News Release Archive

San Joaquin River Restoration Program Draft Environmental Document Available for Public Comment

Amended 6/29/2010 - Revised comments due date from July 9, 2010, to July 23, 2010

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100 TTY 916- 978-5608 , 06/11/2010 18:21
Margaret Gidding, 916-978-5461,

For Release: June 11, 2010

The Bureau of Reclamation today released for public review the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program's Water Year 2011 Interim Flows Project.  The document was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. 

The Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (Draft Supplemental EA/Proposed FONSI) describes the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of the Water Year 2011 Interim Flows Project and the No-Action Alternative.

The WY 2010 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 Water Year 2011 (WY 2011).  This document extends the project originally described in the WY 2010 Final Environmental Assessment/Initial Study (EA/IS) for one additional year, but does not change any other aspect of the project.  The Draft Supplemental EA includes a review of the WY 2010 Final EA/IS, synthesizes discussions and results where conditions have not changed, and evaluates potential impacts due to implementation of WY 2011 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 2011 (October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011) 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 2011 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 2011 Interim Flow releases are Mendota Pool, Arroyo Canal, Lone Tree Unit of the Merced National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), 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 San Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP) Implementing Agencies include Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Water Resources, and California Department of Fish and Game. They will conduct a variety of monitoring and study actions for the WY 2011 Interim Flow release period.

The Draft Supplemental EA/Proposed FONSI is available for public review and comment for 30 days.  Written comments must be received at one of the addresses below no later than close of business (5 p.m. PDT) Friday, July 9, 2010, NOTE: EXTENDED TO July 23, 2010:

Michelle Banonis
Natural Resources Specialist
Bureau of Reclamation
2800 Cottage Way, MP-170
Sacramento, CA 95825-1898

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 web site at or Reclamation NEPA website.  If you wish to request a compact disk containing the document, please contact Margaret Gidding at 916-978-5461 or

To learn more about the SJRRP, please visit

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NEPA Documents