As required by state law, a second draft of the Environmental Impact Report that accompanies UCSB’s Long Range Development Plan has been released for public review and comment.

The EIR examines the potential environmental effects caused by UCSB Vision 2025 – the university’s modernization campaign that maps out campus renovations until 2025. Campus officials released the revised version of the original EIR to public scrutiny early last month.

An open forum will be held in the Linda Vista Room of Santa Catalina Hall this Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to educate the public about pending construction and potential environmental consequences. The public review period ends March 30.

According to a press release from the Office of Campus Planning and Design, parts of the original EIR have been revised and re-circulated due to remarks that arose during the first period of public review.

As a result, several segments of the original draft EIR – including the air quality, population and housing, transportation, greenhouse gas emissions, wastewater and water supply sections – were all rewritten.

Some revisions to the EIR included examining the potential traffic impacts of the LRDP on several local intersections, lowering the estimation of vehicle emissions resulting from the Vision 2025 plan and researching the future state of city potable water supplies. Additionally, planners explored the city of Goleta’s capacity to handle a sewage increase up to the year 2025.

The History

In March 2008 – after years of development and consultation with government officials, utility companies and citizen groups – campus planners released the LRDP along with an accompanying EIR.
More than 50 meetings and presentations on the LRDP were held between April ’07 and June ’08, allowing for the input of various interest groups.

The Future

Depending on the amount of feedback planners receive by the end of the month, the document may undergo yet another rewrite before being legitimized as the final EIR. Once the final EIR has been published, it will require the approval of the UC Regents before it can be sent to the California Coastal Commission for final review and approval.