Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Integrated Water Resource Management Plan, Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, Benton, Kittitas, Klickitat, and Yakima Counties, WA, 71070-71072 [2011-29577]

Download as PDF 71070 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 221 / Wednesday, November 16, 2011 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Reclamation [INT–DES–11–58] [LLWY–957400–12–L19100000–BJ0000– LRCMK1G03341] Filing of Plats of Survey, Nebraska AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is scheduled to file the plats of survey of the lands described below thirty (30) calendar days from the date of this publication in the BLM Wyoming State Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bureau of Land Management, 5353 Yellowstone Road, P.O. Box 1828, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82003. This survey was executed at the request of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and is necessary for the management of these lands. The lands surveyed are: The plat and field notes representing the dependent resurvey of portions of the subdivisional lines, the subdivision of certain sections, the adjusted 1928–29 meanders of the dry bed of old lake (Tract 37) and the adjusted 1929 meanders of the right bank of the Missouri River, and the corrective dependent resurvey of a portion of the original 1867 meanders of the right bank of the Missouri river, and the survey of the subdivision of certain sections, and the meander of a portion of the present right bank of the Missouri River, fractional Township 25 North, Range 10 East, of the Sixth Principal Meridian, Nebraska, Group No. 168, was accepted November 3, 2011. Copies of the preceding described plat and field notes are available to the public at a cost of $1.10 per page. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: November 9, 2011. John P. Lee, Chief Cadastral Surveyor, Division of Support Services. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES [FR Doc. 2011–29580 Filed 11–15–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:45 Nov 15, 2011 Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Integrated Water Resource Management Plan, Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, Benton, Kittitas, Klickitat, and Yakima Counties, WA Jkt 226001 Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. Notice of availability and public meetings. ACTION: The Bureau of Reclamation, in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Ecology, the joint lead agency, has prepared a draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Integrated Water Resource Management Plan, Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project. The draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) is available for public review and comment. DATES: Submit written comments on the draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on or before January 3, 2012 Three public open house meetings will be held on the following dates to share information about the proposed action: • Monday, December 5, 2011, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Cle Elum, Washington. • Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ellensburg, Washington. • Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Yakima, Washington. ADDRESSES: Submit written comments or requests for copies to Candace McKinley, Environmental Program Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, Columbia-Cascades Area Office, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, WA 98901; or by email to yrbwep@usbr.gov. The draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement is also available on the Bureau of Reclamation’s Web site at http:// www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/ 2011integratedplan/index.html. The public open house meetings will be held at: • Cle Elum—Cle Elum Ranger District, Tom L. Craven Conference Room, 803 W. Second Street. • Ellensburg—Hal Holmes Center, 209 N. Ruby Street. • Yakima—Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Way. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for locations where copies of the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00117 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement is available for public review. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Candace McKinley, (509) 575–5848, ext. 232; or email at CMckinley@usbr.gov. TTY users may dial 711 to obtain a tollfree TTY relay. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background In 1979, Congress initiated the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRBWEP) in response to longstanding water resource problems in the basin. The YRBWEP involves developing a plan to achieve four objectives: (1) Provide supplemental water for presently irrigated lands; (2) provide water for new lands within the Yakama Indian Reservation; (3) provide water for increased instream flows for aquatic life; and (4) identify a comprehensive approach for efficient management of basin water supplies. Initial efforts in the mid-1980s (Phase 1) focused on improving fish passage by rebuilding fish ladders and constructing fish screens at existing diversions. Phase 2 in the 1990s focused on water conservation/water acquisition activities, tributary fish screens, and long-term management needs. Efforts under these initial phases were hindered by the ongoing uncertainties associated with adjudication of the basin surface waters that began in 1978. With the adjudication process now largely completed, most of the water right uncertainties have been addressed. In 2003, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) initiated the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study to examine storage augmentation in the Yakima River basin. This study emphasized evaluation of a proposed Black Rock Reservoir, which was the focus of the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study Draft Planning Report/ Environmental Impact Statement (PR/ EIS) issued in January 2008. The narrow focus of the legislative