Reclamation releases EIS/EIR and schedules public meeting for the proposed Mendota Pool Group 20-year groundwater exchange

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 9169785100, eccurtis@usbr.gov

For Release: November 30, 2018

FRESNO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review the draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Mendota Pool Group 20-year groundwater exchange program.

Under the proposed action, Reclamation would execute a series of exchange agreements with the MPG over a 20-year period. The water exchange would allow MPG farmers to deliver groundwater to the Mendota Pool in exchange for Central Valley Project water delivered via the San Luis Canal for use on approximately 42,316 acres of historically irrigated MPG lands in Westlands. The program incorporates design constraints, management actions, monitoring, and reporting requirements as well as groundwater recharge components intended to replenish the local groundwater basin through use of existing recharge facilities.

The draft EIS/EIR was prepared in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act is available at

https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=36282.

Public comments will be accepted through Jan. 14, 2019. Reclamation will respond to all substantive comments received and will consider them in the decision-making process.

The release is concurrent with the Westlands public release of the draft EIS/R pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act. Westlands Water District serves as the lead state agency for compliance with CEQA.

A joint public meeting is being held to solicit public comments on the draft EIS/R. The meeting will be held in:

Mendota Branch Library

Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

1246 Belmont Avenue, Mendota, CA 93640

For additional information or to request a copy of the documents, please contact Rain Emerson at 559-262-0335 (TTY 800-877-8339) or remerson@usbr.gov.

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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.