Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Scoping meetings will be held to solicit input on alternatives, concerns, and issues to be addressed in the EIS/EIR. Written comments may also be sent.
* Wednesday, July 29, 2009, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Firebaugh City Council Chambers, 1659 13th Street, Firebaugh, California 96322.
Written comments on the scope of the EIS/EIR should be sent by August 17, 2009 to Ms. Margaret Gidding, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825 or via e-mail at
Reclamation and DWR are proposing to prepare a joint EIS/EIR, pursuant to NEPA and CEQA, to evaluate the proposed Mendota Pool Bypass and Reach 2B Channel Improvements Project (Proposed Action) under the SJRRP. The Proposed Action 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 cfs. The planning and environmental review for the Proposed Action is authorized under section 3406(c)(1) of the CVPIA and the SJRRA included in Public Law 111-11. Construction of the Proposed Action is authorized under the SJRRA (Pub. L. 111-11). The Proposed Action is a component of San Joaquin River Settlement.
The Proposed Action would include a bypass around the Mendota Pool to convey at least 4,500 cfs around the Mendota Pool and re-connect with the San Joaquin River downstream of Mendota Dam. The Proposed Action would also include constructing a bifurcation structure at the upper end of the bypass to convey at least 4,500 cfs into the Mendota Pool Bypass. The proposed Mendota Bypass Bifurcation Structure would be designed to divert water from the San Joaquin River to the Mendota Pool, consistent with the design channel capacity of Reach 2B which conveys flows to the Mendota Pool. The bifurcation structure would be designed to direct fish into the bypass channel and minimize or avoid fish passage into the Mendota Pool. Specific bypass alignments and facilities locations will be determined through the course of this site-specific study.
Reach 2B of the San Joaquin River extends from the Chowchilla Bypass Bifurcation Structure to the Mendota Dam. Proposed improvements to Reach 2B would include modifications to the San Joaquin River channel from the Chowchilla Bypass Bifurcation Structure to the new Mendota Bypass Bifurcation Structure to provide a capacity of at least 4,500 cfs with integrated floodplain habitat. The project would expand the Reach 2B channel capacity while accounting for new floodplain habitat. Specific channel modification actions would be determined through the course of this site-specific study. These actions would consider fisheries requirements, land uses, subsurface conditions, topography, and the condition of existing levees.
In 1988, a coalition of environmental groups led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a lawsuit challenging the renewal of the long-term water service contracts between the United States and the Central Valley Project Friant Division Contractors. After more than 18 years of litigation known as
• The Restoration Goal—To restore and maintain fish populations in “good condition” in the main stem of the San Joaquin River below Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River, including naturally reproducing and self-sustaining populations of salmon and other fish; and
• The Water Management Goal—To reduce or avoid adverse water supply impacts to all of the Friant Division long-term Contractors that may result from the Interim Flows and Restoration Flows provided for in the Settlement.
The Settling Parties acknowledge that accomplishing the Goals requires planning, implementation, and funding of certain activities, such as environmental review, design, and construction. With regard to the Restoration Goal, the Settlement calls for a combination of channel and structural improvements along the San Joaquin River below Friant Dam, releases of additional water from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River, and the reintroduction of spring and/or fall-run Chinook salmon.
The Settlement states that the Secretary of the Interior shall implement the terms and conditions of the Settlement. Additionally, the Settling Parties agreed that implementation of the Settlement shall also require participation of the State of California. Therefore, concurrent with the execution of the Settlement, the Settling Parties entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of California, by and through the California Resources Agency, DWR, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), and the California Environmental
A Program Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (PEIS/EIR) is currently being developed for implementation of the SJRRP. If applicable, the EIS/EIR for the Proposed Action will supplement, tier from, incorporate by reference, or adopt relevant NEPA analyses from the PEIS/EIR. The Record of Decision for the PEIS/EIR is anticipated to be signed in 2010.
Before including your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.