NEWS WORTH NOTING: Reclamation finalizes Klamath Project Biological Assessment; Corps releases supplemental documents for Sacramento River levee improvement

Reclamation finalizes Klamath Project Biological Assessment

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

“The Bureau of Reclamation completed the Final Biological Assessment on “The Effects of the Proposed Action to Operate the Klamath Project from April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2029 on Federally-Listed Threatened and Endangered Species.” The document was submitted Dec. 21, 2018 to the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 2018 BA was written as Reclamation’s portion of the reinitiation of consultation with the services. Reclamation believes all information necessary to continue and complete the formal consultation process with the services has been provided. However, exchange of information will continue during the development of the services’ coordinated biological opinion which is anticipated to be complete before the 2019 irrigation season.

The BA contains: (1) a detailed description of the Klamath Project and its operation; (2) a description of the specific area that may be affected by the action and the environmental baseline; (3) a description of Endangered Species Act-listed species and critical habitat; (4) a description of the effects of the proposed action on ESA-listed species and associated critical habitat; and (5) other relevant available information incorporated by reference and citation. The information in the BA represents the best scientific and commercial data available.

Reclamation’s proposed action analyzed in the BA proposes to continue to: store waters of Upper Klamath Lake (or UKL) and the Klamath and Lost rivers; operate the project for the delivery of water to meet authorized project purposes and contractual obligations inclusive of deliveries to national wildlife refuges; conduct routine maintenance activities on project facilities; and, implement conservation measures intended to minimize impacts of the proposed action.

The proposed action includes a water supply based operational strategy and consists of a water management approach for UKL and the Klamath and Lost rivers that mimic natural hydrologic conditions observed in the Upper Klamath Basin. This approach attempts to optimize the ecologic benefit of the available water supply, resulting in the ability to maximize the amount of remaining water available for the project while seeking to fill UKL during the fall/winter to increase the volumes available for the Environmental Water Account (including disease mitigation flows), UKL, and project irrigation supply during the spring/summer operational period.

Reclamation appreciates the contributions provided by tribes and key stakeholders during the development of the BA.

The 2018 BA and its appendices are available at www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao. For additional information, contact Laura Williams at ljwilliams@usbr.gov

Corps releases supplemental documents for Sacramento River levee improvement

From the Army Corps of Engineers:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District has published a draft supplemental environmental assessment/initial study for the American River Common Features 2016 project.

The draft document outlines levee improvement measures proposed to be completed jointly by the Corps of Engineers, Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, and California’s Central Valley Flood Protection Board, including the construction of a 400-foot-long stability berm along the Sacramento River east levee in the City of Sacramento along Front Street, just north of the Pioneer Bridge.

The Sacramento River east levee does not currently meet the Corps’ levee safety criteria, but the addition of a stability berm on the landside of the levee will improve the levee’s slope stability and reduce the risk of levee failure due to through-seepage.

The draft EA/IS is published on the district’s website at https://www.spk.usace.army.mil/Media/USACE-Project-Public-Notices/.

Comments may be submitted until Jan. 28, 2019, by email to ARCF2016Project@usace.army.mil or by postal mail to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District
Attn: Planning Division – ARCF RDC1
1325 J Street, 10th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Hard copies of the draft document are also available for review at the Sacramento Public Library Central Branch located at 828 I Street in Sacramento, and at the Sacramento County Clerk’s Office located at 600 8th Street in Sacramento.

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.

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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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