 11, 2015.

 

B.         CEQA Determination

Prior to approving a project for which an EIR has been prepared, there are two procedural steps that must be satisfied under CEQA: (1) certification of the EIR; and (2) adoption of CEQA findings.  A proposed Resolution certifying that the Final EIR complies with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines and the County's local procedures for implementing CEQA, and reflects the Commission’s independent judgment and analysis, is included for the Commission’s consideration and adoption (See Attachment D of the August 12 Commission meeting report).  Upon direction to Staff regarding approval of the proposed project, one of the alternatives or a combination thereof, Staff would return to the Commission at a future meeting with a resolution containing required CEQA findings.

 

Mitigation Measures

When an EIR identifies significant environmental impacts that may result from a project, the lead agency must make one or more of the following specific findings: (1) that changes or alterations have been required or incorporated into the project that avoid or substantially lessen the significant environmental impact identified in the EIR; (2) such changes or alterations are within the responsibility and jurisdiction of another public agency that has adopted, or can and should adopt, such changes; or (3) specific economic, social, legal, technological, or other considerations make infeasible the mitigation measures or project alternatives identified in the EIR.  (CEQA Guidelines Section 15091(a).)

 

Attachment G (Draft Conditions of Approval July 2015) of the August 12th Commission meeting report also identifies the mitigation measures that have been incorporated into the project via the conditions of approval (see Attachment G Exhibit A for clarified mitigation measures) to avoid or substantially reduce potentially significant impacts identified in the EIR.

 

Project Alternatives

If the project will result in significant environmental impacts that will not be avoided or substantially lessened by mitigation measures, the lead agency must consider the environmentally superior alternatives identified in the EIR and find that they are infeasible before approving the project. (CEQA Guidelines Section 15091 (a)(3)).

 

Three alternatives were described in the Draft EIR: 1) No Project; 2) Reduced Production; and 3) Reduced Footprint/Conservation.  The Reduced Production Alternative was identified as the environmentally superior alternative because it would reduce proposed annual production from 2 million tons per year to 1.3 million tons per year, resulting in the reduction of the identified significant unavoidable Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to a less than significant level with mitigation incorporated.  The Reduced Production Alternative would also reduce the potential emissions of criteria pollutants, toxic air contaminants, and dust associated with the Project primarily due to fewer vehicle and equipment miles traveled. The Reduced Production Alternative would: reduce anticipated annual water demand of the proposed project by approximately 30 acre-feet (from 50 acre-feet to approximately 20 acre-feet); reduce anticipated daily trips to the site by approximately 300 trips per day (from 500 to 200 trips) and A.M. peak hour trips by approximately 30 trips (from 51 to 21 trips) resulting in less than significant project level and cumulative traffic impacts without the need for mitigation; and further reduce project related air quality and emissions impacts, such as decreased emissions due to reduced haul trips to and from the site.

 

Under the Reduced Footprint/Conservation Alternative approximately 35-acres would be removed from the proposed mining footprint (see Attachment C – Alternative Analysis July 2015, of the August 12th Commission meeting report for additional details).  Under this alternative the originally proposed production of 2 million tons per year would remain, therefore potential impacts that are associated with this production amount, such as, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, noise, traffic and water use wouldremain the same as with the proposed project.  The objectiveof the Reduced Footprint/Conservation Alternative is to further reduce potential impacts and effects of the proposed project beyond the mitigatedproject, such as visual/aestheticchanges, biological resources, and cultural resources, whether or not such impacts are required to be mitigated or are considered to be less than significant to conserveand maintain more environmental characteristics of the site. 

 

At the January 7th Commission hearing the Commission directed staff to develop another alternative or 'Hybrid Alternative' for their consideration that would further reduced potential adverse effects of the quarry on the surrounding community.  Based on that direction staff has developed the ”Reduced Production and Reduced Footprint (Hybrid) Alternative”. Generally this Hybrid Alternative would reduce production levels to 1.3 million tons per year and reduce the proposed expansion area by approximately 47-acres (for a total expansion area of approximately 77-acres).  This reduction would: i) preserve approximately 30-acres of oak woodlands; ii) preserve all existing Skyline Wilderness Park (SWP) trails for continued public use; iii) increase buffers and setbacks from adjacent properties and uses to reduce the degree of potential visual changes of mining and minimize the effects of noise on adjacent uses by maintain existing visual and acoustical shielding such as topographic and vegetative features; and iv) ensure the long-term production and supply of aggregate resources. 

 

Attachment C (Alternatives Analysis, July 2015) of the August 12th Commission meeting report contains a detailed description and evaluation of the project alternatives and the Reduced Production and Reduced Footprint (Hybrid) Alternative and also provides a summary of each alternative’s potential impacts as compared to the proposed project.

 

The Commission in its discretion has options when it comes to selecting a project alternative.  The Commission as part of CEQA and SMP review may deny the project, approve the project as mitigated, or approve any one of the project alternatives in whole or in part.  Furthermore the Commission can utilize components from each of the identified alternatives to create a hybrid alternative to further reduce identified impacts and/or potential negative effects of the Project to make required CEQA or SMP findings.

 

Commission Consideration/Recommendation
The Project alternatives would generally result in consistency with applicable General Plan Goals and Policies to varying degrees (see Attachment E of the August 12th Commission meeting report).  The Commission can select alternatives to the project, or its location, which are capable of avoiding or substantially lessening any significant effects of the project, even if these alternatives would impede to some degree the attainment of the project objectives, or would be more costly unless found to be infeasible.

 

In short the Commission in its discretion can select an alternative, combination thereof, or recommend another alternative to the proposed project that attains most of the basic objectives of the project in a feasible manner, so long as the alternative is capable of avoiding or substantially lessening any significant effects of the project.

 

Staff recommends that the Commission adopt the Reduced Production and Reduced Footprint (Hybrid) Alternative because it further reduces potential negative effects of the project while still meeting the objectives of the project by providing for a reliable long-term source of aggregate and aggregate related materials within the County and surrounding areas. This alternative would also be most consistent with the greatest number of applicable General Plan Goals and Polices.

 

Pursuant to the CEQA Guidelines (Government Code 15126.6- Consideration and Discussion of Alternatives to the Proposed Project) the Commission can select and alternatives to the project, or its location, which is capable of avoiding or substantially lessening any significant effects of the project, even if these alternatives would impede to some degree the attainment of the project objectives, or would be more costly, can be considered by the decision making body.

 

In short the Commission in their discretion can select an alternative, combination thereof, or recommend another alternative to the proposed project, or to the location of the proposed project, that attains most of the basic objectives of the project in a feasible manner, so long as the alternative is capable of avoiding or substantially lessening any significant effects of the project.

 

Statement of Overriding Considerations

When an agency approves a project with significant environmental effects that will not be avoided or substantially reduced, it must adopt a statement that because of the project's overriding benefits, it is approving the project despite its environmental harm. This is what is commonly referred to as a Statement of Overriding Considerations (CEQA Guidelines Section 15043).  A Statement of Overriding Consideration would only be necessary in the event that the Commission were to approve a production level of 2 million tons per year.

 

The EIR identified that the proposed production level of 2 million tons per year would result in a significant unavoidable Greenhouse Gas emission impact, and that production would need to be reduced to 1.3 million tons a year to reduce this significant unavoidable impact to a less than significant level with mitigation incorporated.  Selection of a project alternative that includes an annual production limitation of 1.3 million tons per year (or less) would eliminate the need to adopt a Statement of Overriding Considerations for the project.

 

Final EIR

A Final EIR has been prepared and circulated.  Written responses to comments received during the public review and comment period have been incorporated into the Final EIR which consists of the Draft EIR, public and agency comments, responses to comments, required clarifications and changes to the text of the Draft EIR, and the master response (Appendix B to the Final EIR: Master Responses to comments received after Publication of the November 2014 Final EIR) (see Attachment B of the August 12th Commission meeting report).  The Commission also directed staff to further clarify the project alternatives analysis and develop a hybrid project alternative for consideration, as well as clarify and refine the proposed mitigation measures and draft conditions of approval: see Attachments C and G, respectively, of the August 12th Commission meeting report for these document. 

The Draft EIR was circulated for public review and comment on September 6, 2013.  The statutory 45 day review and comment period pursuant to CEQA was extended an additional 45 days at the request of the public, resulting in a 90 day review and comment period.  The formal comment period closed on December 5, 2013. Public hearings on the Draft EIR took place on October 2, 2013 before the Planning Commission.

Subsequent to EIR certification the Commission will need to: (a) adopt findings and a statement of overriding considerations (if necessary); (b) reject project alternatives; (c) adopt the project, or alternative, or a combination of alternatives; (d) adopt a mitigation monitoring and reporting program; and (e)  render a decision on Surface Mining Permit No. P08-00337-SMP.

C.         General Plan and Zoning Designations
See Attachment E (General Plan and Zoning Consistency Memo, July 2015) of the August 12th Commission meeting report for a detailed discussion and analysis.

 

The parcels within the Syar holding have the following General Plan Designations: Agriculture, Watershed and Open Space (AWOS); Industrial (I); and Public-Institutional (PI). While the Agricultural Preservation and Land Use (AG/LU) Element of the General Plan recognizes it is a critically important element of the General Plan it defers to the Conservation and Recreation and Open Space Elements for additional goals and polices regarding conservation of natural areas and open space.  The Recreation and Open Space (ROS) Element includes preservation of natural resources and the managed production of resources as one of the uses and benefits of open space.  This element further refers to the Conservation Element for policies and actions that are intended to conserve open space lands that contain important natural resources that are associated with open space land use benefits.  Within the Conservation (CON) Element the managed production of resources is specifically identified and addressed.  This element states that the preserving open space resources to meet the community's conservation goals while also addressing local needs for productive raw natural materials requires a balanced approach and contains specific goals and policies that address open space as it pertains to the conservation of natural resources, and stresses the conservation and prudent management of the County's mineral resources for current and future generations.

 

The project site has the following zoning designations: Agricultural Watershed (AW) Agricultural Watershed: Airport Compatibility (AW:AC), and Industrial (I). Pursuant to NCC Section 16.12.040 the surface mining provisions of NCC Chapter 16.12 (Surface Mining and Reclamation) apply to all unincorporated land within the county, therefore the project is allowed within the AW, AW:AC and I zoning districts, which all allow for aggregate mining and processing activities with a surface mining permit (SMP).

 

The current land use and zoning designations would allow for mining.  Because the current land use and zoning designations allow mining neither a general plan land use re-designation nor a rezoning of the holding are necessary to accommodate the project.  As such, the provisions of Measure P are not triggered and do not apply.

 

Furthermore, the project site, and portions thereof, are also mapped or classified by, i) the State Geologist as Resource Sector H, Mineral Resource Zone MRZ-2 (a) which indicates that significant deposits are present, and ii) by the County Land Use Map as a Mineral Resource (MR) area which is applied to known mineral resources based on mapping prepared by the State of California.  These Mineral Resource designations further reinforce that mining within the project site’s land use and zoning designations is a contemplated and allowed use (see Attachment E of the August 12th Commission meeting report).

D.         Existing Entitlement History and Background

On November 28, 1973, the Napa County Board of Supervisors approved UP-27374 for the Napa Quarry to bring existing and future manufacturing and quarry operations at the site into compliance with the Napa County Zoning Ordinance No. 168: at that time the Basalt Rock Company owned the property. Furthermore, at that time the holding contained two asphaltic concrete (A/C) plants, a precast plant, and a Basalite block plant (Basalt Rock Quarry Environmental Impact Report, James A. Roberts Associates Inc., October 1973, Certified November 28, 1973).  While the precast plant and the Basalite block plant uses have ceased and been removed, the two A/C plants remain in operation today.  Furthermore, the County recognized the existence and operation of the AC plants through issuance of a building permit (#38626, August 1986) where it was confirmed that Use Permits #27374 and #128182 covered this facility.  On September 22, 1981, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the permit (UP-128182) to allow the operator to mine the upper reaches of the State Grey Pit in a more efficient manner. A specified end date is not indicated under these use permits because typically use permits "run with the land" in perpetuity unless the use is ceased, abandoned or revoked. 

In 1982, a Reclamation Plan was developed for the Napa Quarry by Basalt Rock Company and submitted to the County for review.  This Reclamation Plan was approved on December 14, 1984 (Napa County Agreement No. 2225). The County determined that the Syar Napa Quarry was consistent with County Ordinance No. 693 as part of the approval (Ordinance No. 693, October 27, 1981, originally implemented the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975, or SMARA, in Napa: the County's mining ordinance has since been codified in the County Code and is now within Chapter 16.12 (Mining and Reclamation) of the Napa Count Code). 

