The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the proposed long-term operations of the State Water Project (SWP) (proposed project). The DEIR also may be used by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), as a responsible agency as defined by CEQA, in its discretionary approval process and consideration to issue an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for the proposed long-term operations of the SWP. The DEIR describes the proposed project and evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed long-term operation of the SWP. The DEIR also analyzes four project alternatives in addition to the “no project” alternative. Pursuant to CEQA, the DEIR includes sufficient information about each alternative to allow meaningful evaluation, analysis, and comparison with the Proposed Project.
The DEIR was released for public review on November 21, 2019. The DEIR will be available for review at libraries and on the DWR project website, as listed in this notice. Comments on the DEIR will be received for a 45-day period, commencing on November 21, 2019 and ending at 5:00 p.m. on January 6, 2020, after which a final EIR will be prepared containing comments and responses to comments that, together with the DEIR, will form the final EIR.
PROJECT LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
The proposed project location encompasses SWP water diversion, storage, and conveyance facilities and respective water service areas, consisting of the Sacramento River downstream of the Feather River confluence, the Delta and Suisun Marsh, and areas located south of the Delta that receive SWP water supplies. Under the proposed project, the SWP will continue to be operated to provide flood control and water supply for agricultural, municipal, industrial, recreational, and environmental purposes consistent with applicable legal requirements. SWP operations will also continue to be coordinated with the Central Valley Project (CVP), in accordance with the Coordinated Operation Agreement (COA), the 2018 COA Addendum and other operational requirements.
The proposed project incorporates new science, as well as information about the current status of listed species, to develop updates to the long-term SWP operations. The operational updates are designed to minimize adverse environmental effects particularly with respect to listed species and water quality, accounting for operational restrictions based on species as well as on environmental conditions such as salinity and turbidity. The proposed operational updates include requirements that would be consistent with the California Endangered Species Act Incidental Take Permit covering Delta Smelt, winter-run Chinook Salmon, spring-run Chinook Salmon, and Longfin Smelt that may be issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
ANTICIPATED ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS
The proposed project would not result in potentially significant impacts to the following: Aesthetics, Agriculture and Forestry Resources, Air Quality, Terrestrial Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Energy, Geology and Soils, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Land Use and Planning, Mineral Resources, Noise, Population and Housing, Public Services, Recreation, Transportation/Traffic, Tribal Cultural Resources, and Wildfire.
The DEIR evaluates potential project impacts to the following resources:
- Hydrology: The proposed long-term SWP operations would alter existing surface water hydrology in the Delta and other waterways affected by SWP operations. Changes in surface water hydrology, by themselves, are not considered significant environmental impacts based on the CEQA Guidelines. However, changes to surface water hydrology may result in impacts to other secondary environmental resources evaluated in this DEIR.
- Surface Water Quality: The potential of the proposed project to result in an exceedance of an applicable water quality standard or waste discharge requirement, or otherwise substantially degrade water quality would be less than significant.
- Aquatic Biological Resources (Fisheries and Aquatic Resources): The impacts of proposed long-term operation of the SWP on fisheries and aquatic biological resources in the Delta and other waterway affected by SWP operations would be less than significant. These biological resources include Delta Smelt, winter-run Chinook Salmon, spring-run Chinook Salmon, and Longfin Smelt; and associated habitat, population abundance, and viability.
- Tribal Cultural Resources: The proposed project would not impact identified Tribal Cultural Resources. A discussion of the Tribal consultation process is presented in the DEIR.
The DEIR evaluates the potential for the proposed long-term SWP operations to result in growth inducing effects and associated secondary environmental impacts. This DEIR also considers whether the proposed long-term SWP operations would result in a cumulatively considerable contribution to existing significant cumulative environmental effects when combined with other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects.
PUBLIC REVIEW PROCESS
The purpose of this Notice, consistent with Sections 15086 and 15087 of the State CEQA Guidelines, is to consult with and request comments from responsible agencies, organizations, and interested parties regarding the environmental analyses presented in the DEIR. The DEIR is being circulated for review and comment by appropriate agencies, as well as organizations and individuals who have requested notification. In accordance with Section 15205(d) of the State CEQA Guidelines, the Lead Agency has scheduled a 45-day public review period for the DEIR, ending on January 6, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Within that 45-day period, the Lead Agency will hold one public hearing to request comments on the DEIR, at the following time and place.
