The purpose of the Upper Penitencia Creek Improvement Project is to fulfill biological mitigation requirements applicable to BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension impacts. These impacts result from the loss of earthen drainage ditches throughout the BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension alignment, as well as impacts to the sensitive habitat at Upper Penitencia Creek. VTA will restore and enhance a portion of Upper Penitencia Creek, located adjacent to the Berryessa BART Station, by realigning the existing channel and creating a more natural channel with a widened floodplain and riparian habitat. (Upper Penitencia Creek Fact Sheet)
Biological impacts to wetlands and other aquatic resources due to VTA’s Freight Railroad Relocation Project will be mitigated on Upper Penitencia Creek within Alum Rock Park in the City of San José. The mitigation includes the removal of a critical fish passage barrier that currently blocks access to potential habitat for threatened steelhead populations, repair of a rill that is causing erosion issues near the fish barrier, and the expansion of floodplain on the east back immediately downstream of a historical foot bridge.
VTA is required by state and federal environmental guidelines to monitor and report VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension commitments to prevent and/or mitigate potential environmental impacts. To ensure compliance with environmental commitments, VTA has established an Environmental Management System to ensure systematic accountability of mitigation measures. The BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Environmental Management System is implemented through a combination of formal procedures, which require regular monitoring and reporting on how well VTA is fulfilling environmental commitments.
Compliance reporting includes the following key elements:
In an effort to monitor, report, and communicate all environmental commitments, VTA has developed an Environmental Impact Compliance and Reporting (EICR) matrix for the project to enable tracking of all of the above topical areas comprehensively. The matrix documents the environmental issue, mitigation measure, implementation timeframe, and responsibility and oversight.
The EICR matrix will be updated as needed by VTA and project contractors, for federal and state environmental updates, and reported online for progress tracking. The mitigation measures, to which the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and VTA committed in the Record of Decision (ROD), may not be withdrawn or substantially changed from the project without express written approval by FTA.
During the environmental process for Phase II commitments to prevent and/or mitigate potential environmental impacts will be identified. VTA will monitor and report on the Phase II commitments in order to ensure environmental compliance.