Reclamation Issues Record of Decision for the Continuation of the Grassland Bypass Project from 2010 through 2019

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100

For Release: December 22, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation today signed a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Grassland Bypass Project.  Reclamation's decision is to execute a new use agreement with the San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority for continued use of the San Luis Drain from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2019.  Implementing the decision will result in continuing the present drainwater conveyance system established under the existing Grassland Bypass Project, which segregates and bypasses agricultural drain water from private wetlands and State and Federal wildlife areas.  The use agreement is subject to specific limits and conditions for continued use of the San Luis Drain from 2010 through 2019 to convey and discharge agricultural drainwater into Mud Slough.

The final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/FEIR), filed September 29, 2009, describes the potential environmental impacts resulting from implementing the new use agreement for the Grassland Bypass Project.  New features of the project include an updated compliance monitoring plan, revised selenium and salinity load limits, an enhanced incentive performance fee system, a new waste discharge requirement from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, and mitigation for continued discharge to Mud Slough.  In-Valley treatment/drainage reuse at the San Joaquin River Water Quality Improvement Project, where subsurface drainage water is used once for the irrigation of salt-tolerant crops and forages, would be expanded to 6,900 acres.  The ROD adopts the mitigation measures identified in the FEIS/FEIR as well as terms and conditions specified in the biological opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Please visit to view the Final EIS/EIR and ROD, which were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act.  If you encounter problems accessing the documents online, please call 916-978-5100 or e-mail

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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