NOP of an EIR and Scoping Meetings for the Long-Term Operations of the California State Water Project

Published:

PUBLIC NOTICE: Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report and Scoping Meetings for the Long-Term Operations of the California State Water Project.

 

COMMENT PERIOD: April 22 – May 28, 2019. 

 

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is the Lead Agency for preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the long-term operations of the State Water Project (SWP). Written comments regarding the issues that should be addressed in the EIR, including potential alternatives to the proposed Project and the scope of the analysis, are invited.

 

The EIR for the proposed Project is being prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). DWR has issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) to inform trustee agencies, responsible agencies, the Office of Planning and Research, and the public that an EIR is being prepared. The NOP provides information describing the proposed Project and its potential environmental effects to those who may wish to comment regarding the scope and content of the information to be included in the EIR.

 

The EIR will evaluate potentially significant environmental impacts of the proposed Project, on both a direct, indirect, and cumulative basis; identify feasible mitigation measures that may lessen or avoid such impacts; and identify alternatives that may lessen one or more potentially significant impacts associated with the proposed Project. The proposed Project location encompasses SWP water diversion, storage, and conveyance facilities and respective service areas. Under the proposed Project, the SWP will continue to be operated to provide flood control and water for agricultural, municipal, industrial, recreational, and environmental purposes consistent with applicable legal requirements. SWP operations also will continue to be closely coordinated with the CVP, including the Coordinated Operating Agreement (COA) and operational requirements resulting from the ongoing reinitiation of federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation on coordinated long-term CVP and SWP operations. The EIR will evaluate potential impacts associated with long-term operations of the SWP as it may be modified to update operating criteria, including review of Delta operational requirements established by the Reasonable and Prudent Actions (RPA) contained in the 2008 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinions (BO), as well as operational requirements in the existing California Endangered Species Act Incidental Take Permit covering Longfin smelt, updates to the COA, and measures that may be adopted to avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts to listed species resulting from SWP long-term operations.

 

The review will account for the current status of listed species, science that has been developed through collaborative processes since the issuance of the existing BOs and Incidental Take Permit, including scientific studies that were undertaken pursuant to requirements in the BOs and Incidental Take Permit, and what that new information shows regarding operations to support listed species. Public scoping meetings will be held on May 6, 2019 at the Ronald Reagan Building Auditorium at 300 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles CA 90013 and on May 13, 2019 at the Paul Bonderson Building Hearing Room, 901 P Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

 

The NOP is available for download at the following DWR webpage.

Presentation by Michelle Banonis at public scoping meetings on May 6 and 13

 

Written or oral comments may be submitted at the public scoping meetings, or written comments may be directed to: Dean Messer, Dept. of Water Resources, Division of Environmental Services, PO Box 942836, Sacramento, CA, 94236-0001; or by email to LTO@water.ca.gov by 5:00 p.m. on May 28, 2019. Written comments should include your name, address, and contact information, and the name for a contact person in your agency if applicable. Please note that your entire comment could be made publicly available at any time.