Under the approvals identified above the following uses associated with existing “Quarry Operations”  were identified: two crushing operations which include two jaw type crushers, eight secondary crusher together with numerous screens, conveying equipment, washing and classifying equipment and two asphaltic concrete plants (also see Draft Conditions of Approval, Attachment G Figure 1 of the August 12th Commission meeting report).  Based on County inspections and inspection reports of the facility from 1993 to 2013 the aforementioned Quarry Operation uses have been witnessed.  Therefore it is staff’s opinion that uses associated with existing Quarry Operations have been in continuous use since the original UP approval.  Under these entitlements an end date to Quarry Operations and associated activities is not specified. As noted above use permits typically remain valid provided the use continues.

 

Regarding the cessation of mining and commencement of reclamation see “Status of Reclamation” discussion below.

 

With regard to the mining and reclamation boundary (or footprint), the current reclamation plan contains several exhibits identifying mining and reclamation areas.  The figures that are most pertinent to boundaries are: Exhibit 3 – Areas Affect by Quarrying, Exhibit 5 - Condition of Land When Quarrying Complete, Exhibit 6 - Phasing of Mining Operations, and Exhibit 7 - Reclamation Plan. When comparing areas of mining and reclamation between these exhibits there are variations between limits shown and corresponding disturbed/mined areas shown therein, and Exhibit 5 does not include any boundary delineations. As such County staff overlaid each of these figures to determine the extent of mining and reclamation as envisioned within the current plan: this process resulted in the area identified in Figure 3-2 (Existing Conditions) of the Draft EIR (which is attached to this document).  The area shown on Figure 3-2 has been determined by the County to be the limits of mining under current entitlements. 

Based on inspections of the operation conducted pursuant to SMARA and County Code, and review of the Planning Division's files, there are no records of any code compliance issues on this property.

Furthermore, pursuant to Public Contract Code Section 10295.5 and 20676 mining operations that are not being operated in compliance with SMARA are precluded from selling sand, gravel, aggregates or other mined materials to state or local agencies.  Facilities that are operated in compliance with SMARA are placed on what is commonly referred to as the AB 3089 List.  Therefore, having the facility maintain compliance with SMARA is necessary to provide a local source of aggregate and related materials to the County and surrounding cities: the next closest aggregate sources on the AB 3089 List are in Solano and Sonoma Counties.  Currently, Syar Napa Quarry is on the AB3089 list.

 

Status of Reclamation

The current reclamation plan notes potential years that mining was anticipated to be completed within given areas of the quarry, however it does not include specific dates that require or otherwise mandate cessation of mining and commencement of reclamation.  Use Permit #27374 and #128182 also do not specify cessation dates for Aggregate Mining Operations (i.e. areas where mineral resources or aggregate extraction occur) and the commencement of reclamation.  Agreement #2225 Paragraph 5 indicates a “target date” to commence reclamation on or before July 1, 2010; however it is subject to change based on market demand. 

 

Paragraph 5 of Agreement #2225 requires the operator to report to the County every three (3) years on the status of mining operations covered under Agreement #2225 and such report identify any of the said parcels identified in Exhibit #7 of the current Reclamation Plan (Reclamation Plan for the Napa Quarry, Norman T. Gilroy and Associates, May 1982) where all mining activities have ceased as of the date of the report.  The Agreement provides a presumption that where all mining activities (including but not limited to extraction, processing, stockpiling or haul roads) have ceased in any mining area identified therein for a period of three years that the mining is completed on said area and reclamation should begin.  However, it is not clear in the Reclamation Plan the extent of the areas covered under this provision:  Exhibit 7 does not show or otherwise contain parcels.

 

In a September 24, 1996, letter from the County (and accompanying Surfacing Mining Inspection Report - MRRC-1) the extent of mining activities as related to the approved bounds is questioned, in that it was believed that mining may have occurred outside the limits identified under the approved reclamation plan; however no violation was identified.  This report also alludes to the amount of land that should have been reclaimed to date under current approvals.  In reviewing subsequent County MRRC-1 Inspection Reports it does not appear that a violation occurred or was pursued.  The July 15, 1998, inspection report identifies this issue again (a violation is noted in the report however no other County follow up documentation associated with this matter has been located).  The May 31, 2000, County inspection report notes that there are questions regarding the extent of mining and boundary delineations and extent of reclamation that should have occurred; however no violations are noted in the report.  This report also notes that information requested regarding this matter has been put on hold because a proposal came under study to dispose of spoils from the Napa River Flood Control Project on the site. The next available Inspection Report (May 29, 2003) is silent on these issue and no violations are noted.  It is believed that because the mining boundaries identified in the Gilroy Reclamation Plan are not clearly defined (for the reasons identified above), and that exhibits within the plan were not clear to the extent of where reclamation was to commence when mining ceased, that the operation was considered to be in compliance with the current reclamation plan.

 

Based on recent inspections active mining may have ceased in the State Blue Pit and Eagles Nest mining areas: active mining has not been observed in these and adjacent areas since approximately 2011.  While Agreement #2225 may not be clear, taking into account Exhibit 1a (Assessor’s Parcels) of the Reclamation Plan, it appears that APN 046-370-012 is an area indicated if mining has ceased reclamation should commence: this includes the State Blue Pit and Eagles Nest mining areas.  The owner/operator may overcome this presumption by demonstrating to the Napa County Board of Supervisors that it intends to resume mining operations in said areas in the reasonably foreseeable future, in which event the commencement of reclamation can wait until the cessation and completion of future mining activities in that area. 

 

In Staff’s opinion the operator/Permittee has demonstrated that it intends to resume mining in the Eagles Nest area through this SMP application.  However, given the owner/Permittee has reduced the proposed mining footprint by approximate 10.7-acre within the northeast corner of the property (i.e. adjacent to the State Blue) and that this mining area is currently at groundwater level, additional mining in this area would be constrained and impractical.  Furthermore, since mining has not been conducted in this area since 2011 mining in the area is therefore considered ceased.

 

Staff is recommending that the Commission consider requiring the commencement of reclamation in the State Blue Pit area within the proposed Mining and Reclamation Plan as part of any SMP action. 

E.         Project Modifications Submitted by Syar

In response to concerns raised at the January 7 and subsequent Commission hearings, on March 17, 2015, Syar proposed the following modifications to the Proposed Project:

 

  1. Reduce the proposed annual production level to 1.3 million tons per year (consistent with the Reduced Production Alternative.
  2. Reductions in the size of the proposed expansion areas to include a) within the Pasini Parcel an approximate 4.5-acre reduction in the mining footprint to increase the setback buffers provided to the north and east by 50 feet, and b) within the northeast corner of the property adjacent to the State Blue Pit the approximate 10.7-acre reduction in the footprint to preserve existing trails, including the provision to develop a License Agreement with the County to allow the trails to remain in place and allow continued public use.
  3. Clarify Mitigation Measure 4.11-1 so that it applies to both expansion areas and further limits mining activities in the following ways; a) limit the hours of clearing of topsoil and overburden to Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 9:30 PM during the construction season(June to November) and Monday through Friday 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM during the off season (December to May) ; b) limit blasting to the hours of 10 am to 4 pm with no blasting occurring on weekends or holidays; and c) within 400 feet of the property line from Skyline Wilderness Park and where such activities are visible from the trails in SWP  limit topsoil and overburden removal activities to 7 am to noon (12 pm) with no such activities occurring on weekends or holidays.
  4. Provide two tree planting areas within the Pasini Parcel to screen mining activities from SWP within the first two years of the Permit.: These two areas are generally located adjacent to the furthest northeast and northwest extent of the mining footprint/boundary located with the Pasini Parcel.
  5. Provide 48 hour notice of blasting by website and email notice to anyone requesting such notice.
  6. Suspend blasting when sustained wind speeds at the quarry exceed 20 miles per hour (See Attachment G of the August 12th Commission meeting report).

 

These modifications, referred to as the Modified Project, are primarily intended to reduce impacts of the project on adjacent residential and public institutional uses to the north and SWP to the east.  Please refer to Attachment B of the August 12th Commission meeting report for a discussion of how these modifications would potentially affect aesthetics, noise and vibration, and air quality.

F.         Responses to Comments

Since release of the Final EIR (November 2014), the County has received additional comments on the EIR.  The County prepared master responses to those comments as they relate to: Aesthetics, Noise and Vibration , Air Quality, and Groundwater Hydrology (see Appendix B to the Final EIR: Master Responses to Comments Received after Publication of November 2014 Final EIR and Proposed Modifications, July 2015, included in the Commission Staff report as Attachment A).

 

Attachment A (Master Responses) of the August 12th Commission meeting report includes detailed technical responses to comments on the Draft and Final EIRs received from January 5 through May 31, 2015, including oral comments received at the January 7 Commission hearing, on the following topics: Aesthetics, Noise and Vibration, Air Quality and Dust, and Groundwater Hydrology.  Non-technical correspondence received (letter and emails) that express general opposition or support of the project are not included in Attachment A but may be accessed from the County files for the Project at the County's Current PBES Projects webpage at (http://www.countyofnapa.org/Syar/).

Master responses to other potential impact categories such as biology, land use, mineral resources and production levels and demand are included in this staff report under the appropriate heading. 

Summary of Master Response to Comments Document
Aesthetics- The quarry and project site is located in a transitional area of the County which accommodates a variety of uses including: more intensive residential, commercial, industrial, and public institutional uses to the north and west; intensive agriculture uses to the south; and recreational uses (Skyline Wilderness Park - SWP) to the east.  The visual character in the area is highly varied and continues to experience visual changes through ongoing development in the immediate area. While the original proposal would have had a more dramatic effect on aesthetic features and shielding as viewed from the north, the project as modified would retain these features and result in less visual changes.  Because the modified project would retain existing trails located east of the State Blue Pit, and these trials come into close proximity to proposed expansion areas in three limited areas the overall effect on the visual character of this area would generally be maintained, changes and alterations to the landscape and visual resources are considered less than significant. 

Noise and Vibration - Noise and vibration measurements, conducted by Illingworth & Rodkin Inc. (I&R), were taken at several locations both within the quarry and at surrounding locations to record off-site and on-site levels of noise produced by quarrying activities and vibrations generated by blasting.  Noise measurements were taken within the quarry itself to document noise levels resulting from stationary and mobile equipment operating within the quarry. Prominent noise sources of the quarry include: rock removal; aggregate crushing and screening operations; and operations associated with the asphaltic concrete and the AB/Recycling plants.  The calculations generally represent the worst-case scenario, which presumed project noise would occur at the furthest extent of proposed mining activities (i.e. at the limits of the proposed mining footprint in certain locations) and no topographical or vegetative shielded would be provided to surrounding receptors.

The closets receptors to the project site include the educational, public institutional, and recreational uses located to the north, which include: the Napa Office of Education, Chamberlin and Liberty High Schools, Creekside Middle School, Napa Preschool Program, Napa Child Development Center, and Napa State Hospital located to the north of the quarry; and SWP located to the north and east of the quarry.  The Terrace Shurtleff and River East residential neighborhoods are located approximately 0.35 miles (or approximately 2,000 feet) north of the quarry across Imola Avenue.

Additional noise calculations based on the modified project show that the increased/additional buffers (or exclusion areas) would result in noise levels less than 50dBA L50 within the northern portions SWP (i.e. main entrance, picnic areas, archery range, disc golf area, and camping areas of the park) and in the residential uses north of the quarry, which is consistent with the County Noise Ordinance (NCC Section 8.18.070 - Exterior noise limits).  The L50 acoustical descriptor represents the noise standard for a cumulative period of more than thirty minutes in any hour. This anticipated noise level would also be within the Noise Compatibility Guidelines described in General Plan Community Character Policy CC-39.  As further explained in Attachment A of the August 12th Commission meeting report, noise and vibration impacts would be mitigated to less than significant levels.

Air Quality – The Air Quality and Health Risk Assessment (HRA) prepared for Draft EIR includes emissions calculations for air quality and health risk impacts resulting from the ongoing operations associated with the proposed project.  The Assessment was prepared in accordance with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Air Toxics Program Health Risk Screening Analysis Guidelines, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Guidance Manual, and Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines, and includes an evaluation of cancer and non-cancer impacts of the proposed project based on a production level of 2 million tons per year.  The HRA found that the project could: violate air quality standards or contribute to existing or projected air quality impacts due to Nitrogen Oxide gases (NOx), which primarily result from the combustion of petroleum in gas powered vehicles and equipment; increase fugitive dust emissions which is also referred as Particulate Matter (PM); and could expose people (or sensitive receptors) to harmful levels of toxic air contaminants (TACs) which are pollutants listed by the State that can result in increased mortality, serious illness, or pose a hazard to human health (typically industrial facilities and vehicular emissions are significant sources of TACs).  The modified project, which would limit annual production to 1.3 million ton per year, would reduce potentially significant unavoidable GHG emission impacts to a less than significant level with mitigation measures incorporated, and would also significantly reduce anticipated air quality potential health risk impacts.  Furthermore, proposed mitigation measures identified in the Draft EIR, as clarified in Attachments B and G of the August 12th Commission meeting report, become more rigorous as production levels incrementally increase, and would further reduce potential health risk impacts associated with NOx, PM, and TACs (including crystalline silica) to less than significant levels.