authorization in combination with comments on the Draft PR/EIS prompted Ecology to separate from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. In mid-2008, Ecology initiated a separate evaluation of the Yakima basin’s water supply problems, including consideration of habitat and fish passage needs. Reclamation continued the NEPA process consistent with its legislative authorization and issued the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study Final PR/EIS in December 2008. Following issuance E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 221 / Wednesday, November 16, 2011 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES of the Final PR/EIS, Reclamation selected the No Action Alternative. Ecology completed its study and issued a separate Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Alternative in June 2009 under SEPA. The Integrated Water Resource Management Alternative evaluated in the Ecology FEIS relied upon a range of water management and habitat improvement approaches to resolve the long-standing water resource problems in the basin. The DPEIS describes and analyzes the potential effects of two alternatives. Under the Action Alternative, Reclamation and Ecology would implement an Integrated Water Resource Management Plan based on the following elements: 1. Fish Passage (fish passage improvements at Cle Elum, Bumping, Clear Lake, Keechelus, Kachess, and Tieton Dams); 2. Structural/Operational Changes (Cle Elum Dam pool raise, Kittitas Reclamation District canal modifications, Keechelus to Kachess pipeline, subordination of power generation at Roza and Chandler Power Plants and Wapatox canal improvements.); 3. Surface Storage (new Wymer Dam and Reservoir, Bumping Reservoir enlargement, Kachess inactive storage); 4. Groundwater Storage (groundwater infiltration prior to storage control and aquifer storage and recovery); 5. Habitat protection and enhancement (targeted watershed protection and enhancements; 6. Enhanced Water Conservation (agricultural water and municipal/ domestic conservation); and 7. Market-Based Reallocation of Water Resources (institutional improvements to facilitate market-based water transfers). Under the No Action Alternative, Reclamation and Ecology would not implement development of new surface water storage in the Yakima River basin or expansion of programs to protect or enhance fish habitat, nor would Reclamation and Ecology implement structural and operational changes enhanced water conservation, marketbased reallocation of water resources, or groundwater storage. Purpose and Need for Action The current water resources infrastructure of the Yakima River basin has not been capable of consistently meeting aquatic resource demands for fish and wildlife habitat, dry-year irrigation demands, and municipal water supply demands. Specific needs VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:45 Nov 15, 2011 Jkt 226001 that the Integrated Plan is proposed to address include: Anadromous and resident fish populations are seriously depleted from historic levels due to the following major factors: • Dams and other obstructions block fish passage to upstream tributaries and spawning grounds; • Riparian habitat and floodplain functions have been degraded by past and present land use practices; and • Irrigation operations have altered stream flows, resulting in flows at certain times of the year that are too high in some reaches and too low in others to provide good fish habitat. Demand for irrigation water significantly exceeds supply in drought years, leading to severe prorationing (delivery of a reduced water supply) for proratable, or junior, water rights holders: • A water supply of 70 percent of proratable water rights during a drought year would provide a minimally acceptable supply to prevent severe economic losses to farmers. This number was reached following extensive discussions with stakeholders regarding the lowest level of water supply that could be accommodated without catastrophic losses to crops, assuming aggressive water management techniques were employed. This 70percent threshold is similar to the State of Washington’s definition of a drought condition contained in RCW 43.83B.400, which recognizes a drought when water supply for a significant portion of a geographic area falls below 75 percent of normal and is likely to cause undue hardship for various water uses and users. Demand for municipal and domestic water supplies is difficult to meet because of the following factors: • Water rights in the basin are fully appropriated, making it difficult to acquire water rights to meet future municipal and domestic water demand; • Pumping groundwater for irrigation and municipal uses may reduce surface water flows in some locations, which may affect existing water rights; and • Hydraulic continuity between groundwater and surface water in the basin creates uncertainty over the status of groundwater rights and permit exempt wells within the basin’s appropriative water rights system (first in time first in right), potentially making groundwater use junior to nearly all surface water use. Climate change projections indicate that there will be less runoff available from reservoirs, increasing the need for prorationing and reducing flows for fish. These problems have created a need to restore ecological functions in the PO 00000 Frm 00118 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 71071 Yakima River system and to provide more reliable and sustainable water resources for the health of the riverine environment, and for agriculture and municipal and domestic needs. These needs should be addressed in a way that anticipates increased water demands and changes in water supply related to climate change. The purposes of the Integrated Plan are to: • Implement a comprehensive program of water resource and habitat improvements in response to existing and forecast needs of the Yakima River basin; and • Develop an adaptive approach for implementing these initiatives and for long-term management of basin water supplies that contributes to the vitality of the regional economy