Water Transfer Program for the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Draft EIS/EIR Available for Public Review

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: June 16, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation, the lead Federal agency, and the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority (Exchange Contractors), the State lead agency, have released for public review a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR), "The San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority 2005-2014," a 10-year water transfer program. The 45-day public comment period begins on Friday, June 18, 2004.

The Draft EIS/EIR evaluates the transfer of up to 130,000 acre-feet of substitute water (maximum of 80,000 acre-feet of developed water and a maximum of 50-000 acre-feet from land fallowing/crop idling) from the Exchange Contractors to other Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors, to Reclamation for delivery to the San Joaquin Valley wetland habitat areas (wildlife refuges), and Department of Water Resources for use by the CALFED Environmental Water Account as replacement water for CVP contractors. Reclamation would approve and/or execute short-term and/or long-term temporary water transfers or agreements.

A public hearing on the Draft EIS/EIR will be held on Wednesday, July 7, 2004, 5-7 p.m., Miller and Lux Building, 830 Sixth Street, Los Banos, California 93635.

Written comments must be received by close of business on Monday, August 2, 2004. Please mail comments to: Bureau of Reclamation, Attn: MP-150, Bob Eckart, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825. Comments may also be faxed to 916-978-5055, or e-mailed to: REckert@mp.usbr.gov.

The Draft EIS/EIR is available on Reclamation's website at: www.usbr.gov/mp. To request a hard copy or CD of the Draft EIS/EIR, please contact Joann Toscano, Exchange Contractors, at 209-827-8616. For further information, contact Bob Eckart at 916-978-5051.

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Relevant Link:

Water Transfer Program for the San Joaquin River