In response to recent complaints filed with the BAAQMD by local residents (March 23, 2015 and May 1, 2015) County staff has had several follow up conversations with BAAQMD inspectors (John Lawton, Michael Wall, and Sanjeev Kmboj) to determine if violations of the BAAQMD operating permit have occurred.  During these conversations BAAQMD inspectors have repeatedly stated that provisions of Syar’s operating permit including dust emissions, have not been violated.

With regard to fugitive dust (PM) emissions, commenters suggest that the quarry is essentially the sole producer of PM emissions in the area, however, since 2003 approximately 300-acres of vineyard have been developed and managed immediately south of the quarry.  Other potential intermittent and ongoing sources of PM emissions in the immediate area include, but are not limited to: major roadways such as Highway 221 and Imola Avenue; recent construction projects at Napa Valley College that include the performing arts and library buildings; installation of recycled waterlines along Highway 221 and Imola Avenue and construction of associated pump station along Imola Avenue (on State Hospital property); the management (including replanting activities) of over 200-acres of vineyard located immediately north of the quarry and east of the Terrace-Shurtleff and River East residential areas; demolition of the Basalite plant located immediately west of the quarry; and activities at SWP that include equestrian uses and larger events such as civil war re-enactments and expanded camping for local events such as Bottle Rock. In addition to these potential sources, future intermittent and on-going sources of dust emissions are anticipated to include, but are not limited to: the development and management of approximately 240-acres of vineyard (Suscol Mountain Vineyards #P09-00176-ECPA, Approved February 8, 2013, SCH#2009102079) located immediately southeast of the quarry  that is anticipated to be developed over the next few years; construction of the County Jail Facility located immediately west of the quarry; the redevelopment of the Napa Pipe site located to the southwest of the quarry; and the proposed Meritage Resort Expansion (City of Napa Use Permit Application PL15-0071) for an new 134 room hotel and associated hospitality and support facilities that primarily includes construction of two (2) buildings totaling approximately 190,000 square feet. Therefore, while the quarry may be one of the larger sources of PM emissions in the area, there are other existing and anticipated sources that contribute to PM emissions in the immediate area.

Groundwater Hydrology - Commenters assert that the Draft and Final EIRs do not contain adequate information to appropriately assess potential groundwater hydrology impacts, and proposed mitigation measures pertaining to groundwater hydrogeology are not robust enough to protect or otherwise reduce potential impacts to groundwater hydrology to less than significant levels.  Proposed Mitigation Measure 4.8-2 has been revised to provide clarification regarding the timing and methods of implementation, the duration and frequency of monitoring, and anticipated infiltration necessary to reduce potential groundwater impacts: see Attachments B and G of the August 12th Commission meeting report. The primary objective of Mitigation Measure 4.8-2 is to maintain a 10 foot buffer between mining activities and underlying ground levels (or potentiometric surface elevation) to avoid impacts to groundwater, including the interception of groundwater by mining and the creation of open water bodies that would subject to evaporation which could result in the additional loss (or use) of groundwater as a result of mining depth.  In addition to maintaining a 10 foot buffer between mining activities and groundwater potentiometric surfaces the proposed project also limits maximum depth of mining excavations to 50 above mean sea level (msl) within the western mining areas (i.e. the State Grey and State Blue Pits and Eagles Nest areas) and 350 feet above msl in the eastern mining areas (i.e. the Snake Pit and Pasini Parcel areas).  Therefore, this measure could increase mining elevations further above msl than what is currently proposed.

With regard to anticipated water use, baseline (or existing) water use has been estimated to be approximately 140.6 acre-feet per year. Because the project well is located in the Lower Milliken-Sacco-Tulucay (MST) groundwater deficient aquifer, mitigation measures and conditions of approval have been incorporated that limit annual groundwater use at 140.6 acre-feet per year to minimize impacts on groundwater (see clarified Mitigation Measure 4.8-4 in Attachments B and G of the August 12th Commission meeting report for the full text of the measures).  Comments also claim that the water use assessment is inadequate because it does not meet the requirements outlined in the California Department of Water Resources, Guidebook for Implementation of Senate Bill 610 and Senate Bill 221 of 2001 (http://www.water.ca.gov/pubs/use/sb_610_sb_221_guidebook/guidebook.pdf).

 

The provisions within this Guidebook apply to projects defined by Section 10910 of the Water Code which include the following: residential development of more than 500 dwelling units; shopping center or business establishments employing more than 1,000 person or having more than 500,000 square feet (sf) of floor area; commercial office buildings employing more than 1,000 persons or having more than 250,000 sf of floor area; hotels or motels have more than 500 rooms; industrial, manufacturing, or processing plants or industrial parks housing more than 1,000 persons, occupying more than 40-acres of land or having 650,000 sf of floor area; mixed-use projects that includes one or more of the projects specified in Water Code Section 10912; or a project that would demand an amount of water equivalent to, or greater than the amount required by a 500 dwelling unit project. The water use numbers provided in the Guidebook suggest that one residential unit typically consumes .3 to .5 acre-feet of water a year. Using these factors a project using more than 150 acre-feet to 250 acre-feet per year would be subject to SB 610 and SB 221 (.3x500=150: .5x500=250).

 

Because the proposed project is not one of the listed project types and would not utilize more than 150 acre-feet of water per year, due to implementation of mitigation and conditions limiting water use to 140.6 acre-feet per year the water supply assessment does not necessarily need to meet the requirements found in this Guidebook.  It should also be noted that SB 610 and SB 221 are companion measures which are intended to promote more collaborative planning between local water supplies and cities and counties: the quarry is not connected to a municipal water source.  For these reasons staff believes that water supply and use assessment, in conjunction with proposed mitigation measures adequately  disclose, assess, and mitigate potential groundwater impacts.

Furthermore, comments received on this topic do not introduce any new or additional evidence that demonstrates the potential level of impact associated with the proposed water supply and use, as mitigated and conditioned, would occur beyond what was identified in the Draft and Final EIRs.

 

Based on review of comments received and the Master Response document, staff and the County’s consultant continue to believe that no new potentially significant impacts beyond those identified in the EIR would occur, no new or additional mitigation measures must be added to reduce impacts, and that no new information has been submitted which warrants recirculation or preparation of further technical studies, and none of the grounds for recirculation of the EIR.

 

Other Responses to Comments
Biological Resources - Comments received on biological resources express a concern that the project would remove valuable wildlife habitat in the area, including habitat for the mountain lion.  The project area, and in particular the expansion areas, are primarily located between the existing quarry and SWP.  Because of highly developed nature of land uses surrounding the quarry on three sides, the quarry itself and its history of continuous use, and use of SWP, the site and project area does not provide any vast or unaltered habitat.  Biological resources surveys conducted for the project and the Draft EIR did not identify habitat in the project area suitable for mountain lions or other special-status animal species except for the American badger.  Mitigation Measure 4.4-2 would address potential impacts to the American badger as a result of the Project.  Furthermore, proposed Mitigation Measures 4.4-3 and 4.4-5 would address potential impacts to special-status bird and bat species that may occur in the project area or immediate vicinity.

With regard to special-status plant species, comments raise the concern that due to the timing and date of the plant surveys conducted for the Project, that not all the sensitive-status plant species that could potentially be in the area or project site could be adequately identified.  Mitigation Measure 4.4-1b, requires seasonally-appropriate pre-construction plant surveys prior to the initiation of any vegetation removal or earth-disturbing activities in any undisturbed areas would reduce potential impacts to special-status plant species to less than significant levels. Regarding the California Sagebrush vegetation type that was identified in the project area, it is indicated in the Draft EIR (page 4.4-9 and -10) that this vegetation type may be similar to what is identified in the County Baseline Date Report as "Coyote brush - California Sagebrush" they were growing in alliance with the Coyote brush vegetation type that is identified to be more prevalent throughout the property.  Furthermore given this vegetation type occurs only in a small isolated patch (approximately 1-acre located adjacent to active mining areas, previously disturbed areas and woodlands), its removal is not considered to be potentially significant. 

With respect to oak woodlands, proposed Mitigation Measure 4.4-9 has been revised to provide clarification regarding, the timing and methods of implementation, and that on-site avoidance and replacement occur prior to initiation of vegetation removal and earth-disturbing activities in undisturbed areas.  On-site avoidance and replacement would need to occur prior the commencement of any mining activities occurring in any previously undisturbed areas. Regarding off-site preservation, this mitigation measure has been revised to phase in off-site mitigation. Once 78-acres of oak woodland have been removed by future mining the Permittee will need to preserve 85-acres of off-site oak woodland prior to initiating vegetation removal and earth-disturbing activities in undisturbed areas that would remove additional oak woodlands (see Attachments B and G of the August 12th Commission meeting report for full text of this measure as revised).

 

General Plan and Zoning - Comments have been received suggesting that the proposed project would need either a Land Use Designation and/or Zoning Designation change, or both.  As detailed above in Section C of this report and Attachment E of the August 12th Commission meeting report, mining is allowed within general plan land use and zoning designations covering the property.  

 

G.         Surface Mining Permit Findings

Pursuant to Chapter 16.12.360 (Surface Mining Permits: Issuance - Required findings) the Commission will need to make the finding below to approve the proposed SMP. Because a preferred project alternative has not yet been selected by the Commission, findings have not yet been prepared by staff.  Within Attachment F (Draft Finding) of the August 12th Commission meeting report preliminary analysis has been provided for consideration.  Once a project alternative is selected formal findings will be developed for the Commission's consideration.

 

  1. The application is complete and the plans and reports submitted therewith adequately describe the proposed operation.
  2. The project is supported by adequate environmental documents that comply with the provisions of CEQA.
  3. The mining operation to be conducted and subsequent reclamation of the site provide for specific changes or alterations which avoid or mitigate the significant environmental effects of the project as identified in the recommended negative declaration or final EIR or if an EIR was prepared that specifically identified economic, social or other considerations make infeasible the mitigation measures or project alternatives identified therein.
  4. The application as approved demonstrates that the proposed operation will be conducted in compliance with the provisions of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, State Board Reclamation Regulations including but not limited to Sections 2502, 3503 and 3700-3713 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, and this chapter.
  5. Any comments received from the Department of Conservation pursuant to Section 16.12.350(C) have been reviewed and considered by the Commission.
  6. The mining operation and reclamation plans, as approved, are consistent with the objectives, policies and general land uses and programs set forth in the general plan, any specific plan applicable to the area of operations, and the zoning of the site.
  7. The reclamation to be undertaken will restore the mined lands to a usable condition which is readily adaptable for alternative land uses which are consistent with the general plan and any specific plan applicable to the area of operations.
  8. Appropriate conditions have been imposed to ensure that the site, during and after reclamation, will not cause a public hazard, will not impair the character of the surrounding neighborhood, nor be detrimental to the public health, safety or general welfare, considering the degree and type of present and probable future exposure of the public to the site.
  9. The proposed timing for reclamation requires reclamation to be fully completed as soon as it is feasible, considering the particular circumstances of the site to be reclaimed, and provides for appropriate incremental reclamation at the earliest feasible time, considering the particular circumstances of the site to be reclaimed
  10. The estimated cost of the reclamation reasonably approximates the probable costs of performing the reclamation work proposed in the reclamation plan approved, the operator/permittee will be financially able to complete the reclamation, and the security to be posted will be sufficient to ensure completion of the required reclamation. 
  11. The applicant has a public liability policy in force for both the mining and reclamation operation which provides for personal injury and property protection in an amount adequate to compensate all persons injured or for property damaged as a result of such operations.

 

H.         Draft Conditions of Approval
Attachment G of the August 12th Commission meeting report includes proposed conditions of approval for the project.  The Planning Commission, in its discretion, may include additional conditions or modify or delete any of the proposed conditions they feel necessary to minimize potential adverse effects of the project, whether or not those effects were determined to be potentially significant impacts, or to ensure that mineral resources are appropriately conserved for future use, or to promote the reasonable, safe and orderly operation of mining activities. Examples may include: limiting the number of days, hours or times an activity can occur, such as annually limiting blasting events or the number of times evening or weekend operations occur; requiring more County monitoring of events or operational activities; increasing or decreasing the reoccurrence interval of reporting or updating associated with on-going operations; project phasing, such as limiting the number of active mining areas within the quarry or requiring the commencement or termination of activities such as the commencement of reclamation in areas where mining has ceased.

