News Release Archive

San Joaquin River Restoration Program Final Environmental Document Available

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, MP Region Public Affairs Officer, 916-978-5100, plucero@usbr.gov

For Release: July 31, 2012

non interactive image - Lost Lake in Reach 1 of the San Joaquin River Restoration AreaSACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) have prepared the Final Program Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Final PEIS/R) for the San Joaquin River RestorationProgram (SJRRP).

The joint document describes the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of implementing the 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 and established the SJRRP. The Final PEIS/R identifies Alternative C1 from the Draft PEIS/R as the preferred alternative. Alternative C1 includes the use of the river channel and bypass system to convey restoration flows and allows for recapture of these flows in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta at existing facilities upstream of the Delta and at new facilities that may be constructed in the future. The SJRRP is being implemented by Reclamation, DWR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the California Department of Fish and Game.

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 (153 miles), restoring a self-sustaining Chinook salmon fishery in the river while reducing or avoiding adverse water supply impacts from the release of restoration flows.

Reclamation’s Regional Director, Donald R. Glaser, stated, “The release of the Final PEIS/R represents a significant milestone for the Program, providing the framework for implementing the Restoration Program consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act. We are looking forward to making our final agency decision in the Record of Decision.”

The joint document was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from implementing the Settlement. The Final PEIS/R considers seven alternatives for implementing the Settlement, with numerous restoration and water management actions that will be implemented over the next several years toward achieving the Settlement’s goals.

Not less than 30 days after release of the Notice of Availability for the Final PEIS/R, Reclamation will consider the proposed action and issue the Record of Decision. Not less than 10 days after providing copies of this Final PEIS/R to all commenting public agencies, DWR will consider certification of the Final PEIS/R and approval of the proposed project. DWR will also need to make specific written findings in compliance with state law for certifying the Final PEIS/R and approving the project.

Also released today is a description of the SJRRP’s planned fall 2012 and spring 2013 fish activities. These include a series of study activities using fall-run Chinook salmon. Spring-run Chinook salmon may also be released into the San Joaquin River for study purposes and/or transferred to the Interim Conservation Facility to begin the SJRRP’s broodstock program. Release of spring-run Chinook into the San Joaquin watershed will require completion of the National Marine Fisheries Service rule-making process this year and a determination that the conditions specified in the rules can be met. For a description of these activities or to learn more about the SJRRP, please visit the SJRRP website at www.restoresjr.net.

For further information on the Final PEIS/R, please contact:

 

  • Karen Dulik, California Department of Water Resources, South Central Region Office, 3374 E. Shields Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726, 559-230-3361 or kdulik@water.ca.gov.

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

  • Reclamation’s 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 Final PEIS/R is available on the SJRRP website at www.restoresjr.net and on Reclamation’s website at www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=2940. To request a paper copy or compact disk of the Final PEIS/R, please contact Michelle Banonis at the contact information provided above.

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Relevant Link:

SJRRP

Final PEIS/R