941 E. Ridgecrest Boulevard

Ridgecrest, California 93555




November 16,2013


Lorelei Oviatt, Director

Planning and Community Development Department                                                  

1115 Truxtun Avenue

Bakersfield, California 93301

Attention:  Craig Murphy


Re:  Fremont Valley Preservation Project


Dear Ms Oviatt:


Thank your for the opportunity to submit another letter regarding the Fremont Valley Project.  This letter does not negate the other points we have brought up in regards to solar and water but adds additional input in regards to the water extraction of both native and injected waters.


We believe this project has the potential to result in significant impacts to the following resources:


  1. Desert Wildlife Management Area (DWMA)
  2. Desert Tortoise Natural Area
  3. Water Resources, quantity and quality
  4. Environmental Justice
  5. Health, Safety and Welfare of the Residents and Visitors
  6. Air Quality
  7. Visual and Recreation resources
  8. Land subsidence and seismic activity with the Garlock Fault and Muroc Fault.

      i.    Military mission and others.


We believe the DEIR should never have been one project.  The solar project and the four water projects should have been divided.


Within the document there are many purported allegations regarding the water and solar, that are not supported within the document and outside the document.  There are no “will serve” letters to support these allegations.


Under CEQA, an EIR must contain an accurate project description (14 Cal Code of Regs. 15378(a)).  The DEIR fails to meet the standards set forth and it fails to explain important necessary terms and components.


The DEIR states in some places that a CUP will be applied for the export of native groundwater and in other places it states that it has already been applied for.  This is confusing.


It also states that up to 114,000 AF/YR of native groundwater will be extracted and distributed.  There has not been a complete list of water users in this area.  It also states that this amount will be extracted initially, and then could be extracted annually at the same amount.  The DEIR must analyze the potential impacts of any additional extraction, including further land subsidence to the property owners in this area, which are Kern County Tax Payers and the BLM as this area is checker boarded.  There is no description from where this extra water is to come from.


The DEIR must describe the environmental setting for a proposed project to establish a baseline.  Please see (14 CA. Code of Regs. 15125).  The quantity of surface recharge to Koehn Lake is 15,000-17,000 AF/YR however the extraction level is 114,000 AF/YR.  Fig 3-8 implies that this recharge is coming from other underflows; i.e. Indian Wells Valley, which is considered a closed basin and we are in an overdraft situation.


The DEIR also states that there is 10,000,000 AF of groundwater in the deep aquifer (600 ft) and more in a 10,000 feet aquifer below the groundwater.  There are no drilling records to support these figures.


A Water Supply Assessment is required by CEQA Section 10910 and 10912 of the Ca Water Code as amended by Senate Bill No. 610.  Where is this located?


The DEIR, although it has over 10,000 pages, has an extreme narrow focus on the project and does not consider any cumulative impacts or mitigation alternatives.


We believe there is an


            Inadequacy of Analysis on Impact on Water Supply

            Inadequacy of Analysis on Impact on Water Quality

            Inadequacy of Analysis on Main and Secondary Facilities

            Inadequacy of Analysis to surrounding Aquifers, Underflows and Runoff

            Inadequacy of Cumulative Impacts

            Inadequacy of Mitigation Measures


There are grave problems to be addressed in Fremont Valley:  water quality, water quantity, land subsidence, air quality, blowing dust, effects on native flora and fauna, property values, quality of life, historical values and recreational values. 


At this time, we firmly believe that this application should be denied for both solar and water.  We are also concerned that if this project goes through, it will set up a precedent in respect to future groundwater management projects in eastern Kern County and the quality of the landscape will be forever impacted.





Sophia Anne Merk (SAM), Director


cc  Kern County Supervisors

      State and Federal Representatives

      Lahonton Water District