Based on the Commission's past direction staff has clarified the proposed conditions of approval that were originally identified in the January 7, 2015 staff report.  While the proposed conditions have not dramatically changed from the original iteration, a definition section was added and the hours of operation and blasting operations were further refined and separated out.  The overall intent of these clarifications was to ensure that conditions could easily be understood and applied.  Furthermore, the conditions were reviewed for consistency with mitigation measures and reporting requirements intervals/time frames and to eliminate redundant or duplicative conditions.

Definitions
The operator/permittee has requested the ability to operate outside the days and hours described above (i.e. operate 24 hours per day 7 days a week) so there is flexibility to accommodate such things as public transportation construction schedules, which are typically and increasingly conducted at night or non-traditional hours, as well as off-peak operations necessitated by PG&E Energy Savings Contracts. Off hour operations are anticipated to occur on a periodic basis and it not expected that the quarry would continually operate on a 24/7 basis to accommodate these activities. Condition E in Attachment G (of the August 12th Commission meeting report) provides specific details of Mining and Processing Operations and operational days and hours: Condition E is reflective of staff's recommended Hours of Operation for the quarry facility.  Condition #12 contains specific definitions related to quarry operations as they relate to the hours of operation to ensure it is clear what activities can occur during specified days and hours operation and, in particular, activities that would occur during non-traditional hours off operation (i.e. from 6 PM to 7 AM).

Hours of Operation
Production and sales of aggregate and associated materials are influenced by several factors including but not limited to; weather, economic conditions, construction season, and demand. The hours of operation reflect the anticipated production levels necessary to meet demand, including that of CalTrans and other governmental agencies for nighttime transportation, infrastructure, and construction activities in order to minimize and avoid traffic congestion during daytime commute hours. It is anticipated that the quarry would typically operate approximately 250 days a year accounting for weekends, holidays, and other production breaks.

As proposed in the Draft Condition of Approval (Attachment G of the August 12th Commission meeting report), Syar Napa Quarry would typically operate Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the Construction Season (June through November) and from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the Off Season (December to May).  Furthermore, the hours of operation conditions include a provision requiring the utilization of discriminating back-up alarms or other back-up alarm system (other than traditional back-up alarms) on equipment that will be utilized for any operational activity occurring outside these hours (i.e. from 6 PM to7 AM) to minimize noise emissions from this source.  Discriminating alarm refers to a system that uses an infrared light, ultrasonic waves, radar, or similar means to detect objects or persons behind equipment, and sound an audible alarm when a person or object is detected.

Blasting

The proposed Conditions of Approval would limit Blasting Operations to weekdays from 10 AM to 3 PM with no blasting occurring on weekends or major holidays.  As detailed in the Draft EIR the quarry averages approximately 26 blasts per year.  It is anticipated the proposed project with incorporation of the Reduced Production Alternative could result in approximately 50 to 60 blast events a year at the maximum production level (1.3 million tons per year).

I.          Production Levels, Anticipated Demand, and Potential Reserves:
As presented in the Draft EIR Air Quality and Health Risk Assessment, total baseline production level was characterized at approximately 810,000 tons per year.
  This total included approximately 181,000 tons per year in asphalt production and approximately 38,000 tons per year in sand production, the remainder being primarily made up of aggregate materials processed through the Blue Rock Plant and the Aggregate Base (A/B) plants or as rip-rap. Based on review of the last five State MRRC-2 Mining Operation Annual Reports the quarry processes on average approximately 400,000 to 500,000 tons of aggregate per year, excluding asphalt and sand. Average annual production of asphalt and sand is anticipated to be consistent with baseline conditions (asphalt approximately 181,000 per year and sand approximately 38,000 tons per year).  As currently proposed, annual production would increase to 1.3 million tons per year with asphalt production increasing up to approximately 300,000 tons per year.  Asphalt production limits would be inclusive of the overall annual production amount of 1.3 million tons per year.

It has been suggested that due to traffic characteristics shown in the Project's Traffic Impact Study (Winzler & Kelly, August 2013), in particular that approximately two-thirds of the vehicles leaving the quarry turn left (southbound) out of the quarry that a majority of the aggregate leaves the County.  However, in reviewing sales records supplied by Syar for the past three years (2012 through 2014) approximately 78% of the materials sold from the Quarry in the last 3 years are used in Napa County.  Specifically: in 2014, 87% of the materials sold was used in Napa County, 3% was used in Solano County, 5% was used in Sonoma County, and 5% was used in other counties; in 2013, 80% of the materials sold was used in Napa County, 4% was used in Solano County, 12% was used in Sonoma County and 4% was used in other counties; and in 2012, 68% of the materials sold was used in Napa County, 16% was used in Solano County, 13% was used in Sonoma County, and 3% was used in other counties.  It should be noted that in 2012 the increased amount used in Solano County was primarily due to the Highway 12 (Jamieson Canyon Road) widening project.

While it is difficult to determine anticipated demand for aggregate materials with any certainty, a State Report includes a 50-year forecast of aggregate needs, which estimated that the per capita aggregate demand/consumption is approximately 8.8 tons annually for the region (Special Report 146, Part III, Mineral Land Classification: Aggregate Materials in the San Francisco - Monterey Bay Area Bay, California Department of Conservation Division of Mines and Geology, 1987).  In a 2013 update to Special Report 146 (Special Report 205, Update of Mineral Land Classification: Aggregate Materials in the North San Francisco Bay Production-Consumption Region, Sonoma, Napa, Marin, and Southwestern Solano Counties, California, California Geological Survey, 2013) the per capita demand slightly increased to 8.9 tons annually.  Based on the population of Napa County (approximately 136,000 according to the 2010 census) this would equate to approximately 1.2 million tons of aggregate demand/consumption per year within Napa County.  Special Report 205 also concluded that were approximately 115 million tons of total aggregate reserves (i.e. permitted resources) in the North San Francisco Bay Region, and based on projected demand that reserves in the region were projected to last about 10 years (into the year 2023).  It was also noted that not all of the aggregate reserves in the region may be minable under present permits because of operating restrictions and/or terms.  Irrespective of individual building permits issued in Napa County, some larger projects that are anticipated to occur in the near future that are anticipated to utilize aggregate materials and asphalt include, but are not limited to: construction of the County Jail Facility; the redevelopment of the Napa Pipe site; and local road, street, and sidewalk repairs and improvements as a result of passage of Measure T.  Other larger potential projects include the proposed Meritage Resort Expansion for a 134 room hotel and associated hospitality and support facilities that include construction of two buildings totaling about 190,000 square feet, and the Highway 221 flyover.

Regarding potential reserves, Special Report 146 Part III, identifies the Syar Napa Quarry and surrounding areas as within Mineral Resource Sector H.  Sector H is a 1,181-acrea area containing an estimated 641 million tons of aggregate, which equates to roughly 543,000 tons of aggregated per acre.  Special Report 205 recalculated estimated aggregate resources within Sector H to approximately 626 million tons which results in approximately 530,000 tons of aggregate per acre.  Special Report 205 also added Mineral Sector MM to the east side of Sector H: Sector MM is a 513-acre area that primarily covers the western portions of SWP the Pasini Parcel.  Sector MM is anticipated to contain approximately 278 million tons of aggregate, which equates to roughly 542,000 tons of aggregate per acre.  Potential reserves and estimated tons of aggregate per acre may be exaggerated because the assumptions used in these Special Reports do not take in to account allowances for overburden or waste since those factors are not know. Based on these estimations the proposed mining expansion areas (as modified by Syar) may contain up to 58,300,000 million tons of aggregate material (530,000 x 110-acres).  Based on an annual extraction rate of 1.3 million tons per year the estimated reserves within the expansion areas could be expected to last approximately 45 years. As a reminder this is could be an exaggerated estimation because of the limitation of mining depths as part of the proposed project or as a result of implementation of Mitigation Measure 4.8-2.

Based on potential aggregate reserves within the proposed expansion areas, using projections and estimations from the State Special Reports, staff believes considering a production amount of up to 1.3 million tons per year over a 35 year period would be appropriate to accommodate current and potential future demand.

J.         Reclamation Plan
Mining and Reclamation Plan (MRP): The proposed MRP is intended to provide for an Adaptive Management Mining Strategy for the project where active mining areas of the property would consist of no more than 25% (or approximately 218-acres) of the entire 870-acres property at any given time.  Under the proposed SMP the operator would submit an initial mining plan identifying proposed mining and processing activities anticipated for the upcoming 12 months, and subsequent to the initial mining plan the operator would annually submit an update to the mining plan that would identify active mining areas and include an administrative report and revised mining site map identifying the mining and any reclamation activities completed in the past 12 months.  The proposed MRP would result in greater oversight and monitoring of the facility than current entitlements, and less of the site containing active mining than current conditions: it appears that up to 57% (or 497-acres) of the holding may currently contain active mining.  The annual mining plans would be reviewed by the County as part of the facility’s annual inspection and financial assurance review required pursuant to SMARA and County Code Section 16.12.500 (Inspection and notice requirements).

Commission Consideration/Recommendation
The Commission in its discretion may modify components of the Mining and Reclamation plan to minimize the effects of the proposed project, make CEQA findings, or make Surface Mining Permit Findings (see below). Examples may include: requiring the commencement of reclamation in areas where mining has ceased or in not anticipated to occur, requiring the commencement of reclamation in a specified year for identified mining areas, or revising reclamation techniques or methods to take advantage of site conditions such as enhancing wetlands located along the southwest periphery of the site or ultimately converting runoff detention facilities into wetland features, which may benefit hydrologic functions of the facility after mining has been completed.

Staff is recommending that the Commission consider approval of the Mining and Reclamation Plan, as modified by the selected project alternative and including requiring the commencement of reclamation in the State Blue Pit area.

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

A . Background and Discussion Syar Quarry (included in this report text)

B . Master Responses to Comments June 2015

C . Alternatives Analysis Memo July 2015

D . Resolution Certifying Environmental Impact Report

E . General Plan and Zoning Consistency Analysis

F . Draft Surface Mining Permit Findings

G . Draft Conditions of Approval July 2015

H . Correspondence April 1 through August 3

I . Previous Commission Staff Reports

J . Graphics

 

Agenda Date: 4/1/2015

Agenda Placement: 8A

Continued From: 1/7/15 & 2/18/15

Napa County Planning Commission

Board Agenda Letter

 

TO: Napa County Planning Commission

FROM: Charlene Gallina for David Morrison – Director Planning, Building and Environmental Services

REPORT BY: DONALD BARRELLA, PLANNER III - 707-299-1338

 

SUBJECT: Syar Napa Quarry EIR Public Hearing

 

RECOMMENDATION

SYAR NAPA QUARRY EXPANSION PROJECT - SURFACE MINING PERMIT (P08-00337-SMP)

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Status: Consideration of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that has been prepared for the proposed project (State Clearinghouse #2009062054). Prior to consideration of the associated Surface Mining Permit, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State CEQA Guidelines, Local Procedures for implementing CEQA, and that the Final EIR reflects the County's independent judgment and analysis. The project site is not on any of the list of hazardous waste sites enumerated under Government Code Section 65962.5.

 

Request: Approval of a request for a Surface Mining Permit (SMP) to modify the mining and reclamation plan and associated aggregate processing, production and sales as currently permitted under UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement 2225 to allow: a) an approximate 124-acre expansion of the current surfacing mining and reclamation plan for a 35 year term; b) an increase in mining depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level (msl) to no greater than 50 feet above msl; c) an increase in production of aggregate materials from approximately 1 million tons per year to 2 million tons per year; d) add Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment to the existing asphalt batch plant; and e) relocate and improve portions of Skyline Trail that are located on the quarry property back onto Skyline Wilderness Park lands.

 

This SMP is intended to replace UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement 2225, and bring existing and expanded mining and reclamation areas and associated aggregate processing, production and sales under one permit.

 

The project site is located on the east side of State Highway 221 (Napa-Vallejo Highway) at its intersection with Basalt Road east of 2301 Napa-Vallejo Highway, within the unincorporated portion of Napa County (AW - Agricultural Watershed and I - Industrial Zoning Districts). Assessor's Parcel Numbers (APNs) 045-360-005,046-370-012, -013, -015, -022, -025, 046-390-002, -003, and 046-450-071.

 

Staff Recommendation: Drop item from the agenda and renotice for a future hearing date.

Staff Contact: Donald Barrella, 707-299-1338 or donald.barrella@countyofnapa.org

Applicant Contact: Jennifer Gomez, 707-259-5728 or jgomez@syar.com

 

CONTINUED FROM THE JANUARY 7 AND FEBRUARY 18, 2015 COMMISSION MEETINGS.

TO BE DROPPED FROM THE AGENDA AND RENOTICED FOR A FUTURE SPECIAL MEETING

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Proposed Action:

That the Planning Commission:

1. Drop the item from the agenda for renoticing to a future special meeting.

 

Discussion:

On January 7, 2015, the Planning Commission opened the public hearing and considered the adequacy of the proposed project's EIR, and the merits of the proposed quarry expansion and associated Surface Mining Permit. Prior to the hearing, At the conclusion of the day's proceedings the Planning Commission continued the item to the February 18, 2015 Commission hearing and directed staff to: evaluate and respond to comments received (including comments received after the hearing); clarify potential impacts and how they were assessed; describe in more detail the pros and cons of the project alternatives identified in the EIR; provide a hybrid project alternative for consideration; and clarify and refine proposed mitigation measures and conditions.

 

The Planning Commission resumed the public hearing on February 18, 2015, and received additional testimony and comments from interested parties. At the request of staff, the Commission voted to continue the item to the April 1, 2015 Commission hearing, to allow staff and the consultant additional time to adequately evaluate and respond to the comments received. At this hearing the Commission also directed staff to explore the possibility of conducting a special night hearing on this project. It is requested that the item be dropped from the agenda so that it can be renoticed to a future special meeting date. The applicant supports this recommendation.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

Is there a Fiscal Impact? No

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

A Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) that has been prepared for the Syar Napa Quarry proposed project (State Clearinghouse #2009062054). Written responses to comments received during the public review and comment period have been incorporated into the pending Final EIR which consists of the Draft EIR, public and agency comments, responses to comments, and required clarifications and changes to the text of the Draft EIR. The Final EIR will also include clarifications to responses to comments, clarified mitigation measures, and responses to comments received prior to, during, and after the January 7, 2015 Planning Commission hearing on this application.

 

Prior to taking an action on the proposed Surface Mining Permit (SMP) for the Syar Napa Quarry Expansion Project, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines, and the County's Local Procedures for Implementing CEQA.

 

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION

Staff is requesting that the item be dropped form the agenda so that it can be re-noticed to a future Special Planning Commission Hearing to be held in the evening, and that recent project modifications proposed by Syar, can be adequately incorporated into the noticing and evaluation of the project to be heard at the future meeting.

 

On February 13, 2015 Syar proposed modifications to the project in an effort to address some of the concerns raised by the Commission and members of public. At the conclusion of the February 18, 2015, Planning Commission hearing on this item, the Commission requested staff explore the ability to conduct a meeting starting at a later time to provide a more convenient opportunity for interested parties to attend and participate in the hearing process. To that end, staff has consulted with the Planning Commission and will be conducting a special meeting for this item. Currently, staff is coordinating with the Planning Commission on availability, as well as, availability of local venues with the capacity to hold said hearing.

 

Dropping the item from the agenda will provide the County with the opportunity to schedule and re-notice the item to a special meeting date and time to accommodate the Commission and public. This action will also allow staff to take into account the recent modifications to the project proposed by the owner/applicant.

 

Staff is encouraging commenters that want to address the Commission wait until the future special hearing that is being specifically arranged for this project to do so, unless a commenter has new information or concerns that have not been previously raised. This will also allow interested parties the ability to review the staff report and associated documents for the future meeting before providing further feedback.

 

Comments Received

For comments received from December 16, 2014 through March 23, 2015, including comments and petitions submitted during the February 18, 2015 Commission hearing, please go to the County Planning, Building and Environmental Services Department Current Projects Webpage for this project - http://www.countyofnapa.org/Syar/

 

For copies of the January 7, 2015 and February 18, 2015 staff reports on this project, please go the Napa County Planning Commission Agenda and Minutes Webpage - http://napa.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=21

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

None


 

Agenda Date: 2/18/2015

Agenda Placement: 9A

Continued From: January 7, 2015

Napa County Planning Commission

Board Agenda Letter

 

TO: Napa County Planning Commission

FROM: Charlene Gallina for David Morrison – Director Planning, Building and Environmental Services

REPORT BY: DONALD BARRELLA, PLANNER III - 707-299-1338

 

SUBJECT: Syar Napa Quarry EIR Public Hearing

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

SYAR NAPA QUARRY EXPANSION PROJECT - SURFACE MINING PERMIT (P08-00337-SMP)

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Status: Consideration and possible motion of intent to adopt a resolution certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that has been prepared for the proposed project (State Clearinghouse #2009062054). Prior to consideration of the associated Surface Mining Permit, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the final EIR has been prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State CEQA Guidelines, Local Procedures for implementing CEQA, and that the Final EIR reflects the County's independent judgment and analysis. The project site is not on any of the list of hazardous waste sites enumerated under Government Code Section 65962.5.

 

Request: Approval of a request for a Surface Mining Permit (SMP) to modify the mining and reclamation plan and associated aggregate processing, production and sales as currently permitted under UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement 2225 to allow: a) an approximate 124-acre expansion of the current surfacing mining and reclamation plan for a 35 year term; b) an increase in mining depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level (msl) to no greater than 50 feet above msl; c) an increase in production of aggregate materials from approximately 1 millon tons per year to 2 million tons per year; d) add Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment to the existing asphalt batch plant; and e) relocate and improve portions of Skyline Trail that are located on the quarry property back onto Skyline Wilderness Park lands.

 

This SMP is intended to replace UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement 2225, and bring existing and expanded mining and reclamation areas and associated aggregate processing, production and sales under one permit.

 

The project site is located on the east side of State Highway 221 (Napa-Vallejo Highway) at its intersection with Basalt Road east of 2301 Napa-Vallejo Highway, within the unincorporated portion of Napa County (AW - Agricultural Watershed and I - Industrial Zoning Districts). Assessor's Parcel Numbers (APNs) 045-360-005,046- 370-012, -013, -015, -022, -025, 046-390-002, -003, and 046-450-071.

 

Staff Recommendation: Continue the item to the April 1, 2015 Planning Commission Meeting.

Staff Contact: Donald Barrella, 707-299-1338 or donald.barrella@countyofnapa.org

Applicant Contact: Jennifer Gomez, 707-259-5728 or jgomez@syar.com

 

CONTINUED FROM THE JANUARY 7, 2015 COMMISSION MEETING

TO BE CONTINUED TO THE APRIL 1, 2015 COMMISSION MEETING

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Proposed Action:

That the Planning Commission:

1. Continue the item to the Planning Commission meeting on April 1, 2015.

Discussion:

On January 7, 2015, the Planning Commission opened the public hearing and considered the adequacy of the proposed project's EIR, and the merits of the proposed quarry expansion and associated Surface Mining Permit. Prior to the hearing, comments were received on the project as well as the adequacy of the proposed Final EIR. During the hearing there were several hours of testimony presented by staff, the applicant's representative, and interested parties.

 

At the conclusion of the day's proceedings the Planning Commission voted to continue the item to February 18, 2015, and directed staff to: evaluate and respond to comments received to date (including comments received after the hearing); clarify potential impacts and how they were assessed; describe in more detail the pros and cons of the project alternatives identified in the EIR; provide a hybrid project alternative for consideration; and clarify and refine proposed mitigation measures and conditions to ensure impact areas are adequately addressed and the permit contains robust regulatory requirements and oversight. In order to accomplish these tasks, staff requests a continuance to April 1st.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

Is there a Fiscal Impact? No

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Consideration and possible adoption of a Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) that has been prepared for the Syar Napa Quarry proposed project (State Clearinghouse #2009062054). Written responses to comments received during the public review and comment period have been incorporated into the Final EIR which consists of the Draft EIR, public and agency comments, responses to comments, and required clarifications and changes to the text of the Draft EIR. The Final EIR will also include clarifications to responses to comments, clarified mitigation measures, and responses to comments received prior to, during, and after the January 7, 2015 Planning Commission hearing on this application.

 

The Draft EIR circulated for public review and comment on September 6, 2013. The statutory 45 day review and comment period pursuant to CEQA was extend and additional 45 days by the County at the request of the public, resulting in a 90 day review and comment period. Public hearings on the Draft EIR took place on October 2, 2013 in front of the Planning Commission (a.m.) and the Napa County Main Library (p.m.).

 

Prior to taking an action on the proposed Surface Mining Permit (SMP) for the Syar Napa Quarry Expansion Project, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines, and the County's Local Procedures for Implementing CEQA.

 

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION

The applicant is requesting approval of a request for a Surface Mining Permit (SMP) to modify the mining and reclamation plan and associated aggregate processing, production and sales as currently permitted under UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement 2225 to allow; a) an approximate 124-acre expansion of the current surfacing mining and reclamation plan for a 35 year term; b) an increase in mining depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level (msl) to no greater than 50 feet above msl; c) an increase in production of aggregate materials from approximately 1 millon tons per year to 2 million tons per year; d) add Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment to the existing asphalt batch plant; and e) relocate and improve portions of Skyline Trail that are located on the quarry property back onto Skyline Wilderness Park lands.

 

Staff is requesting that the item be continued to the April 1, 2015 Planning Commission meeting to allow staff and the consultant additional time to adequately evaluate and respond to the numerous comments received on the adequacy of the proposed Final EIR, provide clarification of the benefits and detriments of the project alternatives identified in the Draft EIR, and clarify proposed mitigation measures and conditions. Staff and the consultant are working diligently to address the comments and concerns that have been raised by the Commission and the public. The public hearing remains open however staff would encourage commenters to wait until after reviewing the additional analysis (which will be provided in advance of the April 1st meeting) before providing further feedback unless a commenter has new information or concerns that have not been previously raised.

 

Comments Received

Attached to this report are comments receive from January 5, 2015 through February 9, 2015, on the project.

 

Additionally the staff planner has also received voicemail messages for the following people expressing their opposition to the project:

Ms. Hene Ventura, Napa Resident

Mr. Austin Robertson, Napa Resident

Ms. Maurine Fitzgibbon, 213 Lakeview Drive, Napa

Ms. Sophie Mendez, 213 Lakeview Drive, Napa

Ms. Patricia Wood/Castro, 118 DeWitt Avenue, Napa

Mr. Chris Gillespie, 1504 King Avenue, Napa

Mr. Timothy Perry, 1978 Trower Avenue, Napa

Mr. Jason Hagan, Cuttings Wharf, Napa

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

A . Public Correspondence and Comments 1-5-15 to 2-9-15

Agenda Date: 1/7/2015

Agenda Placement: 9A

Napa County Planning Commission

Board Agenda Letter

 

TO: Napa County Planning Commission

FROM: David Morrison – Director Planning, Building and Environmental Services

REPORT BY: DONALD BARRELLA, PLANNER III - 707-299-1338

 

SUBJECT: Syar Napa Quarry EIR Public Hearing

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

SYAR NAPA QUARRY EXPANSION PROJECT - SURFACE MINING PERMIT (P08-00337-SMP)

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Status: Napa County has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR). A Draft EIR was prepared and public hearings were held on the Draft EIR during a 90 day public review and comment period. The standard CEQA 45 day review and comment period was extended an additional 45 days by the County at the request of members of the public. Written responses to comments received during the public review and comment period have been incorporated into the Final EIR which consists of the Draft EIR, public and agency comments, responses to comments, and required clarifications and changes to the text of the Draft EIR. The Planning Commission will consider approval or denial of the project following certification of the Final EIR.

 

Request: Approval of Surface Mining Permit (SMP) P08-00337-SMP to modify the mining and reclamation plan and associated aggregate processing, production and sales as currently permitted under UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225 to allow: a) an approximate 124-acre expansion of the current surfacing mining and reclamation plan for a 35 year term; b) an increase in mining depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level (msl) to no greater than 50 feet above msl; c) an increase in production of aggregate materials from approximately 1 millon tons per year to 2 million tons per year; d) add Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment to the existing asphalt batch plant; and e) relocate and improve portions of Skyline Trail that were originally constructed on the quarry property back onto Skyline Wilderness Park lands. This SMP is intended to replace UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225, and bring existing and expanded mining and reclamation areas and associated aggregate processing, production and sales under one permit. The project site is located on the east side of State Highway 221 (Napa-Vallejo Highway) at its intersection with Basalt Road and 2301 Napa-Vallejo Highway, within the unincorporated portion of Napa County within both the Industrial and Agricultural Watershed zoning districts. Assessor's Parcel Numbers (APNs) 045-360-005,046-370-012, -013, -015, -022, -025, 046-390-002, -003, and 046-450-071.

