Bay Delta Conservation Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement / Environmental Impact Report
Draft EIS/EIR on California’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan
On December 9, 2013, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and NOAA Fisheries announced the availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Report /Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) on California’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). The goals of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan are to help restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem and improve California’s water supply reliability.
The Draft EIR/EIS provides an analysis of the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan and its alternatives and their potential impacts to the environment and human populations. Pursuant to the federal Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, the three co-lead agencies (Reclamation, the FWS, and NOAA Fisheries) released the Draft EIR/EIS for public review and comment. A Notice of Availability marking the start of the public review period published in the Federal Register on Friday, December 13. The review and comment period ended on April 14, 2014. Twelve public meetings were held throughout California during the months of January and February.
“We look forward to hearing from members of the public on this proposal as we work to forge a lasting and sustainable solution that strengthens California’s water security and restores the health of the Delta,” the federal agencies said. “Through our joint federal-state partnership, and with science as our guide, we need to take a comprehensive approach to tackling California’s water problems.”
The FWS and NOAA Fisheries have been providing technical assistance on biological issues to the State of California during preparation of the draft BDCP. When the remaining issues are resolved, and after the process is informed by public comment, the Services expect to consider issuing 50-year incidental take permits under the federal Endangered Species Act. Reclamation is considering changing operation of Central Valley Project facilities in the Delta consistent with the proposed new Delta conveyance facilities. Overall, the federal agencies consider the BDCP a key aspect of a comprehensive set of water management strategies needed to address water resource challenges in California. Federal agencies will continue their efforts in other areas to work with the State to help reduce its reliance on the Delta.
Visit www.baydeltaconservationplan.com to find details on the public meetings, to view and download the Draft BDCP and Draft EIR/EIS, or for a list of locations to view hard-bound copies. Written comments may be submitted by email to email@example.com or by U.S. mail to National Marine Fisheries Service, 650 Capitol Mall, Suite 5–100, Sacramento, CA 95814.
- Reclamation – Louis Moore, 916-978-5106, firstname.lastname@example.org
- NMFS – Jim Milbury, 562-980-4006, email@example.com
- FWS – Steve Martarano, 916-930-5643, firstname.lastname@example.org