[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 8, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12755-12756]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5153]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Reclamation


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) and Hold Public Scoping Meetings for the Municipal and Industrial 
(M&I) Water Shortage Policy (WSP), Central Valley Project (CVP)

AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent and public scoping meetings.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation 
Mid-Pacific Region (Reclamation) proposes to prepare an EIS to analyze 
the potential effects of an update to the M&I WSP. The policy would be 
implemented by Reclamation during water short years. Reclamation 
previously developed, in consultation with the CVP M&I Water Service 
contractors, a draft CVP M&I WSP in 2001, and in 2005 prepared an 
Environmental Assessment (2005 EA). The 2005 EA was published on 
October 2005 and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed 
in December 2005. The 2001 M&I WSP was modified by, and is being 
implemented in accordance with, Alternative 1B in the 2005 EA.
    Since the publication of the 2005 EA, Reclamation received 
additional comments from several CVP water service contractors. The 
contractors expressed a need for clarity on certain aspects of the 2001 
M&I WSP, as modified. Other comments received by Reclamation suggested 
consideration of alternatives to the 2001 M&I WSP. The comments coupled 
with recent significant changes in the Bay-Delta and CVP/State Water 
Project operations, has impelled Reclamation to evaluate alternatives 
and provide an M&I WSP that best recognizes the needs of various 
segments of the water user community and how those needs could be 
addressed in times of water shortages.

DATES: Written comments on the scope of the EIS will be accepted until 
May 9, 2011.
    Four public scoping meetings will be held to solicit public input 
on the scope of the environmental document, alternatives, concerns, and 
issues to be addressed in the EIS. The scoping meeting dates are:
     Monday, March 21, 2011, 2-4 p.m., Sacramento, CA.
     Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 6-8 p.m., Willows, CA.
     Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 6-8 p.m., Fresno, CA.
     Thursday, March 24, 2011, 6-8 p.m., Oakland, CA.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments on the scope of the M&I WSP EIS to 
Tamara LaFramboise, Natural Resource Specialist, Mid-Pacific Regional 
Office, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-410, Sacramento, CA 
95825; or e-mail tlaframboise@usbr.gov.
    Scoping meetings will be held at:
     Sacramento-- Best Western Expo Inn and Suites, 1413 Howe 
Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95825.
     Willows--Veteran's Memorial Hall Building of Willows, 525 
W. Sycamore Street, Willows, CA 95988.
     Fresno--Piccadilly Inn Express, 5115 E. McKinley Avenue, 
Fresno, CA 93727.
     Oakland-- Red Lion Hotel Oakland International Airport, 
150 Hegenberger Road, Oakland, CA 94621.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Rust, Program Manager, Bureau of 
Reclamation, via e-mail at trust@usbr.gov or at (916) 978-5516; or Mike 
Chotkowski, Chief, Division of Environmental Affairs, Bureau of 
Reclamation, via e-mail at mchotowski@usbr.gov or at (916) 978-5025.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The CVP is operated under Federal statutes 
authorizing the CVP, and by the terms and conditions of water rights 
acquired pursuant to California law. During any year, constraints may 
occur on the availability of CVP water for M&I water service 
contractors. The cause of the water shortage may be drought, 
unavoidable causes, or restricted operations resulting from legal and 
environmental obligations or mandates. Those legal and environmental 
obligations include, but are not limited to, the Endangered Species 
Act, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), and conditions 
imposed on CVP's water rights by the California State Water Resources 
Control Board. The 2001 M&I WSP, as modified, establishes the terms and 
conditions regarding the constraints on availability of water supply 
for the CVP M&I water service contracts.
    Allocation of CVP water supplies for any given water year is based 
upon forecasted reservoir inflows and Central Valley hydrologic 
conditions, amounts of storage in CVP reservoirs, regulatory 
requirements, and management of Section 3406(b)(2) resources and refuge 
water supplies in accordance with CVPIA. In some cases, M&I water 
shortage allocations may differ between CVP divisions due to regional 
CVP water supply availability, system capacity, or other operational 
constraints.

[[Page 12756]]

    The purpose of the update to the 2001 M&I WSP, as modified, is to 
provide detailed, clear, and objective guidelines for the distribution 
of CVP water supplies during water shortage conditions, thereby 
allowing CVP water users to know when, and by how much, water 
deliveries may be reduced in drought and other low water supply 
conditions.
    The increased level of predictability that will be provided by the 
update to the 2001 M&I WSP is needed by water managers and the entities 
that receive CVP water to better plan for and manage available CVP 
water supplies, and to better integrate the use of CVP water with other 
available Non-CVP water supplies. The update to the 2001 M&I WSP is 
also needed to clarify certain terms and conditions with regard to its 
applicability and implementation. The proposed action is the adoption 
of an updated 2001 M&I WSP, as modified, and its respective 
implementation guidelines.
    The EIS will be used to develop and evaluate alternatives to the 
2001 M&I WSP, as modified, and will include analysis of the adverse and 
beneficial effects on the quality of the human and physical 
environment.
    Issues to be addressed may include, but are not limited to, CVP 
water supply availability, impacts on biological resources, historic 
and archaeological resources, hydrology, groundwater, water quality, 
air quality, safety, hazardous materials and waste, visual resources, 
socioeconomics, including real estate, agriculture and environmental 
justice.
    At this time, there are no known or possible Indian trust assets or 
environmental justice issues associated with the Proposed Action.

Special Assistance for Public Scoping Meetings

    If special assistance is required at the scoping meetings, please 
contact Mr. Louis Moore at (916) 978-5106, or via e-mail at 
wmoore@usbr.gov. Please notify Mr. Moore 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.

    Dated: January 21, 2011.
Anastasia T. Leigh,
Acting Regional Environmental Officer, Mid-Pacific Region.
[FR Doc. 2011-5153 Filed 3-7-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MN-P