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San Joaquin River Restoration Program: Mendota Pool Bypass and Reach 2B Channel Improvements Project Public Scoping Meetings

Media Contact: , , 07/13/2009 15:25

For Release: July 13, 2009

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MP-09-086

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The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) are proposing to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR), pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to evaluate effects of the proposed Mendota Pool Bypass and Reach 2B Channel Improvements Project (Proposed Action) under the San Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP).  The Proposed Action is a component of the San Joaquin River Settlement (October 2006) and is located in Madera and Fresno Counties.

The Proposed Action includes the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Mendota Pool Bypass and improvements including the operation and maintenance of the San Joaquin River channel to allow Reach 2B to convey at least 4,500 cubic feet per second (cfs).  A 30-day scoping comment period will be held for the Proposed Action from Monday, July 13, to Friday, August 14, 2009.  The purpose of public scoping is to solicit comments from interested stakeholders to assist in determining the scope of the EIS/EIR, including the alternatives to be addressed, and to identify the significant environmental issues related to the Proposed Action.

Two public scoping meetings will be held to solicit public input on alternatives, concerns, and issues to be addressed in the EIS/EIR.  The two scoping meeting dates are:

Fresno
Firebaugh
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
6-8 p.m.
Piccadilly Inn Shaw
2305 W. Shaw Avenue
Map

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
6-8 p.m.
Firebaugh City Council Chambers
1659 13th Street
Map

Written comments on the scope of the EIS/EIR and Proposed Action may be submitted at the meetings or by close of business Friday, August 14, 2009, via the following:  mail to Ms. Margaret Gidding, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825; fax to 916-978-5469; or e-mail to MendotaPoolBypass@restoresjr.net.  Comments may also be submitted to Mr. Kevin Faulkenberry, Department of Water Resources, San Joaquin District, 3374 E. Shields Ave, Fresno, CA  93726, or to e-mail faulkenb@water.ca.gov

The proposed Mendota Pool Bypass would include a bypass around the Mendota Pool to convey at least 4,500 cfs around the Mendota Pool and re-connect with the San Joaquin River downstream of Mendota Dam.  The Proposed Action could also include constructing a bifurcation structure at the upper end of the bypass to convey flows into the Mendota Pool Bypass.  The proposed Mendota Bypass Bifurcation Structure would be designed to divert water from the San Joaquin River to the Mendota Pool, consistent with the design channel capacity of Reach 2B that conveys flows to the Mendota Pool.  The bifurcation structure would be designed to direct fish into the bypass channel and minimize or avoid fish passage into the Mendota Pool.  Specific bypass alignments and facilities locations will be determined through the course of this site-specific study.

Interactive Graphic map - click to see the larger versionReach 2B of the San Joaquin River extends from the Chowchilla Bypass Bifurcation Structure to the Mendota Dam.  Proposed improvements to Reach 2B would include modifications to the San Joaquin River channel from the Chowchilla Bypass Bifurcation Structure to the new Mendota Bypass Bifurcation Structure to provide a capacity of at least 4,500 cfs incorporating new floodplain and riparian habitat.  Specific channel modification actions would be determined through the course of this site-specific study.  These actions could consider, but may not be limited to, fisheries requirements, land uses, subsurface conditions, topography, and the condition of existing levees. 

The planning and environmental review for the Proposed Action is authorized under Section 3406(c)(1) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and the San Joaquin River Restoration Act included in Public Law 111-11.  Construction of the Proposed Action is authorized under the San Joaquin River Restoration Act (Public Law 111-11). 

To learn more about the SJRRP, please visit www.restoresjr.net.

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