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

Released On: April 16, 2004

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND STATE OF CALIFORNIA PREPARING A REVISED DRAFT EIS/EIR FOR THE TRUCKEE RIVER OPERATING AGREEMENT
The U.S. Department of the Interior and the State of California, Department of Water Resources (DWR) announce the preparation of a revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (revised Draft EIS/EIR) for the Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA) implementing Section 205(a) of the Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act of 1990, Title II of Public Law 101-618 (Settlement Act).

An initial Draft EIS/EIR was prepared and released for public review in February 1998. Since then, ongoing negotiations have substantially modified the proposed agreement, resulting in the need to prepare a revised Draft EIS/EIR for public review. The revised Draft EIS/EIR is expected to be released this summer (2004). Concurrent with the preparation of the revised Draft EIS/EIR, a draft regulation for TROA is being prepared, which will be issued for public comment by publication in the Federal Register. As a responsible agency under CEQA, the California State Water Resources Control Board will consider the Final EIS/EIR in determining whether and how to approve any water rights applications or change petitions submitted pursuant to TROA.

Interior, the U.S. Department of Justice, States of California and Nevada, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Sierra Pacific Power Company, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, and other entities in California and Nevada completed a Draft TROA in October 2003. The Draft TROA is available to the public in advance of completion of the revised Draft EIS/EIR. The document is available at: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/lbao/troa/docs/index.html.

TROA would, in part: 1) enhance conditions for threatened and endangered fishes throughout the Truckee River basin; 2) increase municipal and industrial drought protection for Truckee Meadows (Reno-Sparks metropolitan area); 3) improve river water quality downstream from Sparks, Nevada; and 4) enhance stream flows and recreational opportunities in the Truckee River Basin. At the time TROA takes effect, the Settlement Act provides that a permanent allocation between California and Nevada to water in the Lake Tahoe, Truckee River and Carson River basins will also take effect.

For additional information, visit Reclamation’s website: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/troa or contact: Kenneth Parr, Bureau of Reclamation, 705 North Plaza Street, Room 320, Carson City, Nevada 89701, telephone: 775-882-3436, TDD 775-882-3436, e-mail: kparr@mp.usbr.gov, or Michael Cooney, DWR, Central District, 3251 S Street, Sacramento, California 95816, telephone: 916-227-7606, e-mail: mikec@water.ca.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.