Reach 4B, Eastside Bypass and Mariposa Bypass Low Flow Channel and Structural Improvements Project Under the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, Merced County, California, 46453-46454 [E9-21717]

Download as PDF cprice-sewell on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 9, 2009 / Notices Area Office, 1243 N Street, Fresno, CA 93721, or via e-mail to pclinton@usbr.gov, or by fax to 559– 487–5397. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Patti Clinton, Bureau of Reclamation, South-Central California Area Office at the above address or e-mail address, or by phone at 559–487–5127. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: B.F. Sisk Dam is a 300-foot-high compacted earthfill embankment located on the west side of California’s Central Valley approximately 12 miles west of Los Banos, California. The dam is more than 31⁄2 miles long and impounds San Luis Reservoir, which has a total capacity of over 2 million acre-feet. The dam was built between 1963 and 1967 to provide supplemental irrigation water storage for the Federal Central Valley Project and municipal and industrial water for the California State Water Project. Water is lifted into the reservoir for storage by the Gianelli Pumping-Generating Plant from the California Aqueduct and from the Delta-Mendota Canal via O’Neill Forebay. B.F. Sisk Dam (also known as San Luis Dam) is owned by Reclamation and operated by DWR. Of the total reservoir storage capacity, 55 percent is allotted to State uses and 45 percent is allotted to the Federal uses. The dam and reservoir are located in an area of high potential for severe earthquake loading from identified active faults, primarily the Ortigalita Fault that crosses the reservoir. In the early 1980s, Reclamation conducted an extensive investigation of the seismic safety of B.F. Sisk Dam. The investigation included drilling holes to sample the soils and test their density in place, laboratory testing of the samples, and geophysical tests. Using the methods available at the time, the amount of deformation that would occur under severe shaking was predicted to be small, and the conclusion was that the dam had no safety deficiencies. By 2005, the state of the art in seismic analysis of dams had changed significantly, and additional dam safety investigations were performed. These included a reevaluation of the Ortigalita Fault, development of a new understanding of the behavior of the soil materials (including embankment fill) under earthquake loading, and development of new computer-based analysis methods for predicting the behavior of the dam under various loadings. With the updated methods and earthquake loadings, the dam crest was predicted to settle, during the most severe earthquakes, resulting in the height of the dam crest being at the maximum water level in the reservoir. VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:47 Sep 08, 2009 Jkt 217001 While the current state of the art of analysis still involves uncertainties and does not permit precise calculation of the amount of settlement that would occur, it is possible (although not likely) that the embankment deformation would exceed the available freeboard, resulting in the reservoir overtopping the embankment and eroding a breach of the dam. Even without overtopping, it is possible that water flowing through cracks in the dam embankment could erode a breach as well. Reclamation is taking the lead on the CAS. DWR is an active participant and has participated in the Risk Analysis, has reviewed technical documents, and is participating in other CAS activities. Scoping Scoping is an open process that assists agencies in determining the scope of the EIS and in identifying potentially significant issues related to the proposed action. Scoping also provides an opportunity to identify alternatives to the proposed action and possible mitigation measures. All interested persons, organizations, and agencies wishing to provide comments, suggestions, or relevant information on the proposed action may do so by sending input by regular mail to Reclamation at the above address; attending and providing comments at the public scoping meeting, or by sending e-mail to the above e-mail address. Special Assistance for Public Scoping Meeting If special assistance is required at the public hearings, please contact Ms. Lynnette Wirth at 916–978–5102, or via e-mail at lwirth@usbr.gov. Please notify Ms. Wirth as far in advance as possible to enable Reclamation to secure the needed services. If a request cannot be honored, the requestor will be notified. A telephone device for the hearing impaired (TDD) is available at 916–978– 5608. Public Disclosure 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. PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46453 Dated: July 2, 2009. Anastasia T. Leigh, Acting Regional Environmental Officer, MidPacific Region. [FR Doc. E9–21723 Filed 9–8–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MN–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation Reach 4B, Eastside Bypass and Mariposa Bypass Low Flow Channel and Structural Improvements Project Under the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, Merced County, California AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and Notice of Scoping Meetings. SUMMARY: The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) are proposing to prepare a joint EIS/EIR, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to evaluate effects of the proposed Reach 4B, Eastside Bypass and Mariposa Bypass Low Flow Channel and Structural Improvements Project (Proposed Action) under the San Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP or Program). The Proposed Action includes the construction, operation, and maintenance of a low flow channel in Reach 4B of the San Joaquin River and in the Eastside and Mariposa bypasses and improvements to facilities in the Eastside and Mariposa bypasses to allow for fish passage. The purpose of the Proposed Action is to comply with the San Joaquin River Settlement by improving conveyance capacity in Reach 4B of the San Joaquin River to ensure conveyance of at least 475 cubic feet per second (cfs), modifying the Eastside and Mariposa bypass channels to establish a low flow channel, and modifying structures in the Eastside and Mariposa bypasses to provide for fish passage. The Proposed Action is a component of the San Joaquin River Settlement. 