December 12, 2019
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Ziggurat Building Auditorium
Department of General Services
707 Third Street
West Sacramento, California 95605
The DEIR is available for review at the DWR Division of Environmental Services office located at 3500 Industrial Boulevard, West Sacramento, CA 95691. Digital copies of the DEIR are available on the DWR website at: https://water.ca.gov/News/News-Releases/2019/November/Long-Term-Operations-of-State-Water-Project
The DEIR is available for review at the following public libraries:
|Library Name||Address||City||State||ZIP Code|
|Beale Memorial Library||701 Truxtun Avenue||Bakersfield||CA||93301|
|Colusa County Library||738 Market Street||Colusa||CA||95932|
|Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library||315 E. 14th Street||Davis||CA||95616|
|El Centro Public Library, Community Center||375 South 1st Street||El Centro||CA||92243|
|Fairfield Civic Center Library||1150 Kentucky Street||Fairfield||CA||94533|
|Fremont Library||2400 Stevenson Boulevard||Fremont||CA||94538|
|Alameda County Library||2450 Stevenson Boulevard||Fremont||CA||94538|
|Hanford Branch Library||401 North Douty Street||Hanford||CA||93230|
|Los Angeles Public Library||630 West 5th Street||Los Angeles||CA||90071|
|Contra Costa Library, Martinez Branch||740 Court Street Martinez||Martinez||CA||94533|
|Merced County Library, Merced Branch||2100 O Street||Merced||CA||95340|
|Modesto Public Library||1500 I Street||Modesto||CA||95354|
|Napa Main Library||580 Coombs Street||Napa||CA||94559|
|Pleasant Hill Library||1750 Oak Park Boulevard||Pleasant Hill||CA||94523|
|Quincy Public Library||445 Jackson Street||Quincy||CA||95971|
|Red Bluff Library||645 Madison Street||Red Bluff||CA||96080|
|Redding Library||1100 Parkview Avenue||Redding||CA||96001|
|Riverside Public Library||3581 Mission Inn Avenue||Riverside||CA||92501|
|Sacramento County Library||828 I Street||Sacramento||CA||95202|
|Norman F. Feldheym Central Library||555 West 6th Street||San Bernardino||CA||92410|
|San Diego Public Library, Central Library||820 E. Street||San Diego||CA||92101|
|San Francisco Public Library||100 Larkin Street||San Francisco||CA||94102|
|Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library||150 East San Fernando Street||San Jose||CA||95112|
|East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library||1102 E. Santa Clara Street||San Jose||CA||95116|
|San Luis Obispo Library||995 Palm Street||San Luis Obispo||CA||93401|
|Marin County Library||3501 Civic Center Drive||San Mateo||CA||94402|
|Central Library||40 East Anapamu Street||Santa Barbara||CA||93101|
|Santa Clara City, Central Park Library||2635 Homestead Road||Santa Clara||CA||95051|
|Sonoma County Central Library||211 East Street||Santa Rosa||CA||95404|
|Cesar Chavez Central Library||605 N. El Dorado Street||Stockton||CA||95202|
|E.P. Foster Library||651 East Main Street||Ventura||CA||93001|
|Visalia Branch Library||200 West Oak Avenue||Visalia||CA||93291|
|Willows Public Library||201 North Lassen Street||Willows||CA||95988|
|Sutter County Library, Main Branch||750 Forbes Avenue||Yuba City||CA||95991|
Source documents and information incorporated by reference in the DEIR can be obtained by requesting them through the project email at LTO@water.gov.
Written comments on the DEIR may be submitted to:
You Chen (Tim) Chao, PhD, PE, CFM
California Department of Water Resources
PO Box 942836
Sacramento, CA, 94236-0001
Please include a return address and contact name with your written comments. Comments can also be sent via email with subject line “LTO of SWP Project" to: LTO@water.ca.gov.