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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Pete Lucero
916-978-5100

Released On: November 22, 2010

San Joaquin River Restoration Program Revised Reach 4B Project Proposal and Additional Public Scoping Meeting

The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources are revising their proposal to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) on the effects of the proposed Reach 4B, Eastside Bypass and Mariposa Bypass Channel and Structural Improvements Project (Project) under the San Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP). The revised proposal will include measures for the conveyance of Interim and Restoration flows and incorporation of fish habitat through Reach 4B and the bypasses. The Project is a component of the San Joaquin River Settlement (October 2006) (Settlement) and is located in Merced County.

The Proposed Action includes improving conveyance capacity in the San Joaquin River from the Reach 4B headgates near Washington Road to the confluence of the Mariposa Bypass with the San Joaquin River (generally referred to as Reach 4B1). The improvements will incorporate modifications to Reach 4B and the Eastside and Mariposa bypasses to allow for conveyance of Interim and Restoration flows. Improvements will also include the incorporation of fish habitat in Reach 4B and/or the bypasses and maintain the current flood operations and conveyance capacity of the system. Additionally, the Proposed Action may result in an opportunity for improvements to the existing flood system.

There will be a 30-day scoping comment period for the revised Project from Monday, November 22, 2010, through close of business Monday, December 20, 2010. The purpose of public scoping is to solicit additional comments from interested stakeholders to assist in determining the scope of the EIS/EIR, including the alternatives to be addressed, and to identify any significant environmental issues related to the revised Proposed Action. Comments previously submitted in response to the original September 9, 2009, Notice of Intent are still applicable and will continue to be utilized.

The scoping meeting will be in:

Los Banos

Monday, December 6, 2010, 6:30-8 p.m.

Miller & Lux Building, 830 6th Street

Written comments on the revised scope of the EIS/EIR and Project may be submitted at the meeting or by close of business Monday, December 20, 2010, via the following: mail to Margaret Gidding, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825; fax to 916-978-5469; or e-mail to Reach4B@restoresjr.net. Comments may also be submitted to Fran Schulte, Department of Water Resources, South Central Region Office, 3374 E. Shields Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726 or emailed to fschulte@water.ca.gov.

The Settlement stipulates channel modifications be made in Reach 4B to ensure conveyance of at least 475 cubic feet per second. Based on preliminary information, these modifications may consist of removing in-channel vegetation, removing excess silt and sediment, and improving road crossings; however, additional analysis is needed to verify the current information. The Settlement also stipulates modifications to the Eastside and Mariposa Bypasses to allow flows and modifications to structures in the bypasses to provide for fish passage. Modifications, such as channel widening, narrowing, or reshaping, may be needed to allow for fish passage during flows in the bypasses. Both the Mariposa Bypass Bifurcation Structure at the head of the Mariposa Bypass and the Mariposa Bypass Drop Structure at the downstream end of the Mariposa Bypass may need to be modified to provide fish passage under a range of flows. Modifications could include changes to the existing structures, construction of fish ladders, or replacement of the existing structures with new structures.

Because the functions of these channels are interrelated, the design, environmental compliance, and construction are being addressed in one project. The planning and environmental review is authorized under Section 3406(c)(1) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (Title 34 of Public Law 102-575) and the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act (SJRRS Act, included in Public Law 111-11). Construction of the Proposed Action is authorized under the SJRRS Act.

To learn more about the SJRRP, visit www.restoresjr.net.

The Project is being conducted pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.

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