The Bureau of Reclamation invites public input on the Reinitiation of Consultation on the Long-Term Operation of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project. Reclamation is seeking feedback on the alternatives and topics to be addressed related to multi-year operations of the CVP and SWP.
Reclamation intends to prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze potential modifications to the operating plan for the CVP and SWP previously established as part of the February 2020 Record of Decision. On Sept. 30, 2021, Reclamation requested reinitiation of consultation under the federal Endangered Species Act with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries. The consultation will address anticipated modifications to the previous operating plan that may cause effects to ESA-listed species or designated critical habitat not analyzed in the current 2019 Biological Opinions.
The authorized purposes of the CVP include irrigation and domestic uses; fish and wildlife mitigation, enhancement, protection, and restoration; power; flood control; and navigation. The EIS would address the review of the 2019 Biological Opinions required by Executive Order 13990 Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, and voluntarily reconcile CVP operating criteria with requirements of the SWP under the California Endangered Species Act.
A Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 28, 2022. Reclamation is seeking comments on or before March 30, 2022. Scoping meetings for the EIS will be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual public scoping meetings are scheduled geographically; however, public attendance is open to all meetings.
The NOI contains additional information on the public scoping meetings. Scoping comments may be submitted to Cindy Meyer by 5 p.m. on March 30, 2022, at 916-414-2425 or via email at sha-MPR-BDO@usbr.gov.