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Public Review Period Extended for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program Environmental Document

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, (916) 978-5100, plucero@usbr.gov

For Release: May 24, 2011

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Media Contacts: 
Pete Lucero, Reclamation, 916-978-5100, plucero@usbr.gov
Ted Thomas, DWR, 916-653-9712, tthomas@water.ca.gov

For Release On:  May 24, 2011

Public Review Period Extended for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program Environmental Document

The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) have extended the public review and comment period by 30 days for the Draft Program Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report (Draft PEIS/R) for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP). Comments are now due by 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, 2011. The joint document describes the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of implementing the SJRRP. The SJRRP is being implemented by Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the California Department of Fish and Game, and DWR. 

The SJRRP is a comprehensive, long-term effort to restore flows to the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River to restore a self-sustaining Chinook salmon fishery in the river and reduce or avoid adverse water supply impacts from restoration flows. The SJRRP implements the Stipulation of Settlement (Settlement) in NRDC, et al., v. Rodgers, et al., that resolved more than 18 years of litigation related to Reclamation's operation of Friant Dam.

Reclamation and DWR are holding four public hearings this week to solicit input on the Draft PEIS/R. Each public hearing will include an open house portion where SJRRP staff will be available to talk with the interested public. Following the open house portion, a formal public hearing will be held to gather comments. The meetings will be held:

Visalia
Tuesday, May 24, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.,
Lamp Liter Inn Ballroom,
3300 West Mineral King Avenue

Fresno
Tuesday, May 24, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.,
Piccadilly Inn - University, Grand Ballroom,
4961 North Cedar Avenue

Los Banos
Wednesday, May 25, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.,
Merced County Fairgrounds, Germino Room,
403 "F" Street

Sacramento
Thursday, May 26, 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.,
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, John Q. Ballroom,
300 J Street

The joint document was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act to evaluate implementing the Settlement and considers the alternative actions that will be implemented over the next several years, as specified in the Settlement, toward achieving the SJRRP goals.

The 30-day extension allows the Draft PEIS/R to be available for public review and comment for 90 days. Written comments are now due to either of the following physical or e-mail addresses no later than 5 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday, July 21, 2011:

  • Michelle Banonis, SJRRP Natural Resources Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825-1898 or e-mail peisrcomments@restoresjr.net.
  • Fran Schulte, SJRRP Program Office, California Department of Water Resources, South Central Region Office, 3374 E. Shields Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726 or e-mail fschulte@water.ca.gov.

The Draft PEIS/R may be reviewed during normal business hours (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at:

  • Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Regional Office, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825 
  • Reclamation's South-Central California Area Office, 1243 N Street, Fresno, CA 93721
  • DWR's South Central Region Office, 3374 E. Shields Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726
  • Several public libraries in Fresno, Madera, Merced and Stanislaus Counties listed on the SJRRP website at www.restoresjr.net.

The Executive Summary and Draft PEIS/R are also available on Reclamation's website at www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=2940 or on the SJRRP website at www.restoresjr.net.

To request a copy of the Executive Summary or a compact disc containing the document, please contact Margaret Gidding, Reclamation, at 916-978-5461 or mgidding@usbr.gov.

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

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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