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. DATES: Two scoping meetings will be held to solicit comments from interested parties to assist in determining the scope of the environmental analysis, E:\FR\FM\09SEN1.SGM 09SEN1 cprice-sewell on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES 46454 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 9, 2009 / Notices including the alternatives to be addressed, and to identify the significant environmental issues related to the Proposed Action. • Wednesday, September 23, 2009, 6 to 8 p.m., Los Banos, California • Thursday, September 24, 2009, 6 to 8 p.m., Merced, California Written comments on the scope of the EIS/EIR should be sent by October 9, 2009. ADDRESSES: The public hearings will be held at: • Los Banos: Miller & Lux Building, 830 6th Street. • Merced: Merced Fairgrounds Rock House Facility, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Send written comments to Ms. Margaret Gidding, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP– 170, Sacramento, CA 95825 or via email at reach4b@restoresjr.net. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Margaret Gidding at the above address, by telephone at 916–978–5461, TDD 916–978–5608 or via fax at 916–978– 5469. Additional information is available online at http:// www.restoresjr.net. If special assistance is required at the scoping meetings, please contact Ms. Margaret Gidding at the above phone or fax numbers or via e-mail at mgidding@usbr.gov no less than ten working days prior to the meetings. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Proposed Action includes improving conveyance capacity in Reach 4B of the San Joaquin River to ensure conveyance of at least 475 cfs, modifying the Eastside and Mariposa bypass channels to establish a low flow channel, and modifying structures in the Eastside and Mariposa bypasses to provide for fish passage. The following are the applicable Settlement Paragraphs related to the Proposed Action: • Paragraph 11(a)(3) stipulates channel modifications to Reach 4B to ensure conveyance of at least 475 cfs. • Paragraph 11(a)(4) stipulates modifications to the San Joaquin River headgates at the upstream end of Reach 4B to ensure fish passage and enable flow routing into Reach 4B. • Paragraph 11(a)(5) stipulates modifications to the Sand Slough Control Structure to ensure fish passage. • Paragraph 11(a)(8) stipulates modifications to structures in the Eastside and Mariposa bypass channels to provide anadromous fish passage on an interim basis until a final flow routing is selected and completed. • Paragraph 11(a)(9) stipulates modifications in the Eastside and Mariposa bypass channels to establish a VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:47 Sep 08, 2009 Jkt 217001 suitable low-flow channel, if the Secretary of the Interior in consultation with the Restoration Administrator, determines that such modifications are necessary to support anadromous fish migration through these channels. Because the functions of these channels are interrelated, the design, environmental compliance, and construction are being addressed as one Proposed Action. The planning and environmental review for the Proposed Action is authorized under Section 3406(c)(1) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), (Pub. L. 102–575) and the San Joaquin River Restoration Act (SJRRA), included in Public Law 111–11. Construction of the Proposed Action is authorized under Section 10004 of the SJRRA (Pub. L. 111–11). The Proposed Action would be implemented consistent with both the Settlement and the SJRRA, Public Law 111–11. San Joaquin River Restoration Program 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 NRDC, et al., v. Kirk Rodgers, et al., the NRDC, Friant Water Users Authority, and the Departments of the Interior and Commerce (Settling Parties) reached agreement on the terms and conditions of the San Joaquin River Settlement (Settlement) which was subsequently approved by the Court on October 23, 2006. The Settlement can be found online at http:// www.restoresjr.net. The Settlement is based on two parallel Goals: • 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 PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 Protection Agency (CalEPA), regarding the State’s role in the implementation of the Settlement. The program established to implement the Settlement is the SJRRP, and the ‘‘Implementing Agencies’’ responsible for the management of the SJRRP include Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), DWR, and DFG. The Federal Implementing agencies (Reclamation, USFWS and NMFS) are authorized to implement the Settlement under the SJRRA included in Public Law 111–11. 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. Public Disclosure 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. Dated: July 13, 2009. Mike Chotkowski, Regional Environmental Officer, Mid-Pacific Region. [FR Doc. E9–21717 Filed 9–8–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MN–P E:\FR\FM\09SEN1.SGM 09SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 173 (Wednesday, September 9, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46453-46454]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-21717]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Reclamation


