NEWS WORTH NOTING: Draft enviro docs for Fremont Weir adult fish passage modification project; $20.46M contract award set to kick off Natomas Basin levee improvements; New water supply planning laws affecting CEQA projects now in effect

DWR and Reclamation Release Draft Environmental Document for Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project

From the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation:

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) have released for public review the draft Initial Study and Environmental Assessment (IS/EA) for the proposed Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project, located in the northern portion of the Yolo Bypass, approximately 8 miles northeast of Woodland in Yolo County.

The proposed project is being carried out to meet requirements in the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service’s Biological Opinion and Conference Opinion on the Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The Yolo Bypass, a prominent feature of California’s State Plan of Flood Control, provides valuable rearing habitat for downstream migrating juvenile salmon while also providing a fish migration corridor for adult anadromous fish. Structures within the Yolo Bypass have delayed and prevented adult special-status fish species, such as Chinook salmon, steelhead, and green sturgeon from migrating upstream through the Yolo Bypass and returning to the Sacramento River.

The purpose of the proposed project is to improve fish passage at the Fremont Weir and within the Tule Canal. The project would modify an existing fish ladder at the Fremont Weir and improve fish passage within the channel both upstream and downstream of the Fremont Weir. In addition, one downstream agricultural road crossing would be removed and another such crossing would be replaced with a structure that provides improved fish passage within the Tule Canal. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017.

The proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration and draft IS/EA have been prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act and are available for public review and comment from Feb. 3 through March 6, 2017. Copies of the documents are available at:

· A printed copy is available to view during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the DWR office located at 3500 Industrial Blvd. in West Sacramento and Reclamation’s Bay-Delta Office at 801 I St., Suite 140, in Sacramento.

Please submit comments in writing or email to either:

      • Karen Enstrom, California Department of Water Resources, 3500 Industrial Blvd., West Sacramento, CA 95691 or
      • Ben Nelson, Bureau of Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I St., Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95814 or

Written comments must be received by close of business Monday, March 6, 2017. For further information, please contact Karen Enstrom at (916) 376-9778 or or Ben Nelson at (916) 414-2424 (TTY 800-877-8339) or

$20.46 million contract award set to kick off Natomas Basin levee improvements

From the Army Corps of Engineers:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District awarded a $20.46 million contract January 31 to Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. of Fairfield to construct levee improvements for the Natomas Basin.

Construction, which is set to begin in May and continue through the end of the year, would build a seepage cutoff wall along an 11,000-foot-long stretch of levee between Gateway Oaks Drive and Northgate Blvd.

“We’re excited to continue the task started by the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency and Central Valley Flood Protection Board which completed upgrades to 18 miles of levee along the Natomas Basin’s west side,” said Corps project manager John Hoge.

The work is part of an effort to reduce flood risk in the Natomas Basin by improving approximately 42 miles of levee surrounding the Basin. SAFCA and the State of California have already completed 18 miles of improvements; the Corps is working to complete the remaining 24 miles. This particular project, which is located along the southern side of the Natomas Basin, will upgrade approximately 2.1 miles.

Before levee improvements can begin, crews will have to remove 43 trees within the project area. Tree removal is expected to begin as soon as the week of February 6, through the end of February. Temporary single-lane closures may cause slowed traffic on Garden Highway between Gateway Oaks Drive and Natomas Park Drive. Bike path access will remain open but flaggers will be present to hold bicycle and pedestrian traffic when it is unsafe to pass. Cones and signage will also be used on the bike trail to notify of construction ahead.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District provides planning, engineering, project management, environmental restoration and construction services to military and civilian customers in parts of eight western states, including California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming.

New water supply planning laws affecting CEQA projects now in effect

From JD Supra:

New California legislation affecting the required water supply analyses that must be made for certain projects subject to CEQA (SB 1262) was signed into law by Governor Brown last fall, and is now effective as of January 1, 2017.  The new law amends two existing statutes governing water supply planning for land use development projects – Government Code § 66473.7 and Water Code § 10910 – and attempts to integrate to some extent that existing law governing “written verifications” of sufficient water supply (“WVs”) and “Water Supply Assessments” (“WSAs”) with the State’s landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (“SGMA”).

Continue reading at JD Supra 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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