 

Staff Recommendation:

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission:

1) Hold a public hearing pursuant to County Code Section 16.12.370 to consider the merits of the proposed project prior to taking action on #P08-00337-SMP and on the adequacy of the Final EIR.

2) Adopt a resolution certifying the Final EIR was prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State CEQA Guidelines and Napa County's Local Procedures for Implementing CEQA.

3) Adopt a motion of intent to: (a) adopt findings and a statement of overriding considerations and reject the no project alternative and the reduced footprint/conservation alternative pursuant to CEQA; (b) find the reduced production alternative consistent with the County General Plan; (c) adopt the mitigation monitoring and reporting program; (d) adopt the reduced footprint alternative; and (e) approve Surface Mining Permit No. P08-00337-SMP. Staff intends to bring a resolution that reflects the Commission's motion of intent to the Commission on January 21st for formal adoption.

4) Continue the public hearing to January 21st for consideration and adoption of a resolution of CEQA findings and the final conditions of approval for the Syar project.

Staff Contact: Donald Barrella, 707-299-1338 or donald.barrella@countyofnapa.org

Applicant Contact: Jennifer Gomez, 707-259-5728 or jgomez@syar.com

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Proposed Actions:

That the Planning Commission:

1) Hold a public hearing pursuant to County Code Section 16.12.370 to consider the merits of the proposed project prior to taking action on #P08-00337-SMP and on the adequacy of the Final EIR.

2) Adopt a resolution certifying the Final EIR was prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State CEQA Guidelines and Napa County's Local Procedures for Implementing CEQA.

3) Adopt a motion of intent to: (a) adopt findings and a statement of overriding considerations and reject the no project alternative and the reduced footprint/conservation alternative pursuant to CEQA; (b) find the reduced production alternative consistent with the County General Plan; (c) adopt the mitigation monitoring and reporting program; (d) adopt the reduced footprint alternative; and (e) approve Surface Mining Permit No. P08-00337-SMP. Staff intends to bring a resolution that reflects the Commission's motion of intent to the Commission on January 21st for formal adoption.

4) Continue the public hearing to January 21st for consideration and adoption of a resolution of CEQA findings and the final conditions of approval for the Syar project.

 

Historical Background:

The Syar Napa Quarry is the largest quarry in Napa County, being both the largest in acreage and in volume of material produced and sold. Mining activities have taken place on the site for over a century. When first opened in the early 1900s, it was called the Basalt Rock Quarry. The Basalt Rock Company acquired the original property in 1924 and continued to mine aggregate materials through most of the twentieth century. In 1961, the Basalt Rock Company leased a 182-acre parcel adjoining the project site to the north from the State of California. Syar Industries Incorporated purchased the quarry property in 1986 and has been actively mining the site since that time. In the 1990’s, Syar purchased a one-half interest in the 121-acre Pasini property, an area located adjacent to the eastern portion of the quarry. In 1998, Syar purchased the 182-acres that were previously leased from the State of California in the northern portion of the site.

 

On November 28, 1973, the Napa County Board of Supervisors approved UP-27374 for the Syar Napa Quarry to bring existing and future quarry operations at the site into compliance with the Napa County Zoning Ordinance No.693, which implemented the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act in Napa: now NCC Chapter 16.12 (Surface Mining and Reclamation). The permit included all of the properties owned and leased by the Basalt Rock Company. On September 22, 1981, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the permit (UP-128182) to allow the operator to mine the upper reaches of the State Grey Pit in a more efficient manner. A Reclamation Plan for the operation was approved by the County on December 14, 1984 (Napa County Agreement No. 2225). A specified end date to mining and/or commencement date of reclamation was not identified under these current entitlements.

 

The current request would expand the existing 497-acre surface mine by approximately 124-acres and allow mining to continue for a 35 year term, include an increase in depth from approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above msl to no greater than 50 feet above msl, and an increase in production from approximately 1 million tons per year to 2 million tons per year. Other activities associated with the proposed project include the utilization of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment at the existing asphalt batch plant, and the relocation and improvement of portions of Skyline Trail that were originally constructed on the quarry property back onto Skyline Wilderness Park lands.

 

The proposed permit (#P08-00337-SMP) is intended to replace UP-128182, UP-27374, and County Agreement No. 2225, and bring existing and expanded mining and reclamation areas and associated aggregate processing, production and sales under one permit.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

Is there a Fiscal Impact? No

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

A Final Environmental Impact (Final EIR) has been prepared. Prior to taking an action on the proposed Surface Mining Permit (SMP) regarding the Syar Napa Quarry Expansion Project, the Planning Commission is required to review and consider the Final EIR and to certify that the Final EIR has been prepared in compliance with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines, and the County's Local Procedures for Implementing CEQA.

 

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION

Owner:

Syar Industries Incorporated, c/o Jim Syar

 

Representatives:

Jennifer Gomez, Permit Manager, Syar Industries, (707) 259-5728

John Perry, Vice President, Engineering, Syar Industries, (707) 259-5826

 

Application Filed:

May 7, 2008

 

Notice of Completion of Draft EIR Filed:

September 5, 2013

 

Zoning:

Agricultural Watershed (AW) parcels 045-360-005, 046-370-012, -013, -015, 046-390-002, -003, and 046-450-071.

Industrial (I) parcels 046-370-022 and -025. The southern end of Parcel 045-360-005 is within the Airport Compatibility Combination District (Zone D); however, no project activities are proposed in this area.

 

General Plan Designation:

Parcels 045-360-005, 046-370-012, -013, -015, 046-390-002, -003, Agricultural, Watershed and Open Space (AWOS). Parcel 046-370-022 Industrial (I). Parcel 046-370-025 AWOS and I. Parcel 046-450-071 AWOS and Public-Institutional (PI).

 

General Plan Mineral Resource Designation:

All parcels except for 046-390-002 and 046-370-022 have been designated as a Mineral Resource (MR) areas.

 

State Designation:

The Syar Napa Quarry was designated by the state as a Mineral Resource Zone ((MRZ-2(a)) in 1987, identifying the quarry site as a known mineral resource of regional and economic significance.

 

Setting:

The Syar Napa Quarry is located on the east side of Napa-Vallejo Highway (State Route 221) between Kaiser Road and Streblow Drive approximately one-half mile southeast of the City of Napa and is accessed via a private access drive off SR 221 commonly referred to as Basalt Road. The quarry and project site are located in a transitional area of the County which accommodates a variety of uses. To the north and west within the City of Napa are more intensive residential, commercial, and industrial uses (such as but not limited to the Napa Valley Corporate Center, Napa Valley Community College, the Terrace Shurtleff and River East Neighborhoods). To the south and east are more rural, agricultural, and open space uses. Surrounding uses immediately adjacent to the project site include vineyards to the south; recreation to the east and northeast (Skyline Wilderness Park - SWP); public institutional and educational uses to the north (Napa State Hospital, Chamberlin and Liberty High Schools,

Creekside Middle School, Napa Preschool Program, Napa Child Development Center, and Napa County Office of Education); and industrial uses and SR 221 to the west. The Napa State Hospital and the northern portions of Skyline Wilderness Park separate the project site from the City of Napa.

 

History:

The Syar Napa Quarry is the largest quarry in Napa County, being both the largest in acreage and in volume of material produced and sold. Mining activities have taken place on the site for over a century, when first opened in the early 1900s it was called the Basalt Rock Quarry. The Basalt Rock Company acquired the original property in 1924 and continued to mine aggregate resources through most of the twentieth century. In 1961, the Basalt Rock Company leased a 182-acre parcel adjoining the project site to the north from the State of California.

 

On November 28, 1973, the Napa County Board of Supervisors approved UP-27374 for the Syar Napa Quarry to bring existing and future quarry operations at the site into compliance with the Napa County Zoning Ordinance #168. The permit included all of the properties owned and leased by the Basalt Rock Company. On September 22, 1981, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the permit (UP-128182) to allow the operator to mine the upper reaches of the State Grey Pit in a more efficient manner. A Reclamation Plan was developed for the Syar Napa Quarry and submitted by Basalt Rock Company to the County.

 

A Reclamation Plan for the quarry was prepared by Basalt Rock Company and was approved by the County on December 14, 1984 (Napa County Agreement No. 2225). The County determined that the Syar Napa Quarry was consistent with County Ordinance No. 693 as part of reclamation plan approval. Ordinance No. 693 originally implemented the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) in Napa and is now NCC Chapter 16.12 (Mining And Reclamation). A specified end date to mining and/or commencement date of reclamation is not specified under these current entitlements.

 

Syar Industries Incorporated (Syar) purchased the quarry property in 1986 and has been actively mining the site since that time. In the 1990’s, Syar purchased a one-half interest in the 121-acre Pasini property, an area located adjacent to the eastern portion of the quarry. In 1998, Syar purchased the 182-acres that were previously leased from the State of California in the northern portion of the site.

 

The primary commercial aggregates at the Syar Napa Quarry are blue basalt, rhyolite, and tuff. Blue basalt has a high market value because of its weight, strength and durability. This material is used for a number of industry and heavy construction applications, such as concrete and asphalt products. A very high quality rhyolite is found throughout the Syar Napa Quarry and is sold as rip rap, landscape boulders, construction aggregates, drain rock and other uses. A third aggregate type found at the site is tuff, which can be used as engineered fill and for similar uses. A wide variety of noncommercial aggregates, such as scoria, found in the quarry would remain onsite and be used for reclamation.

 

Compliance History:

Based on annual inspections of the operation pursuant to SMARA, County Code, and review of the Planning Division's files, there are no records of any code compliance issues on this property.

 

Furthermore, pursuant to Public Contract Code Section 10295.5 and 20676 mining operations that are not being operated in compliance with SMARA are precluded from selling sand, gravel, aggregates or other mined materials to state or local agencies. Facilities that are operated in compliance with SMARA are placed on what is commonly referred to as the AB 3089 List. Therefore, having the facility maintain compliance with SMARA is necessary to provide a local source of aggregate and related materials to the County and surrounding cities: the next closest aggregate sources on the AB 3089 List are in Solano and Sonoma Counties.

 

Discussion:

Background - When the proposed project was originally submitted in 2008 by Syar it was for more than twice the expansions area (291-acres) and included a deeper overall mining depth down to an elevation of zero feet. Increased production from 1 million tons to 2 million tons for a 35 year term was part of the original proposal. At that time staff expressed concerns to the applicant regarding the CEQA analysis and potential impacts associated with a project of this magnitude, and staff's ability to support such a project; however, the applicant elected to move forward with the project as proposed. On June 14, 2009, a Notice of Preparation (NOP) and Scoping Meeting was circulated to the general public and local and state agencies soliciting comments to determine the scope of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that would be prepared for the project pursuant to CEQA. On July 1, 2009, the Planning Commission held a Scoping Meeting on preparation of the EIR.

 

On September 23, 2009, County staff with the EIR Consultants and representatives from Syar conducted a noticed Public Information Meeting at the County Office of Education to: 1) introduce staff, consultants, and the applicant to the public and interested parties; 2) provide an overview of the proposed project and the permit being requested; 3) provide an overview of the application process and review, including CEQA, SMP processing and SMARA; and, 4) provide a status update on the EIR preparation in light of comments received on the NOP and in the Scoping Meeting.

 

Noticing for these meetings was extend out to 3,000 feet to include residential neighborhoods located to the north of the project site. Prior to the Scoping and Public Information Meetings, in anticipation of upcoming review and hearings on this project, staff also gave a presentation to the Planning Commission on March 4, 2009, regarding SMARA and the County's Surface Mining and Reclamation Ordinance (NCC Chapter 16.12).

 

In June of 2011, an internal Draft EIR for the 291-acre project was submitted by the EIR Consultant to the County for review and comment. It was apparent that there would be several significant unavoidable impacts that could not be adequately mitigated. As such staff informed Syar that it would not be able to support the original project proposal. Significant unavoidable impacts of the original proposal were identified in the areas of Aesthetics, Air Quality/Greenhouse Gas, Biological Resources, and Hydrology and Water Quality.

 

In light of this information Syar explored options to effectively revise the project to address these issues and ultimately elected to revise the proposal to its current configuration. In March of 2012 Syar formally informed the County that it would revise its proposal and submit a revised Mining and Reclamation Plan In April 2012 (subsequently revised in September 2012), so that the Draft EIR could be completed based on the revised and less impactful project. In November of 2012 the Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) handling equipment component was added to the proposed project. For the existing asphalt batch plant to utilize recycled/reclaimed asphalt in asphalt production, new dedicated RAP handling equipment, consisting primarily of conveyors, hoppers and screens, is necessary. RAP will replace the use of some of the virgin aggregate material necessary to produce asphalt.

