Federal And State Agencies Release The Final Environmental Document For The Environmental Water Account

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: January 27, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), along with the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), have prepared the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) covering the operation of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program’s Environmental Water Account (EWA). The EIS/EIR analyzes the No-Action/No-Project Alternative, a Flexible Purchase Alternative (Proposed Project), and a Fixed Purchase Alternative.

The EWA is a cooperative CALFED management program to protect the native fish species of the Bay-Delta estuary through environmentally beneficial changes in the Federal Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP) operations at no uncompensated water cost to the CVP/SWP water users. The EWA was developed to address fish protection and recovery in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, while at the same time improving water supply reliability for CVP and SWP customers.

Five Federal and State agencies are involved in administering the EWA. Reclamation and DWR (the Project Agencies) are responsible for acquiring water assets and storing and conveying the assets through CVP and SWP facilities. DFG, FWS, and NOAA Fisheries (the Management Agencies) manage the EWA assets to protect and restore fish populations. All five EWA agencies are responsible for the day-to-day program management.

The Draft EIS/EIR was made available for public review and comment on July 16, 2003. Public workshops to discuss the purpose and content of the EIS/EIR were held in July 2003. Public hearings to receive comments on the Draft EIS/EIR were held in August 2003. The Final EIS/EIR contains comments received on the Draft EIS/EIR and responses to those comments.

Reclamation will make a decision on the proposed action 30 days after release of the Final EIS/EIR. After the 30-day waiting period, Reclamation will complete a Record of Decision (ROD). The ROD will state the action that will be implemented and discuss the factors leading to the decision.

To request a compact disk of the Final EIS/EIR, please contact Ms. Sammie Cervantes at 916-978-5104, TDD 916-978-5608; or by e-mail at scervantes@mp.usbr.gov. A limited number of paper copies are available. The Final EIS/EIR is accessible online at www.usbr.gov/mp or www.dwr.water.ca.gov. For additional information, please contact Ms. Sammie Cervantes at the above phone numbers or e-mail, or contact Ms. Delores Brown, DWR, at 916-227-2407 or e-mail delores@water.ca.gov.

# # #

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.