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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Jeffrey S. McCracken@mp.usbr.gov

Released On: December 19, 2005

Reclamation Releases Draft EA for Water Purchase for Kern National Wildlife Refuge
The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a proposed purchase of up to 20,827 acre-feet of water from the Panoche Water District in 2006. The water would be used to help meet the water needs at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge.

Reclamation must acquire water to provide increased water deliveries to wetland habitat areas in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys in accordance with Section 3406(d)(2) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA). The Water Acquisition Program implements this CVPIA requirement by acquiring water to meet the prescribed refuge water supplies.

The draft EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The Draft EA describes the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed alternatives.

The documents are available for a 14-day comment period that ends January 3, 2006. Copies of the documents are available online at www.mp.usbr.gov/nepa/; click on the Regional Office link. Written comments should be sent to the Bureau of Reclamation, Water Acquisitions Program Manager, MP-410, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825. For additional information or to request a printed copy of the draft documents, contact Ms. Mary Grim at 916-978-5204 (TDD 916-978-5606).

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.