Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the San Luis Transmission Project, Alameda, Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties, California (DOE/EIS-0496)
Western Area Power Administration (Western) is a power marketing administration within the U.S. Department of Energy. Western has a statutory responsibility to make the necessary arrangements to deliver federal power to federally authorized projects including the San Luis Unit (SLU), a part of the Central Valley Project (CVP). The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) submitted a transmission request to Western to interconnect several key SLU facilities to Western's CVP transmission system. Reclamation requested Western to consider various transmission service arrangements so Reclamation can continue to economically deliver federal water when the current transmission service contract with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) expires. Western must respond to Reclamation's transmission request consistent with Western's Open Access Transmission Tariff and existing laws. The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (Authority), a Reclamation contractor that operates and maintains a part of the SLU, has a direct interest in this requested transmission service between Western's Tracy Substation and several key pumping and generating facilities of the SLU. Western determined an environmental impact statement (EIS) is the appropriate level of review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Western will prepare the EIS in accordance with NEPA, the DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures, and the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA. Western will be the lead federal agency for the NEPA EIS review process, and Reclamation will be a cooperating agency. Western intends to prepare a joint EIS/ environmental impact report (EIR) for the proposed San Luis Transmission Project (SLTP) in coordination with the Authority. The Authority will be the lead agency for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) EIR review process. Portions of the proposed action may affect floodplains and wetlands, so this Notice of Intent (NOI) also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action in accordance with DOE floodplain and wetland environmental review requirements.