April 8 is deadline public comment on wetlands restoration plan

The yellow lines above show the project site and local vicinity of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration project. Map taken from Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority Initial Study of the project

Monday is last day to comment on the ‘Initial Study’

Monday, April 8, is the deadline for the public to comment on the 75-page Initial Study Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration Plan.

The Los Cerritos Wetlands straddles the Seal Beach/Long Beach, Orange County/Los Angeles County border. In December, the California Coastal Commission approved an application by Beach Oil Minerals, of Long Beach, for new oil production and wetlands restoration project that includes: (1) construction and operation of two oil production facilities, including drilling and operation of up to 120 new wells, (2) construction and operation of 2,200 ft. above-ground oil pipeline, (3) decommissioning of existing oil facilities on two sites, (4) conversion of existing building to Visitor’s Center for Los Cerritos Wetlands, (5) implementation of wetlands restoration project as part of mitigation bank on northern portion of existing oil field, Long Beach, Los Angeles County.

As previously reported, the project area is located in the Long Beach portion of the wetlands, but part of the project area—the part known as “the Pumpkin Patch”—is close to the Seal Beach border.

“The Los Cerritos Renovation Conceptual Plan was adopted in 2015 by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority (LCWA). (before I was on that board),” wrote Councilwoman Schelly Sustarsic in an email to the Sun. Sustarsic used to be on the Wetlands Authority board. “A couple of community meetings have been held since then, and the LCWA and their consultants are now ready to proceed with the environmental review required by CEQA.”

CEQA stands for the California Environmental Quality Act.

“(I am no longer on the LCWA, but attended the scoping meeting on March 21st, as an interested party). This environmental review will encompass the entire Los Cerritos Wetlands area, including the South Los Cerritos Wetlands (previously Hellman), Hellman Retained and Los Alamitos Retarding Basin Sites, the major portions of which are located within Seal Beach,” Sustarsic wrote.

“Currently, a Notice of Preparation (NOP) and Initial Study (IS) have been prepared and are out for public review through April 8th. These identify probable environmental impacts that the environmental review process will study in detail,” Sustarsic wrote.

“A Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) will be drafted, which is a broad environmental review, not restricted to a specific project. The Initial Study, a 75 page document, can be viewed at www.intotheloscerritoswetlands.org (click on “LCW EIR”) and at the Mary Wilson and Bayshore Libraries. The Initial Study lists a large array of probable environmental impacts, and also lists others identified as having no impacts. The public may submit comments through April 8, 2019 to sgee@rmc.ca.gov,” Sustarsic wrote.

The following is a a link to a Wetlands Authority letter sent describing the Notice of Preparation Process: