Federal And State Agencies Release The Final Supplemental Environmental Document For The Environmental Water Account

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: April 22, 2008

The Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources (DWR), along with the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), have prepared the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (SEIS/EIR) covering the proposed extended operation of the CALFED Bay-Delta Programs Environmental Water Account (EWA) from 2008 through 2011.  The SEIS/EIR analyzes the No-Action/No-Project Alternative, a Flexible Purchase Alternative (Proposed Project), and a Fixed Purchase Alternative.

The EWA is a cooperative CALFED management program to protect the native fish species of the Bay-Delta estuary through environmentally beneficial changes in the Federal Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP) operations at no uncompensated water cost to the CVP/SWP water users.  The EWA was developed to address fish protection and recovery in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, while at the same time improving water supply reliability for CVP and SWP customers.

Five Federal and State agencies are involved in administering the EWA.  Reclamation and DWR (the Project Agencies) are responsible for acquiring water assets and storing and conveying the assets through CVP and SWP facilities.  DFG, FWS, and NOAA Fisheries (the Management Agencies) manage the EWA assets to protect and restore fish populations.  All five EWA agencies are responsible for the day-to-day program management.

The Draft SEIS/EIR was made available for public review and comment on October 22, 2007.  Public workshops to discuss the purpose and content of the SEIS/EIR were held in November 2007.  Public hearings to receive comments on the Draft SEIS/EIR were also held in November 2007.  The Final SEIS/EIR contains comments received on the Draft SEIS/EIR and responses to those comments.

After a 30-day waiting period, Reclamation will make a decision on the proposed action and complete a Final SEIS/EIR Record of Decision (ROD).  The ROD will state the action that will be implemented and discuss the factors leading to the decision.

The Final SEIS/EIR is available on Reclamations website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=107 or DWRs website at www.dwr.water.ca.gov. To request a compact disk or hard copy of the Final SEIS/EIR, please contact Mr. Louis Moore at
916-978-5106, TDD 916-978-5608; or by e-mail at wmoore@mp.usbr.gov.  For additional information, please contact Mr. Moore or Ms. Stephanie Spaar, DWR, at 916-651-0178 or e-mail sspaar@water.ca.gov.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Reclamation: The Final Supplemental Environmental Document For The Environmental Water Account