and sustains the health of the riverine environment. Proposed Federal Action Reclamation proposes to implement an integrated water resource management plan in the Yakima River basin as part of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project to improve water supply reliability during drought years to 70 percent of proratable supply for participating irrigation districts; improve the ability of water managers to respond and adapt to potential effects of climate change; provide opportunities for comprehensive ecological restoration and enhancement addressing instream flows, aquatic habitat, and fish passage; provide economic stimulus to the Yakima River basin that will benefit the larger Central Washington area; and develop a comprehensive approach for efficient management of water supplies for irrigated agriculture, municipal and domestic uses, and power generation. Locations for Public Review Copies of the DPEIS are available for public review and inspection at the following locations: • Bureau of Reclamation, ColumbiaCascades Area Office, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, Washington 98901. • Washington State Department of Ecology, 15 W. Yakima Avenue, Suite 200, Yakima, Washington 98902. Libraries • Carpenter Memorial Library, 302 N Pennsylvania Ave, Cle Elum, Washington 98922. • Ellensburg Public Library, 209 N Ruby St, Ellensburg, Washington 98926. • Roslyn Public Library, 201 S. First St, Roslyn, Washington 98941. • Benton City Library, 810 Horne Dr, Benton City, Washington 99320. • Kennewick Library, 1620 S Union St, Kennewick, Washington 99338. E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 71072 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 221 / Wednesday, November 16, 2011 / Notices • Kittitas Public Library, 200 N Pierce St, Kittitas, Washington 98934. • Mid-Columbia Library, 405 S Dayton St, Kennewick, Washington 99336. • Pasco Library, 1320 W Hopkins St, Pasco, Washington 99301. • Prosser Library, 902 7th St, Prosser, Washington 99350. • Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Dr, Richland, Washington 99352. • Sunnyside Public Library, 621 Grant Ave, Sunnyside, Washington 98944. • Toppenish Library, 1 S Elm St, Toppenish, Washington 98948. • Wapato Library, 119 E 3rd St, Wapato, Washington 98951. • Washington State Library, Point Plaza East, 6880 Capitol Blvd. SE., Tumwater, Washington 98504. • West Richland Library, 3803 W Van Giesen St, Richland, Washington 99353. • Yakama Nation Library, 100 SpielYi Loop, Toppenish, Washington 98948. • Yakima Valley Regional Library, 102 N 3rd St, Yakima, Washington 98901. Special Assistance for Public Meetings If special assistance is required to participate in the public meetings, please contact Candace McKinley at (509) 575–5848, ext. 232, or via email at cmckinley@usbr.gov. Please notify Ms. McKinley 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. TTY users may dial 711 to obtain a tollfree TTY relay. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Public Disclosure Before including your name, address, phone number, email 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: November 7, 2011. Karl E. Wirkus, Regional Director, Pacific Northwest Region. [FR Doc. 2011–29577 Filed 11–15–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MN–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:45 Nov 15, 2011 Jkt 226001 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1105–0071] Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension With Change of a Previously Approved Collection; Comments Requested; National Drug Threat Survey ACTION: 30-Day notice. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register Volume 76, Number 167, page 53696 on August 29, 2011, allowing for a 60 day comment period. The purpose of this notice is to allow for an additional 30 days for public comment until December 16, 2011. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10. Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice, especially the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally, comments may be submitted to OMB via facsimile to (202) 395–5806. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points: —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension Reinstatement with Change of a Previously Approved Collection. (2) Title of the Form/Collection: National Drug Threat Survey. (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department of Justice sponsoring the collection: Form Number: NDIC Form # A–34l. (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Federal, State, Tribal, and Local, law enforcement agencies. This survey is a critical component of the National Drug Threat Assessment and other reports and assessments produced by the National Drug Intelligence Center. It provides direct access to detailed drug threat data from state and local law enforcement agencies. (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: It is estimated that approximately 3,000 respondents will complete a survey response within approximately 20 minutes. (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: There are an estimated 1,000 total annual burden hours associated with this collection. If additional information is required contact: Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., Room 2E–508, Washington, DC 20530. Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer, PRA, U.S. Department of Justice. [FR Doc. 2011–29506 Filed 11–15–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–DC–P DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Notice of Lodging of Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Notice is hereby given that on November 9, 2011, a proposed consent decree with D&L Sales, Inc. (‘‘Consent Decree’’) in United States vs. D&L Sales, Inc., Civil Action No. 11–cv–01193 was E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 221 (Wednesday, November 16, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71070-71072]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-29577]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Reclamation

