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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Pete Lucero, MP Region Public Affairs Officer

Released On: March 05, 2013

Reclamation Releases Environmental Documents for Recirculation of Recaptured San Joaquin River Restoration Program Flows

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review draft environmental documents regarding the recirculation of San Joaquin River Restoration flows from Friant Dam to water contractors in the Central Valley Project’s Friant Division during water years 2013-2017. (March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2018).

The development of a recapture and recirculation plan is required by the 2006 Stipulation of Settlement in NRDC, et al., v. Rodgers, et al., as part of the implementation of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program’s Water Management Goal. The purpose of the Water Management Goal is to reduce or avoid adverse water supply impacts to all of the Friant Division long-term contractors that may result from the Interim and Restoration flows provided for in the Settlement.

Reclamation estimates that up to 260,000 acre-feet per year of recaptured Interim Flows (experimental flows) and Restoration Flows (set to begin Jaunary 1, 2014) could be made available for recirculation to Friant Division contractors during water years 2013-2017.

The Draft Environmental Assessment evaluates up to a maximum possible amount of 260,000 acre-feet annually of recaptured water, but the quantity may be less depending on the type of water year. The recaptured water will be available at South-of-Delta facilities for direct delivery, exchange, or transfer to the Friant Division contractors.

The federal action would involve Reclamation entering into various delivery, transfer or exchange agreements to recirculate the recaptured water to the Friant Division contractors. The deliveries, transfers and exchanges would be completed through several potential mechanisms, utilizing federal, state and local facilities. Friant contractors could transfer or exchange their water to other Friant or non-Friant contractors, not in excess of the existing contract allocations.

The Draft EA/FONSI for the proposed action were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available online at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=12690. If you encounter problems accessing the documents online, please call 916-978-5100 or e-mail mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

Please send written comments to Michelle Banonis, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825, by 5 p.m. Monday, March 18, 2013. Comments may also be faxed to 916-978-5469 or e-mailed to mbanonis@usbr.gov.

For additional information or to request a copy of the Draft EA/FONSI, please contact Margaret Gidding at 916-978-5461 (TTY 800-735-2922) or mgidding@usbr.gov. Copies of the Draft EA/FONSI may also be viewed at Reclamation’s South-Central California Area Office, 1243 N Street, Fresno, CA 93721 (559-487-5041). For more information about the SJRRP, please visit www.restoresjr.net.

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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.