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

Released On: October 20, 2003

Parties Complete A Draft Truckee River Operating Agreement
The Draft Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA) is now available to the public in advance of preparation of a revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR). Comments are not being solicited at this time. This is the first of a number of steps required before TROA can be implemented as provided for in the Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act of 1990.

Parties involved are The U.S. Department of the Interior, 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.

The Settlement Act and TROA will 1) allocate the waters of the Truckee River, Carson River, and Lake Tahoe basins between California and Nevada; 2) enhance conditions for threatened and endangered fishes throughout the Truckee River basin; 3) increase drought protection for Truckee Meadows (Reno-Sparks metropolitan area); 4) improve river water quality downstream from Sparks, Nevada; and 5) enhance instream flows and recreational opportunities in California and Nevada.

Before TROA can be approved by the Secretary of the Interior and the State of California and signed by other negotiating parties, the potential environmental effects of the agreement must be analyzed pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Accordingly, Interior and the California Department of Water Resources are jointly preparing a revised Draft EIS/EIR for that purpose.

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. The revised Draft EIS/EIR will be released for public comment in early 2004.

Once public comments on the revised Draft EIS/EIR have been received, the lead agencies will send any that might relate to the provisions of TROA to the negotiators. Any changes to Draft TROA will then be completed, and a Final EIS/EIR will be published. The Secretary and the State of California cannot sign TROA until a Record of Decision and a Notice of Determination, respectively, has been completed. These and other steps, including approval by the Orr Ditch and Truckee River General Electric Courts, must be completed before TROA may be implemented.

For additional information or to receive a copy of the Draft TROA, please visit Reclamation's website at: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/lbao/troa/docs/(or contact Kenneth Parr, Bureau of Reclamation, 705 North Plaza Street, Room 320, Carson City, Nevada 89701-4015. He can also be reached by phone at 775-882-3436, TDD 775-882-3436, or e-mail at kparr@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.