[INT-DES-11-58]


Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Integrated Water Resource Management Plan, Yakima River Basin Water 
Enhancement Project, Benton, Kittitas, Klickitat, and Yakima Counties, 
WA

AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and public meetings.

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

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Reclamation, in cooperation with the Washington 
State Department of Ecology, the joint lead agency, has prepared a 
draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Integrated 
Water Resource Management Plan, Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement 
Project. The draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) 
is available for public review and comment.

DATES: Submit written comments on the draft Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement on or before January 3, 2012
    Three public open house meetings will be held on the following 
dates to share information about the proposed action:
     Monday, December 5, 2011, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 
5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Cle Elum, Washington.
     Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 
5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ellensburg, Washington.
     Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 
from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Yakima, Washington.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments or requests for copies to Candace 
McKinley, Environmental Program Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 
Columbia-Cascades Area Office, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, WA 98901; or by 
email to yrbwep@usbr.gov.
    The draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement is also 
available on the Bureau of Reclamation's Web site at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/2011integratedplan/index.html.
    The public open house meetings will be held at:
     Cle Elum--Cle Elum Ranger District, Tom L. Craven 
Conference Room, 803 W. Second Street.
     Ellensburg--Hal Holmes Center, 209 N. Ruby Street.
     Yakima--Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Way.
    See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for locations where 
copies of the draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement is 
available for public review.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Candace McKinley, (509) 575-5848, ext. 
232; or email at CMckinley@usbr.gov. TTY users may dial 711 to obtain a 
toll-free TTY relay.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    In 1979, Congress initiated the Yakima River Basin Water 
Enhancement Project (YRBWEP) in response to long-standing water 
resource problems in the basin. The YRBWEP involves developing a plan 
to achieve four objectives: (1) Provide supplemental water for 
presently irrigated lands; (2) provide water for new lands within the 
Yakama Indian Reservation; (3) provide water for increased instream 
flows for aquatic life; and (4) identify a comprehensive approach for 
efficient management of basin water supplies.
    Initial efforts in the mid-1980s (Phase 1) focused on improving 
fish passage by rebuilding fish ladders and constructing fish screens 
at existing diversions. Phase 2 in the 1990s focused on water 
conservation/water acquisition activities, tributary fish screens, and 
long-term management needs. Efforts under these initial phases were 
hindered by the ongoing uncertainties associated with adjudication of 
the basin surface waters that began in 1978. With the adjudication 
process now largely completed, most of the water right uncertainties 
have been addressed.
    In 2003, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Washington 
State Department of Ecology (Ecology) initiated the Yakima River Basin 
Water Storage Feasibility Study to examine storage augmentation in the 
Yakima River basin. This study emphasized evaluation of a proposed 
Black Rock Reservoir, which was the focus of the Yakima River Basin 
Water Storage Feasibility Study Draft Planning Report/Environmental 
Impact Statement (PR/EIS) issued in January 2008.
    The narrow focus of the legislative authorization in combination 
with comments on the Draft PR/EIS prompted Ecology to separate from the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. In mid-2008, Ecology 
initiated a separate evaluation of the Yakima basin's water supply 
problems, including consideration of habitat and fish passage needs. 
Reclamation continued the NEPA process consistent with its legislative 
authorization and issued the Yakima River Basin Water Storage 
Feasibility Study Final PR/EIS in December 2008. Following issuance

