News Release Archive

San Joaquin River Restoration Program Supplemental Draft Water Year 2012 Interim Flows Environmental Document Available for Public Comment

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916 978-5100, plucero@usbr.gov
Margaret Gidding, 916-978-5461, mgidding@usbr.gov

For Release: June 14, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation today released for public review the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (Draft Supplemental EA/Proposed FONSI) for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program's (SJRRP) Water Year (WY) 2012 Interim Flows Project. The document was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.  

The Draft Supplemental EA/Proposed FONSI describes the direct, indirect and cumulative environmental effects of the WY 2012 Interim Flows Project and the No-Action Alternative. 

The WY 2011 Interim Flows Project, as approved and authorized, is currently under way. The Draft Supplemental EA is intended to describe and analyze the effects of an additional year of Interim Flows for WY 2012. This document extends the project originally described in the WY 2010 Final Environmental Assessment/Initial Study (EA/IS) for an additional year. The Draft Supplemental EA includes a review of the WY 2010 Final EA/IS, the Draft and Final Supplemental EA for WY 2011, synthesizes discussions and results where conditions have not changed, and evaluates potential impacts due to implementation of WY 2012 Interim Flows in consideration of changed conditions or new information since approval of the WY 2010 Final EA/IS.

The continuation of this action would temporarily change Friant Dam operations in WY 2012 (October 1, 2011, through September 30, 2012) to release Interim Flows as specified in the Stipulation of Settlement (Settlement) in NRDC, et al. v. Kirk Rodgers, et al. The Interim Flows would be conveyed down the San Joaquin River channel, and potentially down the Eastside and Mariposa bypasses, to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta). Under the Proposed Action, WY 2012 Interim Flows would be recaptured by existing water diversion facilities along the San Joaquin River and/or in the Delta for agricultural, municipal and industrial, or fish and wildlife uses, to the extent possible. Potential diversion locations for recapturing WY 2012 Interim Flow releases are Mendota Pool, Arroyo Canal, the Lone Tree Unit of the Merced National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), the East Bear Creek Unit of the San Luis NWR, Banta-Carbona Irrigation District facility, West Stanislaus Irrigation District facility downstream of the Stanislaus River confluence, Patterson Irrigation District facility between the Tuolumne and Merced River confluences, and Central Valley Project and State Water Project Delta export facilities. 

As described in the Settlement, the purpose of the Interim Flows is to collect relevant data concerning flows, temperatures, fish needs, seepage losses, recirculation, and recapture and reuse. The SJRRP Implementing Agencies include Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Water Resources and California Department of Fish and Game. The agencies will conduct a variety of monitoring and study actions for the WY 2012 Interim Flow release period. 

The Draft Supplemental EA/Proposed FONSI is available for public review and comment. Written comments must be received by Reclamation no later than 5 p.m. (PDT) Monday, July 11, 2011. Please send comments to:

Michelle Banonis
Natural Resources Specialist
Bureau of Reclamation
2800 Cottage Way, MP-170
Sacramento, CA 95825-1898
InterimFlows@restoresjr.net

The Draft Supplemental EA/Proposed FONSI may be reviewed during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the address above and at Reclamation's South-Central California Area Office, 1243 N Street, Fresno. The EA/FONSI is also available on the SJRRP website at www.restoresjr.net or on the Reclamation NEPA website. To request a compact disc containing the document, please contact Margaret Gidding at 916-978-5461 or mgidding@usbr.gov.

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

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