Notice is hereby given that the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), as the Lead Agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Searsville Watershed Restoration Project.
COMMENT PERIOD: February 15, 2023 – March 17, 2023
PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS: February 28, 2023:
Zoom information for the 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. meeting:
Meeting link: https://kearnswest.zoom.us/j/82343204260
Dial-in Number: 1-309-205-3325 Meeting ID: 823 4320 4260
Zoom information for the 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. meeting:
Meeting link: https://kearnswest.zoom.us/j/89875146206
Dial-in Number: 1-309-205-3325 Meeting ID: 898 7514 6206
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is the Lead Agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Searsville Watershed Restoration Project (proposed Project) proposed by Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford University). The document will be prepared as a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/EIR. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), San Francisco District is the lead Federal agency under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Written comments regarding the issues that should be addressed in the EIS/EIR, including potential alternatives to the proposed Project and the scope of the analysis, are invited.
The proposed Project includes the following major components:
- Modifications to Searsville Dam to restore natural hydrologic and sediment flows and enable fish passage and other environmental benefits without increasing downstream flood risks;
- Upgrades to the San Francisquito Creek Pump Station (Pump Station) to enable the Searsville Reservoir point of diversion to be relocated downstream to the Pump Station; and
- Replacement of Felt Dam with a new, larger dam positioned to enable the capacity of Felt Reservoir to be increased so that storage of Searsville non-potable water supplies can be relocated to an expanded Felt Reservoir.
The proposed Project is situated on the San Francisco Peninsula approximately 35 miles southeast of San Francisco and 20 miles northwest of San Jose. The larger study area for the proposed Project is located in the San Francisquito Creek watershed and spans seven local jurisdictions, including unincorporated areas of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties; the incorporated Cities of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park; and the Towns of Portola Valley and Woodside. The proposed Project would be implemented at Searsville Reservoir and Dam, and in Corte Madera and San Francisquito creeks between Searsville Dam and Interstate 280 in unincorporated San Mateo County; Felt Reservoir in unincorporated Santa Clara County; and the Pump Station site, which straddles the Santa Clara/San Mateo County boundary.
DWR has issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) to inform trustee agencies, responsible agencies, the Office of Planning and Research, Native American tribes, and the public that an EIS/EIR is being prepared for the proposed Project. The NOP provides further information describing the proposed Project and its potential environmental effects to those who may wish to comment regarding the scope and content of the information to be included in the EIS/EIR.
The EIS/EIR will evaluate potentially significant environmental impacts of the proposed Project, on both a direct, indirect, and cumulative basis; identify feasible mitigation measures that may lessen or avoid such impacts; and identify alternatives that may lessen one or more potentially significant impacts associated with the proposed Project.
The NOP is available for download: Notice of Preparation of Environmental Impact Report for the Searsville Watershed Restoration Project
Written or oral comments may be submitted at the public scoping meetings, or written comments may be directed to:
By mail to:
California Department of Water Resources, c/o Ted Frink P.O. Box 942836 Sacramento, CA 94236-0001 with the letter subject heading “RE: Searsville Watershed Restoration Project public comment”
Via email to:
DWRSearsville@water.ca.gov with the subject heading “RE: Searsville Watershed Restoration Project public comment”