Eastside Bypass Improvements IS/EA Released for Comment

Comment period extended for San Joaquin River fish passage and flow improvement environmental document 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources have prepared a joint Initial Study and Environmental Assessment for the Eastside Bypass Improvements Project. The proposed project, part of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, has the primary purpose of facilitating fish migration and increasing Restoration Flow capacity in the Eastside Bypass by 2020. The original comment period was scheduled to close on Tuesday, January 9 and will now close on Friday, January 19.

The San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement established a Restoration Goal, “to restore and maintain fish populations in ‘good condition’ in the main stem 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.” The proposed Eastside Bypass Improvements Project would improve levee stability and thereby increase Restoration Flow capacity in the Eastside Bypass – a critical and needed improvement as the Eastside Bypass between Sand Slough and the Mariposa Bypass is identified as the most limiting channel reach with regards to levee stability. The proposed project also calls for modifications to existing structures in order to facilitate fish passage for federally and state-listed salmonids and other native fish. Project completion is expected by the end of 2020.

The document is available at: https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=30741 and a hard-copy can be reviewed by contacting the individuals below. Comments are due by Jan. 19, 2018, and can be mailed to Rebecca Victorine, Bureau of Reclamation, San Joaquin River Restoration Program, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825 or rvictorine@usbr.gov and/or Karen Dulik, California Department of Water Resources, South Central Region Office, 3374 E. Shields Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726 or Karen.Dulik@water.ca.gov.

This IS/EA is a required environmental document under the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The proposed project can be implemented following consideration of comments received on the IS/EA, DWR adopting a Mitigated Negative Declaration and approving the proposed project, Reclamation issuing a Final EA and Finding of No Significant Impact, and obtaining all necessary permits and approvals.

For additional information about the San Joaquin River Restoration program, please visit http://www.restoresjr.net or contact Josh Newcom, Public Affairs Specialist, at 916-978-5508 or snewcom@usbr.gov.