[[Page 71071]]

of the Final PR/EIS, Reclamation selected the No Action Alternative. 
Ecology completed its study and issued a separate Final Environmental 
Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water 
Resource Management Alternative in June 2009 under SEPA. The Integrated 
Water Resource Management Alternative evaluated in the Ecology FEIS 
relied upon a range of water management and habitat improvement 
approaches to resolve the long-standing water resource problems in the 
basin.
    The DPEIS describes and analyzes the potential effects of two 
alternatives. Under the Action Alternative, Reclamation and Ecology 
would implement an Integrated Water Resource Management Plan based on 
the following elements:
    1. Fish Passage (fish passage improvements at Cle Elum, Bumping, 
Clear Lake, Keechelus, Kachess, and Tieton Dams);
    2. Structural/Operational Changes (Cle Elum Dam pool raise, 
Kittitas Reclamation District canal modifications, Keechelus to Kachess 
pipeline, subordination of power generation at Roza and Chandler Power 
Plants and Wapatox canal improvements.);
    3. Surface Storage (new Wymer Dam and Reservoir, Bumping Reservoir 
enlargement, Kachess inactive storage);
    4. Groundwater Storage (groundwater infiltration prior to storage 
control and aquifer storage and recovery);
    5. Habitat protection and enhancement (targeted watershed 
protection and enhancements;
    6. Enhanced Water Conservation (agricultural water and municipal/
domestic conservation); and
    7. Market-Based Reallocation of Water Resources (institutional 
improvements to facilitate market-based water transfers).
    Under the No Action Alternative, Reclamation and Ecology would not 
implement development of new surface water storage in the Yakima River 
basin or expansion of programs to protect or enhance fish habitat, nor 
would Reclamation and Ecology implement structural and operational 
changes enhanced water conservation, market-based reallocation of water 
resources, or groundwater storage.

Purpose and Need for Action

    The current water resources infrastructure of the Yakima River 
basin has not been capable of consistently meeting aquatic resource 
demands for fish and wildlife habitat, dry-year irrigation demands, and 
municipal water supply demands. Specific needs that the Integrated Plan 
is proposed to address include: Anadromous and resident fish 
populations are seriously depleted from historic levels due to the 
following major factors:
     Dams and other obstructions block fish passage to upstream 
tributaries and spawning grounds;
     Riparian habitat and floodplain functions have been 
degraded by past and present land use practices; and
     Irrigation operations have altered stream flows, resulting 
in flows at certain times of the year that are too high in some reaches 
and too low in others to provide good fish habitat.
    Demand for irrigation water significantly exceeds supply in drought 
years, leading to severe prorationing (delivery of a reduced water 
supply) for proratable, or junior, water rights holders:
     A water supply of 70 percent of proratable water rights 
during a drought year would provide a minimally acceptable supply to 
prevent severe economic losses to farmers. This number was reached 
following extensive discussions with stakeholders regarding the lowest 
level of water supply that could be accommodated without catastrophic 
losses to crops, assuming aggressive water management techniques were 
employed. This 70-percent threshold is similar to the State of 
Washington's definition of a drought condition contained in RCW 
43.83B.400, which recognizes a drought when water supply for a 
significant portion of a geographic area falls below 75 percent of 
normal and is likely to cause undue hardship for various water uses and 
users.
    Demand for municipal and domestic water supplies is difficult to 
meet because of the following factors:
     Water rights in the basin are fully appropriated, making 
it difficult to acquire water rights to meet future municipal and 
domestic water demand;
     Pumping groundwater for irrigation and municipal uses may 
reduce surface water flows in some locations, which may affect existing 
water rights; and
     Hydraulic continuity between groundwater and surface water 
in the basin creates uncertainty over the status of groundwater rights 
and permit exempt wells within the basin's appropriative water rights 
system (first in time first in right), potentially making groundwater 
use junior to nearly all surface water use.
    Climate change projections indicate that there will be less runoff 
available from reservoirs, increasing the need for prorationing and 
reducing flows for fish.
    These problems have created a need to restore ecological functions 
in the Yakima River system and to provide more reliable and sustainable 
water resources for the health of the riverine environment, and for 
agriculture and municipal and domestic needs. These needs should be 
addressed in a way that anticipates increased water demands and changes 
in water supply related to climate change.
    The purposes of the Integrated Plan are to:
     Implement a comprehensive program of water resource and 
habitat improvements in response to existing and forecast needs of the 
Yakima River basin; and
     Develop an adaptive approach for implementing these 
initiatives and for long-term management of basin water supplies that 
contributes to the vitality of the regional economy and sustains the 
health of the riverine environment.