 

The Draft EIR prepared for the project was released for public and agency review and comment on September 6, 2013, and public hearings on the Draft EIR took place on October 2, 2013 in front of the Planning Commission (a.m.) and the Napa County Main Library (p.m.).

 

Proposed Project:

Syar proposes to implement a Mining and Reclamation Plan under the proposed SMP. Under the proposed permit mining, aggregate processing, and related activities within the existing and expanded Syar Napa Quarry would continue for a period of 35 years, from approximately 2014 through 2048/49. The project would result in an approximate 124-acre expansion of the 497-acre portion of the Quarry that has presently and previously been disturbed by mining activities, and an increase in mining depth is proposed from between approximately 300 feet and 150 feet above mean sea level to no greater than 50 feet above mean sea level. An increase in sales and processing of aggregate and aggregate related materials above the current levels of approximately 1 million tons per year to approximately 2 million tons per year is also requested. Other activities associated with the proposed project include the introduction of a RAP handling equipment/system to the existing asphalt batch plant, and relocation and improvement of portions of two Skyline Wilderness Park’s trails (Buckeye Trail and Skyline Trail) back onto Skyline Park lands that were originally constructed on the quarry property.

 

The proposed expansion of the mining and reclamation area includes exclusion and buffer areas. The

proposed exclusion area for the Syar Quarry is approximately 327-acres of the Syar holding. A minimum 50-foot buffer is provided from property lines and adjacent mining and reclamation activities. Prior to mining within 250 feet of an exclusion or buffer area the operator would survey and stake the area to avoid any encroachment into buffer/exclusion areas as a result of mining and processing activities.

 

Mining and Reclamation Plan (MRP): The proposed MRP is intended to provide for an Adaptive Management Mining Strategy for the project where active mining areas of the property would consist of no more than 25% (or approximately 218-acres) of the entire 870-acres property at any given time. Under the proposed SMP the operator would submit an initial mining plan identifying proposed mining and processing activities anticipated for the upcoming 12 months, and subsequent to the initial mining plan the operator would annually submit an update to the mining plan that would identify active mining areas and include an administrative report and revised mining site map identifying the mining and any reclamation activities completed in the past 12 months. The proposed MRP would result in greater oversight and monitoring of the facility than current entitlements, and less of the site containing active mining than current conditions: it appears that up to 57% (or 497-acres) of the holding may currently contain active mining. The annual mining plans would be reviewed by the County as part of the facilities annual inspection and financial assurance review required pursuant to SMARA and County Code Section 16.12.500 (Inspection and notice requirements).

 

Typically, implementation of the proposed project pursuant the MRP and associated annual mining plan would consist of delineating mining areas and demarcating exclusion/buffer areas as necessary, removing vegetation and topsoil, stockpiling topsoil within mining areas (for use in reclamation), and subsequent extraction typically through the creation of multi-bench quarry walls within the mining and reclamation areas identified in the SMP. This mining methods are already in practice and evident at the quarry which is consistent with current entitlements.

 

Hours of Operation: Production and sales at the quarry are influenced by several factors including but not limited to; weather, economic conditions, construction season, and demand. The proposed hours of operation reflect the anticipated production levels necessary to meet demand, including that of CalTrans and other governmental agencies for nighttime transportation, infrastructure, and construction activities in order to minimize and avoid traffic congestion during daytime commute hours. It is anticipated that the quarry would typically operate approximately 250 days a year accounting for weekends, holidays, and other production breaks. The proposed hours of operation are as follows:

 

- Regular Aggregate Mining Operations: Construction Season Monday through Friday 6 AM to 9:30 PM, Off Season Monday through Friday 7 AM to 3:30 PM.

- Regular Aggregate Processing Operations: Construction Season Monday through Friday 6 AM to 10 PM, Off Season Monday through Friday 7 AM to 3:30 PM.

- Regular Asphalt Plant Operations: Year-round Monday through Friday 7 AM to 3:30 PM.

- Regular Aggregate Sales: Year-round Monday through Friday 7 AM to 3:30 PM.

- Construction Season is June to November, Off Season is December to May.

 

The construction season is typically is from June to November. Additionally because of public transportation projects which are typically and increasingly conducted at night and additionally off-peak operations necessitated by PG&E Energy Savings Contracts, aggregate and asphalt operations and sales could be conducted on days and hours outside of the hours of operation described above, so that there is some flexibility to accommodate public transportation construction schedules and emergency situations. However, the quarry is not anticipated to operate 24 hours per day Seven (7) days a week. Typically aggregate mining operations consists of removal and transport of aggregate materials, including recycled materials (i.e. recycled concrete and asphalt) from quarry areas to aggregate processing plants and facilities which primarily consist of rock crushers, sand plant, aggregate base/recycle plant, and asphaltic concrete plant. Blasting associated with aggregate mining operations would not be performed at night or during inclement conditions: typically blasting is conducted between 9 AM and 2 PM during

the construction season.

 

Water Supply: The water supply for the quarry (or Quarry Well System) is located in the southeast corner of APN 046-370-025. This groundwater well and associated tank currently supplies water for quarry operations. Under current conditions and operation levels the quarry is estimated to utilize approximately 140.6 acre-feet of water a year to support quarry operations: this estimation of groundwater use is based on an average production volume of approximately 810,000 tons per year. The project would be conditioned so as not to exceed current groundwater usage of 140.6-acre-feet per year.

 

Erosion and Sediment Control: During active mining, erosion, runoff, and sediment will be controlled by the combination of planned drainage changes (including the installation of sediment and runoff control basins), revegetation, and the use of best management practices (BMPs) such a straw wattles, silt fences, straw mulch and hay bales. The quarry currently operates under a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP – WDID #228I005111), which describes current drainage patterns, existing drainage and runoff control facilities, and stormwater management practices implemented at the site. The SWPPP is updated as necessary to take into account new or changed conditions: provisions of the SWPPP are overseen by the State Regional Water Quality Control Board and the County Environmental Health Division.

 

Re-vegetation and Reclamation: The Reclamation Plan and associated re-vegetation efforts would apply to the entire project site including the existing and new quarry benches, cut slopes, fill slopes, new valley/quarry floors, and the floor of existing operations. Quarry walls between quarry benches will have slopes that range from 1:1 to 0.25. Reclamation techniques are further described in the Syar Mining and Reclamation Plan. Two primary methods for re-vegetation are anticipated depending on the final slopes and characteristics of a given reclamation area: i) cut and fill slopes that range in slope from 3:1 to 2:1 would be seeded with native grass and forbes to establish ground cover and planted with woody vegetation consisting of native trees and shrubs; and ii) quarry benches would be re-soiled and seeded with native grass and forbes to establish ground cover and planted with woody vegetation consisting of native trees and shrubs. The intent of the re-vegetation and reclamation efforts are to screen and soften the exposed quarried/mined slopes and to replicate the surrounding hillsides.

 

Additionally, the proposed reclamation plan would replace the use of non-native plant species in reclamation and re-vegetation that are specified in the current reclamation plan and evident in previous re-vegetation efforts.

 

Project Objectives:

The applicant has identified the following objectives for the project:

 

Primary Project Objectives:

To continue and extend operation of the existing Syar Napa Quarry for 35 years, thereby providing a local, reliable, affordable, and consistent source of aggregate and aggregate-related materials to customers in the Napa Region;

To expand the surface mining and reclamation plan by approximately 124-acres to allow for mining access to a reliable, affordable, and consistent source of aggregate and aggregate-related materials to customers in the Napa Region; and

To increase the annual permitted saleable quantity of aggregate and aggregate related materials from currently one million tons to two million tons.

 

Supporting Project Objectives:

To increase production of high quality aggregate and aggregate products in conformance with state and local goals and objectives, including the Napa County General Plan (which designates the site as Mineral Resource (MR) and the policies of the State Mining and Geology Board (which has designated the site as a resource of regional significance);

To extend the life of the existing quarry to meet long-term local needs for aggregate materials in the Napa region through continued and expanded operation of the existing facilities, including the rock processing plant, sand plant, two asphaltic concrete (AC) plants, and the aggregate base (AB)/recycling plant;

To extend the life of the existing quarry and in so doing aid implementation of state and local goals to reduce the loss of high quality productive agricultural land as well as minimize greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use by providing a local aggregate resource;

To help fulfill California’s need to permit additional aggregate resources to meet current and expected demand for public and private infrastructure improvements;

To utilize RAP handling equipment at the Syar Napa Quarry and in so doing aid implementation of state and local goals to facilitate local production and reuse of high quality aggregate products;

To improve and refine commitments for surface mine reclamation during and after active mining;

To relocate sections of the existing Skyline Wilderness Park trail currently located on the project site so that it is permanently accessible to the public by returning it to land within Skyline Wilderness Park; and

To update the Reclamation Plan which will be more effective and use native species.

 

Environmental Review and Effects:

Napa County completed a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analyzing the potential impacts associated with the approximate 124-acre expansion of the mining boundaries including an approximate 1 million ton increase in processing and sales of aggregate materials, and related activities (primarily trail relocation and RAP handling equipment). The Draft EIR was released for public and agency review and comment beginning on September 6, 2013. On October 2, 2013 a noticed public hearing was held at the Planning Commission to receive public comments on the Draft EIR. A noticed hearing was also held the evening of October 2, 2013 by the Planning Department to provide an additional opportunity for the public to provide comment on the Draft EIR. The public comment period closed at the end of Business (4:45) on December 5, 2013: the 45 day statutory comment period on EIR was extended an additional 45 days at the request of the public. Responses to all public comments, including oral comments received at the aforementioned hearings, which are attached to this report, together with the Draft EIR represent the Final EIR. As required by CEQA Guidelines, the EIR includes a summary description of the proposed project; a synopsis of environmental impacts and mitigation measures (attached to this report as Attachment B); and, identification of the alternatives evaluated and of the environmental superior alternative. The EIR also includes objectives stated by the applicant as described above.

 

Aesthetics - As described in the Setting Section above, the quarry and project site is located in a transitional area of the County which accommodates a variety of uses including: more intensive residential, commercial, industrial, and public institutional uses to the north and west, located within both the County and City of Napa; intensive agriculture uses to the south; and recreational uses (Skyline Wilderness Park - SWP) to the east. Because of this the visual character in the area is highly varied and continues to experience change through ongoing development as evident by the recent construction/development of the Napa Valley College performing arts and library buildings, and the Cakebread and Joseph Phelps Vineyards (located to the south). Current and future development projects in this area, such as the Suscol Mountain Vineyard development (located to the southeast), and the Napa Pipe and Napa County Jail projects, will continue alter the future charter of the area. Ongoing operations of the quarry itself (under current entitlements) also contribute to this evolving character. Skyline Wilderness Park is the only surrounding area that has maintained its character over time. While the project would result in changes to the landscape, it is expected, given the existing characteristics of this area in conjunction with the varying and ongoing changes in the surrounding area, including changes that would occur as a result of continued quarrying under current entitlements, the project would not alter the overall landscape such that a significant impact to the existing character or quality of the surroundings or site would occur.

 

With respect to SWP and views therefrom, quarrying operations located within the northeast portion of the site (i.e. the State Blue Pit area) have been historically and continue to be readily evident from this portion of SWP and associated trails. The proposed project would not substantially change the existing landscape in this area. Within the southeast portion of the quarry (i.e. the Snake Pit area) current quarrying operations are much less visible as viewed from this area of SWP, only a small portion of the current Snake Pit operations are evident from this area. The proposed project would result in visible quarry faces and benches as viewed from within the southwest corner of SWP (i.e. west of Lake Marie). While proposed quarrying in this area would result in alterations to the landscape , given that some quarrying is already evident and that the changes would not alter the entirety of the existing landscape as see from this area expected changes have been considered to be less than significant.

 

Air Quality - An Air Quality and Health Risk Assessment was prepared as part of the Draft EIR. The AQHRA includes emissions calculations for air quality and health risk impacts resulting from the ongoing operations associated with the proposed project, and includes an evaluation of cancer and non-cancer impacts of the proposed project. The Assessment was conducted and prepared in accordance with the BAAQMD Air Toxics Program Health Risk Screening Analysis Guidelines, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Guidance Manual, and Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines. The Assessment found that the project could violate air quality standards or contribute to existing or projected air quality impacts, with respect to Nitrogen Oxide gases (NOx), which primarily result from the combustion of petroleum in gas powered vehicles and equipment, and fugitive dust which is also referred as Particulate Matter (PM). The Assessment also found that the proposed project would expose people (or sensitive receptors) to harmful levels of toxic air contaminants (TACs). TACs are pollutants listed by the State that can result in increased mortality, serious illness, or pose a hazard to human health: industrial facilities and vehicular emissions are significant sources of TACs.

