CDCR Public Scoping Meeting on Closure of CCC Reveals Timeline of Project

The CDCR Public Scoping meeting on the closure of the California Correctional Center held yesterday evening, January 27, 2022, shed light on the timeline and procedure of the Scoping project. It was attended by many in the community including Lassen County Supervisor Chris Gallagher, City Administrator Dan Newton, County Administrator Richard Egan, Susanville City Councilman Quincy McCourt, and other community members and local small business owners. Principal of the Project Gary Jakobs facilitated the meeting explained the process CDCR will undertake through this project. Currently the project is in the second step of a 30 day review period that ends on February 14th. Next CDCR will prepare and release a draft of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) by summer of this year. Jacobs went on to explain upon that realease a second public review period would begin for 45 days. At the conclusion of that time the final EIR with included response to comments will be made. By fall of 2022 CDCR will certify the EIR and choose to move forward with the closure of CCC or not.

During the public comment period, that lasted over an hour, many addressed the economic impact the communities in Lassen County would feel following a 20% decrease in the local workforce, as well as asking the committee to review the loss of the fire camps and how Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown would be able to accommodate the transfer of inmates as wll as concerns address the response times considering its distance. Other mentions of interests came from Richard Egan who noted that the CCC began closing activities well before the announcement was made and that the EIR should begin from that date. City Administrator Dan Newton supported Egan’s statement with saying the EIR should have been done prior to the decision to close as Lassen county has already felt negative impacts to the announcement. Newton also shared that since Susanville is a disadvantaged community with a median income well below the average in the state the closure of CCC would have a disproportional effect as compared to a facility in other locations in the state.

Project Principal Jakobs made a point to address the limitations of the CEQA review and what it can allow in the reports for clarification, stating that this EIR is unique in that it will address urban decay to include economic impacts to the county as well as look at housing market information to be included in the review.

The next step in the process again will be the preparation and release of a draft of the report by summer time, in which another 45 day public input period would begin.