Proposed Federal Action

    Reclamation proposes to implement an integrated water resource 
management plan in the Yakima River basin as part of the Yakima River 
Basin Water Enhancement Project to improve water supply reliability 
during drought years to 70 percent of proratable supply for 
participating irrigation districts; improve the ability of water 
managers to respond and adapt to potential effects of climate change; 
provide opportunities for comprehensive ecological restoration and 
enhancement addressing instream flows, aquatic habitat, and fish 
passage; provide economic stimulus to the Yakima River basin that will 
benefit the larger Central Washington area; and develop a comprehensive 
approach for efficient management of water supplies for irrigated 
agriculture, municipal and domestic uses, and power generation.

Locations for Public Review

    Copies of the DPEIS are available for public review and inspection 
at the following locations:
     Bureau of Reclamation, Columbia-Cascades Area Office, 1917 
Marsh Road, Yakima, Washington 98901.
     Washington State Department of Ecology, 15 W. Yakima 
Avenue, Suite 200, Yakima, Washington 98902.

Libraries

     Carpenter Memorial Library, 302 N Pennsylvania Ave, Cle 
Elum, Washington 98922.
     Ellensburg Public Library, 209 N Ruby St, Ellensburg, 
Washington 98926.
     Roslyn Public Library, 201 S. First St, Roslyn, Washington 
98941.
     Benton City Library, 810 Horne Dr, Benton City, Washington 
99320.
     Kennewick Library, 1620 S Union St, Kennewick, Washington 
99338.

[[Page 71072]]

     Kittitas Public Library, 200 N Pierce St, Kittitas, 
Washington 98934.
     Mid-Columbia Library, 405 S Dayton St, Kennewick, 
Washington 99336.
     Pasco Library, 1320 W Hopkins St, Pasco, Washington 99301.
     Prosser Library, 902 7th St, Prosser, Washington 99350.
     Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Dr, Richland, 
Washington 99352.
     Sunnyside Public Library, 621 Grant Ave, Sunnyside, 
Washington 98944.
     Toppenish Library, 1 S Elm St, Toppenish, Washington 
98948.
     Wapato Library, 119 E 3rd St, Wapato, Washington 98951.
     Washington State Library, Point Plaza East, 6880 Capitol 
Blvd. SE., Tumwater, Washington 98504.
     West Richland Library, 3803 W Van Giesen St, Richland, 
Washington 99353.
     Yakama Nation Library, 100 Spiel-Yi Loop, Toppenish, 
Washington 98948.
     Yakima Valley Regional Library, 102 N 3rd St, Yakima, 
Washington 98901.

Special Assistance for Public Meetings

    If special assistance is required to participate in the public 
meetings, please contact Candace McKinley at (509) 575-5848, ext. 232, 
or via email at cmckinley@usbr.gov. Please notify Ms. McKinley 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. TTY users may dial 711 to obtain a toll-free TTY relay.

Public Disclosure

    Before including your name, address, phone number, email 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: November 7, 2011.
Karl E. Wirkus,
Regional Director, Pacific Northwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2011-29577 Filed 11-15-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MN-P