[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 179 (Tuesday, September 16, 1997)]
[Pages 48630-48631]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-24573]



Department of the Army
Corps of Engineers

Intent To Prepare A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) 
for the Proposed Avila Beach Remediation Plan in San Luis Obispo 
County, CA

AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) as implemented by the regulations of the 
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), 40 CFR 1500-1508, Corps of 
Engineers announces its intent to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement (DEIS) to evaluate the potential effects of the proposed 
Avila Beach Remediation Plan on the environment. To eliminate 
duplication of paperwork, the Corps of Engineers intends on combining 
the DEIS with the existing Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) 
prepared by the County of San Luis Obispo and California Regional Water 
Quality Control Board per 40 CFR 1560.2 and 1506.4.

Any questions regarding the proposed action and/or issuance of the DEIS 
may be directed to: Ms. Tiffany Welch, (805) 641-2935, Regulatory 
Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2151 Alessandro Drive, Suite 255, 
Ventura, California 93001 (e mail: [email protected]).


1. Background

    Union Oil of California (UNOCAL) has spilled petroleum products, 
including gasoline, diesel and crude oil, to soil and ground water 
beneath the beach and intertidal area of Avila Beach.
    The beach plume runs from Avila Beach Drive to about even with San 
Luis Street with an additional area off of San

[[Page 48631]]

Antonio Street. Contamination has been identified at depths ranging 
from 0.5 feet at the west end of the beach to 25 feet near the pier. 
The highest concentration level observed in a sample has been 61,000 
parts per million (ppm) located near the pier at about the high tide 
line at a depth of 11.5 feet. The average total recoverable hydrocarbon 
(TPH) value is approximately 4,100 ppm at an average depth of 10 feet. 
The highest benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) value 
observed has been 760 ppm, located down from San Francisco Street at a 
depth of 13.5 feet.
    The intertidal plume extends seaward along the pier to at least a 
distance of 400 feet south of Front Street with TPH concentrations as 
high as 63,000 ppm. The seaward extent of this plume has not been 
determined. This part of the plume is covered with water except for 
periods with extremely low tides during full and new moons.

2. Proposed Action

    UNOCAL has applied to the Corps of Engineers (Corps) for a 
Department of the Army permit to conduct remediation activities 
oceanward of the high tide line (7.2 feet Mean Lower Low Water) at 
Avila Beach. Current activities that lie within the Corps' regulatory 
jurisdiction include the installation of wave energy dissipator 
cofferdams, solidification of hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon-affected 
sediment underlying the East Beach area, and no action for 
contamination in the intertidal zone.

3. Scope of Analysis

    The scope of analysis of the DEIS includes the entire Avila Beach 
area, intertidal zone, and San Luis Obispo Creek estuary located in the 
community of Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County, California.

4. Alternatives

    The following alternative remedial technologies, and combinations 
thereof, are being considered: (1) No action; (2) Excavation; (3) Steam 
Stripping; and (4) Oxygen/Nutrient Delivery.

5. Scoping Process

    a. Federal, State, and local agencies and other interested private 
citizens and organizations are encouraged to send their written 
comments to Ms. Tiffany Welch at the address provided above. This 
scoping comment period will expire 30 days from this date of this 
    b. Significant issues to be analyzed in depth in the DEIS include 
biological resources, surface and ground water quality, air quality, 
recreation, erosion/sedimentation, noise, transportation, aesthetics 
and socioeconomics.
    c. Coordination will be undertaken with the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California 
Department of Fish and Game, California Regional Water Quality Control 
Board, and the California Coastal Commission.

6. Scoping Meetings

    A scoping meeting will be held on October 7, 1997 from 6-8 p.m. to 
assess preliminary issues relative to UNOCAL's proposed remediation 
plan. The scoping meeting will be held on the top floor of the 
Community Center, 191 San Miguel Street, Avila Beach. Participation in 
the scoping meeting by Federal, state, and local agencies, and other 
interested private citizens and organizations is encouraged.

7. DEIS Schedule

    The current schedule estimates that the DEIS will be available for 
public review and comment in November 1997.
Robert L. Davis,
Colonel, Corps of Engineers, District Engineer.
[FR Doc. 97-24573 Filed 9-15-97; 8:45 am]