News Release Archive

San Joaquin River Restoration Program Seeks Input on Recapturing and Recirculating Restoration Flows

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

For Release: July 28, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation is preparing the Long-term Recapture and Recirculation of Restoration Flows Environmental Impact Statement for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. Reclamation has published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS to identify a set of alternatives for the recapture and recirculation of restoration flows to long-term contractors of the Friant Division of the Central Valley Project. Reclamation is seeking suggestions and information on the alternatives and topics to be addressed and any other important issues related to the proposed action. Four scoping meetings will be held at the following dates and locations to help gather that input:

· Sacramento August 10, 1-3 p.m. - Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Regional Office

2800 Cottage Way, Cafeteria Conference Room C 1002

· Tulare August 11,6-8 p.m. - Tulare International Agriculture Center, 4500 S. Laspina Street

· Fresno August 12, 6-8 p.m. – DoubleTree by Hilton, Fresno Conference Center, Salon A, 2233

Ventura Street

· Los Banos August 13, 6-8 p.m. – College Green Building, 1815 Scripps Dr.

Oral and written comments will be accepted during the meetings to solicit public input on alternatives, concerns, and issues to be addressed in the EIS. Submit written comments on the scope of the EIS by close of business, Thursday, August 27, 2015, to Kellye Kennedy, Bureau of Reclamation, SJRRP, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825; fax to 916- 978-5469; or email recaptureandrecirculation@restorejsr.net.

Reclamation will develop a reasonable range of alternatives for analysis in the EIS based on previous studies, stakeholder and public input. The SJRRP has been working to implement the Restoration Goal and Water Management Goal described in the Stipulation of Settlement in Natural Resources Defense Council, et al., v. Kirk Rodgers, et al. These goals are both critical to the success of the overall SJRRP. Successfully achieving the Water Management Goal includes recirculating water back to the Friant Division Water Contractors to reduce the supply impacts of releasing Restoration Flows. Paragraph 16(a) of the Settlement directs the Secretary of the Interior to develop and implement a plan to recapture, recirculate and return water through transfers or other means.

As described in the SJRRP Program EIS/R, the long-term recapture and recirculation alternatives may include modifications to existing facilities or the construction of new facilities. The water may be delivered directly back to the Friant Division Contractors, or may be made available to others through transfers, exchanges or sales. Action alternatives in the EIS could include expansion of existing facilities or construction of new facilities for the recapture of SJRRP water, the direct delivery of SJRRP water to Friant Division Contractors and, the exchange and/or transfer of recaptured SJRRP Flows among Friant Contractors or between Friant and non-Friant Contractors.

The Long-term Recapture and Recirculation of San Joaquin River Restoration Program Flows is authorized by Title X of Public Law 111-11, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Reclamation will analyze in the EIS the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects that may result from implementation of the proposed action and alternatives.

For information on the Restoration Program, 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.