News Release Archive

San Joaquin River Restoration Program: Mendota Pool Bypass and Reach 2B Channel Improvements Project Environmental Documents Available, Public Meetings Set

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 916-978-5100, eccurtis@usbr.gov

For Release: June 09, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation and the California State Lands Commission today released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for public review and comment on the Mendota Pool Bypass and Reach 2B Channel Improvements Project under the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. The Project is a component of the San Joaquin River Settlement (October 2006) and is located in Madera and Fresno counties.

The Project 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. The Draft EIS/R assesses the potential environmental effects of five alternatives being considered, including the No-Action Alternative. A comment period will be held for the EIS/R from Tuesday, June 9, to Monday, August 10, 2015.

Three public meetings will be held to solicit comments on the alternatives analyzed, including a preferred alternative. Meeting details are as follows:

Fresno: Wednesday, July 8, 6 – 8:30 p.m., Piccadilly Inn Shaw, 2305 West Shaw Avenue
Los Banos: Thursday, July 9, 6 – 8:30 p.m., Los Banos Community Center, 645 7th Street
Sacramento: Friday, July 10, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., 2800 Cottage Way, Cafeteria Conference Rooms C1001/1002

The Draft EIS/R is available at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=4032. If you encounter problems accessing the documents, please call 916-978-5100 or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

To request the Executive Summary with a CD of the EIS/R, please contact Becky Victorine as described below. Hard copies of the document are available for review at: Reclamation’s South Central California Area Office, 1243 N Street, Fresno, CA 93721; Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Office Library, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825; the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Natural Resources Library, 1849 C Street NW, Main Interior Building, Washington, DC 20240-0001; California State Lands Commission Office, 100 Howe Ave., Suite 100 South, Sacramento, CA 95825; Los Banos Library, 1312 S 7th St., Los Banos, CA 93635; Fresno County Public Library - Mendota Branch, 1246 Belmont Ave., Mendota, CA 93640; and Fresno County Public Library - Firebaugh Branch, 1315 O St., Firebaugh, CA 93622.

Written comments on the Draft EIS/R may be submitted at the meetings or mailed by close of business Monday, August 10, to: Becky Victorine, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825; faxed to 916-978-5469; or emailed to Reach2B_EISEIR_Comments@restoresjr.net. Comments may also be mailed to Christopher Huitt, Senior Environmental Scientist, California State Lands Commission, 100 Howe Ave., Suite 100 South, Sacramento, CA 95825, faxed to 916-574-1885; or emailed to Christopher.huitt@slc.ca.gov.

The Mendota Pool Bypass and Reach 2B Improvements Project includes the construction, operation and maintenance of the Mendota Pool Bypass and improvements in Reach 2B of the San Joaquin River channel. The Project is a key component to restoring flows and a self-sustaining Chinook salmon fishery to the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River.

Specifically, the Project consists of a floodplain width which would be capable of conveying at least
4,500 cfs, a method to bypass Restoration Flows around Mendota Pool and a method to deliver water to Mendota Pool. The Project footprint extends from approximately 0.3 miles above the Chowchilla Bypass Bifurcation Structure to approximately one mile below the Mendota Dam in the area of Fresno and Madera counties, near the town of Mendota, Calif. Reach 2B of the San Joaquin River extends from the Chowchilla Bypass Bifurcation Structure to the Mendota Dam.

The planning and environmental review for the Project is authorized under Section 3406(c)(1) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (Title 34 of Public Law 102-575) and the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act (Title X of Public Law 111-11). Construction of the Proposed Action is also authorized under the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act. The Draft EIS/R was developed pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.

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.