 

Mitigation measures within the Draft EIR have been proposed to reduce the potential health risk impacts associated with NOx, PM, and TACs to less than significant levels. It should be noted that these measures become more rigorous as production levels incrementally increase.

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Biological Resources - The quarry and project site lie within the foothills/footslopes occurring in a transitional area between the Napa Valley floor located to the west and the higher elevations of Sugarloaf Mountain located to the east. As noted in the setting section the quarry is also located in an area that is boarded to the north and west by urban uses (predominately institutional, educational, residential, industrial, and Highway 221) occurring within the City and County of Napa, agriculture uses to the south, and recreation (SWP) to the east. Because of highly developed nature of land uses surrounding the quarry on three sides, including the quarry itself and its history of continuous use, the site does not provide any substantial wildlife movement corridors or vast pristine/unaltered biological resources or habitat.

 

Vegetation types of the site generally consists of annual grasslands, chaparral/shrubland and Chamise, California bay woodlands, and oak woodlands. Within the grasslands approximately 1.5-acres of Purple Needlegrass grassland: this native grassland is considered a Sensitive Biotic Community in the County due to its limited distribution warranting protection. The proposed project has been designed to avoid Purple Needlegrass grasslands. Within the Chamise vegetation type approximately 55 Holly-leafed Ceanothus plants have been identified. Holly-leafed Ceanothus is a special-status that has a List 1B ranking through the California Native Plant Society: List 1B species are considered rare, threatened or endangered in California warranting protection. The project has been designed to avoid approximately 23 of the Ceanothus plants and mitigation has been included to replace plants removed due to quarry expansion. Additionally, because special-status plants and populations are not typically static, mitigation has been included requiring updated plant surveys prior to expanded vegetation removal to ensure potential impacts remain less thank significant.

 

No special-status animal species have been identified within the project area; however, special-status bird and bat species, and the American badger (a special-status species), have the potential to occur in the project area. Mitigation consisting of preconstruction surveys and avoidance, should special-status species be identified, has been included to minimize and avoid impacts to special-status species.

 

With respect to oak woodlands the quality of the on-site woodlands was evaluated with particular focus on composition of mature oaks and saplings, evidence of recruitment, and factors potentially limiting recruitment. Generally the woodlands are dominated by mature trees with little evidence of a multi-age stands that is typical of high quality woodland. Additionally, woodlands that don't contain multi-age stands impair the ability of the woodland to sustain itself into the future. A total of approximately 130-acres of oak woodland would be directly or indirectly impacted by the project. Pursuant to General Plan Conservation Policy CON-24 impacts to oak woodlands shall be compensated at a 2:1 mitigation ratio through avoidance, replacement, or preservation. Proposed oak woodland mitigation consists of a combination of avoidance, replacement, and off-site preservation. As proposed the project would avoid approximately 136-acres of on-site oak woodland, which is located in the project's buffer and exclusion areas. These avoided on-site oak woodlands would be protected via deed restriction. Based on site evaluations by an ecologist, approximately 12-acres of suitable area have been identified for replacement plantings. A majority of the suitable areas occur in the southern portions of the quarry property, south of Arroyo Creek. Approximately 111-acres of off-site oak woodland, of like quality and habitat value relative to the areas removed as determined by a qualified biologist would need to be permanently preserved. The project as proposed with incorporation of identified replacement and preservation measures would achieve the 2:1 mitigation ratio per General Plan Policy CON-24.

 

The project has the potential to indirectly affect the hydrology of Arroyo Creek due to its proximity to the upper reaches of Arroyo Creek alon the creeks northern side. As proposed the project would avoid mining south of Arroyo Creek thereby maintaining current hydrology south of the creek. While the area north of Arroyo Creek has already been affected by past and current permitted mining operations, the steeper more intensive quarry bench cuts along this portion of the creek proposed with this project could potentially alter hydrologic flows affecting Arroyo Creek above current conditions. Proposed mitigation that would require a minimum 85-foot setback from the northern periphery of the creek is anticipated to maintain current hydrologic characteristics in this area.

 

Cultural Resources - Several cultural resources have been identified in the quarry property, most of which occur in in the very eastern portion of the holding within the area known as the Pasini Parcel. Additionally, there is a historic rock wall located along the northeastern periphery of the property that essentially separates the quarry from SWP. All these resources have been avoided by the project as proposed. Additionally, mitigation associated with vibration impacts would further protect the rock wall from potential damage due to potential indirect affects associated with project blasting.

 

Hydrology and Water Quality - The proposed project would affect surface hydrologic flow patterns through the removal of vegetation and reconfiguration of topography. Based on hydrologic runoff modeling, runoff detention basins will need to be maintained, enlarged, or created so runoff increases above existing conditions does not occur. While some of the detention necessary to adequately attenuate flows are shown to be somewhat large and homogeneous, the sizing is based on final proposed mining conditions within the entirety of each identified drainage basin within the project area. It is expected through implementation of the Annual Mining Plan within the proposed MRP, in conjunction with the SWPPP, would adequately control the potential for polluted runoff from leaving the site as a result of the project.

 

As proposed the project through vegetation removal and reconfigured topography, in particular the proposed mining depth of 50 feet above mean sea level (msl), could result in mining into the groundwater aquifer and reduced infiltration into the groundwater aquifer. Proposed mitigation would require monitoring so that mining does not occur within 10 feet of the regional groundwater surface so that mining does not interfere with groundwater. While mining has the potential to reduce infiltration into the groundwater aquifer due to vegetation removal and topographic reconfiguration, the highly fractured geology of the site would still allow for groundwater infiltration in mined or quarried areas ad from detention basins.

 

The quarry is not connected to a municipal water source, water is provided by groundwater. Water use at the Quarry is primarily attributed to dust suppression (watering of roads, processing equipment, and stockpiles), aggregate and sand processing and washing, and other uses including truck washing to minimize material tracking onto public roads and quarry utilities (such as restrooms). Currently the operation utilizes approximately140.6 acre-feet of water per year. The proposed increase in production, and to a lesser extent the increase in mining area, would demand approximately 50 acre-feet of additional water. Because the Quarry's water sources is within the Milliken-Sarco-Tulucay (MST) aquifer, a know groundwater deficient area, mitigation has been included requiring no net increase in groundwater use. Water for the project, above and beyond historic use (140.6 acrefeet), will need to be supply from sources other than groundwater, such as a municipal source, recycled water, and/or through water savings techniques.

 

Noise and Vibration - Noise and vibration measurements, conducted by Illingworth & Rodkin Inc. (I&R), were taken at several locations both within the quarry and at surrounding locations to record off-site and on-site levels of noise produced by quarrying activities and vibrations generated by blasting. Noise measurements made within the quarry itself were made to document noise levels resulting from stationary and mobile equipment operating within the quarry. Prominent noise sources of the quarry include: rock removal; aggregate crushing and screening operations; and operations associated with the asphaltic concrete and the AB/Recycling plants. Based on these measurements calculations of potential noise levels from the closets extent of proposed project operations to the most affected sensitive receptors were developed. The closets sensitive receptors to the project site include the educational and residential uses located to the north, and SWP located to the northeast and east. The calculations were also made for the worst-case scenario, which presumed project noise would not be shielded by topography for these surrounding sensitive receptors. Based on these calculations the proposed project has the potential to exceed allowable noise levels established by the General Plan which would result in significant noise impacts. Proposed mitigation would restrict the hours and locations of noise producing activities associated with quarrying and production activities to minimize the affects of project noise on adjacent receptors. The mitigation also includes provisions for noise monitoring to ensure unacceptable noise levels are being exceeded.

 

Ground vibration is measured in Peak Particle Velocity (PPV) and is used to evaluate potential structural damage and human perception as a result vibrations generated by project blasting activities. While the average person can be quite sensitive to ground motion (perceiving vibrations as low as 0.04 PPV), ground vibrations measuring 0.2 PPV or less is considered a safe limit to avoid cosmetic damage in non-engineered timber and masonry buildings, and as the upper limit of vibration to which fragile buildings should be subjected (Federal Transit Administration 2006 and Caltrans 2004). Based on vibration measurements taken by I&R that used different blasting charge weights it was indicated that as the quarry expands to the north and northeast toward the sensitive receptors identified above, blasting could generate groundborne vibrations in excess of the 0.2 PPV limit. Mitigation has been included to limit the blasting charge weights in the northeastern portions of the quarry so that acceptable levels of blasting vibrations are maintained and sensitive receptors do not experience damage or excessive levels of vibration.

 

Transportation/Traffic - Based on the Traffic Impact Study prepared by Winzler& Kelly for the Draft EIR, it was anticipated that the project would contribute approximately 51 new trips to A.M. Peak hour traffic and approximately 3 new trips to P.M. Peak hour traffic. Based on this trip generation and the Level of Service (LOS) of surround intersections, it was determined that the proposed project would contribute additional trips to A.M. peak hour traffic levels, both on a project level and a cumulative level, that would result in a reduction in the Level of Service (LOS) at an intersection that currently operates an acceptable LOS. It should be noted that these impacts are a result of traffic leaving the Quarry in a southbound direction onto Highway 221, and that an increase in more than 50 trips would result in these impacts. Mitigation has been included to reduce this project level and cumulative impact to a less that significant impact by limiting A.M. peak hour trip contributions by no more than 50 A.M. trips.

 

Greenhouse Gases (GHG) - Based on air quality modeling prepared for the EIR it was shown that the proposed project would result in substantial GHG emissions, in that emissions associated with the proposed project would exceed the thresholds of significance for operational-related GHG emissions established the the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). Mitigation to reduce GHG emissions has been included; however, even with the incorporation of mitigation significant impacts associated with GHG emissions as a result of the project would remain.

 

Alternatives - The EIR evaluated four alternatives: 1) No Project; 2) Reduced Production; 3) Reduced Footprint/Conservation; and, 4) Full Development. The evaluation of the four alternatives as describe in the EIR concluded that the "No Project" alternative would result in fewer impacts than the proposed project in that it would not have any new impacts beyond current and entitled/permitted activities. However, when the No Project Alternative is considered as the environmentally superior alternative, CEQA Guidelines require that an environmentally superior alternative be selected from among the other alternatives. As such, the EIR identified the "Reduced Production Alternative" as the Environmentally Superior Alternative, in that, it would reduce the identified significant unavoidable Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions impact and increase the likelihood that the GHG reduction measures included as mitigation would be effective. The Reduced Production Alternative would reduce the proposed annual production of 2 million tons per year to approximately 1.3 million tons per year.

 

In addition to reducing the significant unavoidable GHG impact associated with the proposed project, the Reduced Production Alternative is expected to: reduce anticipated annual water demand of the proposed project by approximately 30 acre-feet (from 50 acre-feet to approximately 20 acre-feet); reduce anticipated daily trips to the site by approximately 300 trips per day (from 500 to 200 trips) and A.M. peak hour trips by approximately 30 trips (from 51 to 21 trips) resulting in less than significant project level and cumulative traffic impacts without the need for mitigation; and further reduce project related air quality impacts due to decreased emissions associated with decreased production.

 

With regard to identified alternatives, the Commission at its discretion as part of CEQA and SMP may review and consider a hybrid alternative consisting of components of identified alternatives to further reduce identified impacts or make required CEQA findings.

 

CEQA Actions - Prior to approving the project the Commission must make two actions under CEQA. The first is to adopt a resolution certifying the Final EIR was prepared in compliance with CEQA. The second action is to adopt a resolution making CEQA findings. The proposed resolution certifying the Final EIR is attached. A resolution reflecting the Commission's motion of intent will be presented to the Commission for consideration and adoption at the next meeting on January 21st along with the final conditions of approval. As indicated in the Executive Summary section, staff is recommending certification of the Final EIR, and a motion of intent to adopt CEQA findings and approve the Surface Mining Permit to allow the approximate expansion of the quarry and increase production consistent with the Reduced Production Alternative.

 

Public Comments:

Attached to this report are correspondence received by the public and applicant prior the Commission hearing. Any correspondence received after production and circulation of this report packet will be forwarded to the Commission prior to the upcoming hearing. Additionally, responses to received correspondence will be provided to the Commission at the January 21, 2015 hearing.

 

Project Documents:

Documents associated with this application and staff report, including the Draft EIR, the Final EIR, and the 2012 Mining and Reclamation Plan can be accessed at http://www.countyofnapa.org/Syar/

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

A . Resolution Certifying the Environmental Impact Report

B . Summary of Impacts and Mitigation Measures

C . Draft Conditions of Approval

D . General Consistency Memo

E . Public Correspondence and Comments

F . Applicant Correspondence

G . Final Environmental Impact Report

H . 2012 Mining and Reclamation Plan, Syar Napa Quarry

I . Graphics