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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Jeffrey McCracken
916-978-5100

Released On: February 10, 2004

Reclamation And Department Of Water Resources Begin Environmental Analysis On Additional San Joaquin River Storage
Reclamation will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, to evaluate proposed actions to increase water in the upper San Joaquin River basin by raising Friant Dam or with a functionally equivalent storage program. At the same time, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

Potential uses of stored water include: contributing to future restoration of the San Joaquin River, improving water quality in the San Joaquin River, and delivering water to facilitate additional conjunctive management or exchanges that improve water quality for urban areas. Other potential benefits include increased flood protection in the San Joaquin Valley and additional hydropower development.

Public meetings are scheduled to obtain comments from interested parties to assist in determining the significant issues and the scope of the environmental analysis related to the proposed action. The meetings will be held in:

Sacramento, Tuesday, March 16, 2004 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Federal Building Cafeteria Conf. Room 1, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825

Modesto, Tuesday, March 16, 2004 6 - 8 p.m. Modesto Irrigation District Multipurpose Room, 11th Street, Modesto, CA 95354

Friant, Wednesday, March 17, 2004 6 - 8 p.m, Table Mountain Rancheria, General Council Meeting Hall, 23736 Sky Harbour Road, Friant, CA 93626

Visalia, Thursday, March 18, 2004 6 - 8 p.m., Tulare County Farm Bureau Assembly Hall, 737 Ben Maddox Way, Visalia, CA 93292

The upper San Joaquin River basin is among five potential surface storage projects identified in the CALFED Programmatic EIS/EIR Record of Decision for study. Federal authorization for preparation of a feasibility report was provided in fiscal year 2003 appropriations legislation. In October 2003, Reclamation and DWR released a Phase 1 Investigation Report that provided information on preliminary alternatives under consideration. Project documents are available at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/sccao.

Written comments are due by April 16, 2004. They may be submitted by mail to Jason Phillips, Project Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-700, Sacramento CA 95825; e-mail jphillips@mp.usbr.gov; or fax 916-978-5094.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend these meetings, please contact Marian Echeverria at 916-978-5105 (TDD 978-5608) or mecheverria@mp.usbr.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.