Reach 4B, Eastside Bypass and Mariposa Bypass Low Flow Channel 
and Structural Improvements Project Under the San Joaquin River 
Restoration Program, Merced County, California

AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/
Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and Notice of Scoping Meetings.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of 
Water Resources (DWR) are proposing to prepare a joint EIS/EIR, 
pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the 
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to evaluate effects of the 
proposed Reach 4B, Eastside Bypass and Mariposa Bypass Low Flow Channel 
and Structural Improvements Project (Proposed Action) under the San 
Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP or Program). The Proposed 
Action includes the construction, operation, and maintenance of a low 
flow channel in Reach 4B of the San Joaquin River and in the Eastside 
and Mariposa bypasses and improvements to facilities in the Eastside 
and Mariposa bypasses to allow for fish passage. The purpose of the 
Proposed Action is to comply with the San Joaquin River Settlement by 
improving conveyance capacity in Reach 4B of the San Joaquin River to 
ensure conveyance of at least 475 cubic feet per second (cfs), 
modifying the Eastside and Mariposa bypass channels to establish a low 
flow channel, and modifying structures in the Eastside and Mariposa 
bypasses to provide for fish passage. The Proposed Action is a 
component of the San Joaquin River Settlement.
    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.

DATES: Two scoping meetings will be held to solicit comments from 
interested parties to assist in determining the scope of the 
environmental analysis,

[[Page 46454]]

including the alternatives to be addressed, and to identify the 
significant environmental issues related to the Proposed Action.
 Wednesday, September 23, 2009, 6 to 8 p.m., Los Banos, 
California
 Thursday, September 24, 2009, 6 to 8 p.m., Merced, California
    Written comments on the scope of the EIS/EIR should be sent by 
October 9, 2009.

ADDRESSES: The public hearings will be held at:
     Los Banos: Miller & Lux Building, 830 6th Street.
     Merced: Merced Fairgrounds Rock House Facility, 900 Martin 
Luther King Jr. Way.
    Send written comments to Ms. Margaret Gidding, Bureau of 
Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825 or via e-
mail at reach4b@restoresjr.net.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Margaret Gidding at the above 
address, by telephone at 916-978-5461, TDD 916-978-5608 or via fax at 
916-978-5469. Additional information is available online at http://www.restoresjr.net. If special assistance is required at the scoping 
meetings, please contact Ms. Margaret Gidding at the above phone or fax 
numbers or via e-mail at mgidding@usbr.gov no less than ten working 
days prior to the meetings.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Proposed Action includes improving 
conveyance capacity in Reach 4B of the San Joaquin River to ensure 
conveyance of at least 475 cfs, modifying the Eastside and Mariposa 
bypass channels to establish a low flow channel, and modifying 
structures in the Eastside and Mariposa bypasses to provide for fish 
passage. The following are the applicable Settlement Paragraphs related 
to the Proposed Action:
     Paragraph 11(a)(3) stipulates channel modifications to 
Reach 4B to ensure conveyance of at least 475 cfs.
     Paragraph 11(a)(4) stipulates modifications to the San 
Joaquin River headgates at the upstream end of Reach 4B to ensure fish 
passage and enable flow routing into Reach 4B.
     Paragraph 11(a)(5) stipulates modifications to the Sand 
Slough Control Structure to ensure fish passage.
     Paragraph 11(a)(8) stipulates modifications to structures 
in the Eastside and Mariposa bypass channels to provide anadromous fish 
passage on an interim basis until a final flow routing is selected and 
completed.
     Paragraph 11(a)(9) stipulates modifications in the 
Eastside and Mariposa bypass channels to establish a suitable low-flow 
channel, if the Secretary of the Interior in consultation with the 
Restoration Administrator, determines that such modifications are 
necessary to support anadromous fish migration through these channels.
    Because the functions of these channels are interrelated, the 
design, environmental compliance, and construction are being addressed 
as one Proposed Action. The planning and environmental review for the 
Proposed Action is authorized under Section 3406(c)(1) of the Central 
Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), (Pub. L. 102-575) and the San 
Joaquin River Restoration Act (SJRRA), included in Public Law 111-11. 
Construction of the Proposed Action is authorized under Section 10004 
of the SJRRA (Pub. L. 111-11). The Proposed Action would be implemented 
consistent with both the Settlement and the SJRRA, Public Law 111-11.

San Joaquin River Restoration Program

    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 NRDC, et al., v. Kirk 
Rodgers, et al., the NRDC, Friant Water Users Authority, and the 
Departments of the Interior and Commerce (Settling Parties) reached 
agreement on the terms and conditions of the San Joaquin River 
Settlement (Settlement) which was subsequently approved by the Court on 
October 23, 2006. The Settlement can be found online at http://www.restoresjr.net.
    The Settlement is based on two parallel Goals:
     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 
Protection Agency (CalEPA), regarding the State's role in the 
implementation of the Settlement. The program established to implement 
the Settlement is the SJRRP, and the ``Implementing Agencies'' 
responsible for the management of the SJRRP include Reclamation, the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the National Marine Fisheries 
Service (NMFS), DWR, and DFG. The Federal Implementing agencies 
(Reclamation, USFWS and NMFS) are authorized to implement the 
Settlement under the SJRRA included in Public Law 111-11.
    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.

Public Disclosure

    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.

    Dated: July 13, 2009.
Mike Chotkowski,
Regional Environmental Officer, Mid-Pacific Region.
[FR Doc. E9-21717 Filed 9-8-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MN-P