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

Released On: July 14, 2003

Federal And State Agencies Release Draft EIS/EIR On The Environmental Water Account
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 made available for public review and comment the draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR), covering the operation of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program's Environmental Water Account (EWA).

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 draft EIS/EIR describes the operation of the EWA, the environmental impacts it may have, and mitigation measures to reduce the impacts to less than significant levels.

Five Federal and State agencies are involved in administering the EWA. Reclamation and DWR (the Project Agencies) are responsible for acquiring water assets and for storing and conveying the assets through use of the 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 EWA consists of two primary elements: (1) assisting in fish population protection and recovery for at-risk native fish species; and (2) increasing water supply reliability by reducing uncertainty associated with fish protection and recovery actions. The EWA enables timely reductions in export pumping at the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta pumps, operated by DWR and Reclamation, to improve survival of and reduce injury to at-risk native fish species. The EWA acquires water to replace the supplies that would have otherwise been diverted by the CVP and SWP so that water supplies delivered to their contractors are not interrupted or reduced because of the Delta export pumping changes.

Public workshops will be held to discuss the purpose and content and answer questions on the draft EIS/EIR as follows:

Wednesday, July 16, 2003, at 6 p.m. in San Diego Hyatt Regency Islandia, 1441 Quivera Road, Islands Ballroom A

Monday, July 21, 2003, at 6 p.m. in Red Bluff Red Bluff Community and Senior Center, 1500 South Jackson Road

Tuesday, July 22, 2003, at 6 p.m. in Fresno Ramada University Inn, 324 East Shaw Avenue, Ballroom Shaw A

Wednesday, July 23, 2003, at 6 p.m. in Tracy Veterans of Foreign Wars, 430 West Grant Line Road

Tuesday, July 29, 2003, at 10 a.m. in Sacramento Best Western Expo Inn, 1413 Howe Avenue, Expo Room

Public hearings will be held to provide the public with an opportunity to orally comment on the draft EIS/EIR as follows:

Monday, August 25, 2003, at 10 a.m. in Sacramento Best Western Expo Inn, 1413 Howe Avenue, Expo Room

Tuesday, August 26, 2003, at 6 p.m. in Red Bluff Red Bluff Community and Senior Center, 1500 South Jackson Road

Thursday, August 28, 2003, at 6 p.m. in Fresno Ramada University Inn, 324 East Shaw Avenue, Ballroom Shaw A

Submit written comments no later than Monday, September 15, 2003, to Ms. Sammie Cervantes, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825, scervantes@mp.usbr.gov or Ms. Delores Brown, Chief, Mitigation and Restoration Branch, Department of Water Resources, 3251 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95816, delores@water.ca.gov.

Copies of the draft EIS/EIR, in compact disk form or in three published volumes (1,500 pages), may be obtained by contacting Ms. Cervantes, at 916-978-5104, TDD 916-978-5608; or by e-mail at scervantes@mp.usbr.gov. The draft EIS/EIR is available online at www.dwr.water.ca.gov or www.usbr.gov/mp.

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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.