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

Released On: April 08, 2004

FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS FOR THE FREEPORT REGIONAL WATER PROJECT AVAILABLE
The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Freeport Regional Water Project. Additionally, the Freeport Regional Water Authority (FRWA) has released the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under separate cover. Reclamation, the Federal lead agency, completed the Final EIS pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and FRWA, the State lead agency, completed the Final EIR pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Draft EIS/EIR was published on August 8, 2003, as a joint document. The final documents are published separately for individual use by Reclamation for NEPA compliance and by FRWA for CEQA compliance.

The purposes of the project include: (1) to support acquisition of additional Sacramento County Water Agency (SCWA) surface water entitlements to promote efficient conjunctive use of ground water in its Zone 40 area, consistent with the Sacramento Area Water Forum Agreement and County of Sacramento General Plan policies; (2) provide facilities through which SCWA can deliver existing and anticipated surface water entitlements to Zone 40 area; (3) provide facilities through which East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) can take delivery of a supplemental supply of water that would substantially meet its need for water and reduce existing and future customer deficiencies during droughts; and (4) improve EBMUD system reliability and operational flexibility during droughts, catastrophic events, and scheduled major maintenance at Pardee Dam/Reservoir.

Public hearings were held in Sacramento, Herald, and Oakland, California, in September 2003. The written comment period ended December 15, 2003. The final documents contain comments received on the Draft EIS/EIR and responses to those comments. Reclamation will make a decision on the proposed action 30 days after a Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register. The Record of Decision will state the action that will be implemented and discuss the factors leading to the decision. The Final EIR and Final EIS are identical except that the Final EIS includes a different introductory cover letter and the Federal draft Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Report (Appendix B). It is anticipated that FWRA will issue a Notice of Determination on April 16, 2004.

The Final EIS and the Final EIR are available online at www.freeportproject.org. To request the documents on CD, please contact Mr. Kurt Kroner, FRWA, 1510 J Street, No. 140, Sacramento, CA 95814, at 916-326-5489 or e-mail k.kroner@frwa.com. For additional information, please contact Mr. Kroner or Mr. Rob Schroeder, Reclamation, at 916-989-7274 or e-mail rschroeder@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.