News Worth Noting: Additional docs available for draft Water Storage Investment Program regs; DWR releases Perris Dam Draft Environmental Impact Report; NOAA selects Barry Thom as next West Coast Regional Administrator

Additional documents available for draft Water Storage Investment Program regulations

From the California Water Commission:

california water commissionThe California Water Commission is adding documents to the rulemaking record for the draft Water Storage Investment Program regulations. The documents are data and modeling products, which are referenced in the previously noticed Water Storage Investment Program Technical Reference. Please see the attached Second Notice of Public Availability of Additional Documents for more information about these documents.

This information is also available on the Commission’s website at:

For more information about the California Water Commission’s Water Storage Investment Program, please visit our website at :

DWR Releases Perris Dam Draft Environmental Impact Report

Proposed project retrofits existing emergency release structure

From the Department of Water Resources:

NEW_DWR_LOGO_14inchThe California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for a proposed new Lake Perris emergency release facility, as construction continues to upgrade the seismic safety of the State’s reservoir and dam in Riverside County.

In 2005, DWR identified potential seismic safety risks in a section of the foundation of the dam and lowered the lake level to ensure maximum public safety until dam repairs are made.  The reservoir has since been further drawn down to meet drinking water demands during the prolonged drought.

An emergency outlet, a standard feature of all regulated dams, is currently located near the southeast end of the dam. The outlet is designed to drain the reservoir to avert any potential failure of the dam should an emergency occur.

Due to the slope of the land, the current emergency outlet directs water to the southwest and across the Ramona Expressway. From this direction the water naturally flows toward the Perris Valley Channel, a flood control facility operated and maintained by the Riverside County Flood Control District. This flow direction would pose a risk to the homes southwest of the dam built on what was farmland when the dam was first constructed.

The proposed new emergency release facility would reduce the damage that would be caused to life and property resulting from an emergency release by directing the water northwest through a system of levees and channels. The system is designed to run parallel to the Ramona Expressway and send water directly into the Perris Valley Channel.

The DEIR will be circulated for 45-days for public review. Comments on the DEIR must be received between September 9, 2016 and October 24, 2016.

The DEIR may be viewed and downloaded here .  Hard copies may be viewed at the following locations:

  • Riverside County Library, Perris Branch (163 E. San Jacinto Ave., Perris, CA 92570)
  • Moreno Valley Public Library (25480 Alessandro Blvd., Moreno Valley, CA 92553)

Written comments should be sent to: Tom Barnes on behalf of the California Department of Water Resources, Perris Dam Emergency Release Facility Project, 626 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90017, or email comments to:

A public meeting will be held to receive comments on the D EIR at the following time and location:  September 27, 2016 6:00 pm at the Lakeview Pavilion; Lake Perris State Recreation Area; 17801 Lake Perris Drive; Perris, CA 92571

NOAA Selects Barry Thom as Next West Coast Regional Administrator; Will Stelle to Transition to New Role under NOAA Administrator

From the NOAA:

noaa logoToday, NOAA announced the selection of long-time Fisheries employee Barry Thom as the agency’s next West Coast Regional Administrator. In that role, Barry will lead more than 300 employees in nine offices from Seattle to Southern California. He will continue the region’s work to recover threatened and endangered populations of salmon and steelhead, protect marine mammals, and also oversee fisheries programs along the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.

Also, as part of this transition, the West Coast Regional Administrator position has been reclassified as a ‘career’ position which means it will no longer be a political appointment. Reclassifying the Regional Administrator position as a ‘career’ position brings the West Coast Region into alignment with the rest of the agency and signals a maturing of the salmon program as it enters its third decade. Completing this transition before the end of the year also maintains continuity and increases focus on our mission.

At the same time, the agency also announced that two-time West Coast Regional Administrator and political appointee William ‘Will’ Stelle will be named as a Senior Advisor to NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan.  He will assume the role of the NOAA Water Initiative Team Lead, working across the NOAA line offices to build a five year water strategy for the agency.  He will also assist Barry on California water and Puget Sound/Tribal issues and on other issues on an as needed basis.

Both of these changes will be effective September 12, 2016.

Continue reading at NOAA by clicking here.

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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