Public meetings will be held on State Water Project

DWR is planning to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for long-term operation of the State Water Project, which includes Lake Oroville

Posted: Apr 19, 2019 1:57 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) issued notice that it will seek an updated environmental permit to operate the State Water Project through a state-based approach in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

“The State Water Project provides many benefits from flood protection to water supply and is operated to ensure the health of California’s ecosystem,” said Karla Nemeth, DWR Director.


Starting in May 2017, DWR and its construction contractors began repairing and rebuilding Oroville’s main and emergency spillways.

As of November 1, 2018, the main spillway has been successfully reconstructed, meeting DWR’s public safety construction milestone.

Work on the emergency spillway will continue into 2019 to complete a concrete buttress to further bolster the emergency spillway weir. This work, in addition to an underground secant pile wall and splashpad on the hillside below, will prevent uphill erosion if the emergency spillway is ever used again.

More than 1,000 people have worked more than two million hours to rebuild the Oroville spillways to ensure the safety of downstream communities.

“California’s commitment to environmental values is unsurpassed and we will continue to operate our water infrastructure in accordance with state law, policies and those values," Nemeth continued. She said,  "We look forward to a dialogue with the public to ensure their feedback and engagement is taken into account throughout this process.”

Historically, DWR has received environmental coverage for its SWP pumping operations through environmental parameters issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. State authorization has come through a consistency determination from CDFW finding that operations under the federal parameters comply with the California Endangered Species Act.

To ensure a thorough analysis that considers the best available science, DWR is asking DFW to develop a single permit that does not tier off or rely on the federal process and instead authorizes SWP operations in a way that protects endangered species listed under both CESA and the federal Endangered Species Act.

The state will hold two public scoping meetings to inform interested parties about the proposed project and to solicit input on the scope and content of the EIR.

The first will take place on May 6, 2019 from 9 AM to 11 AM at the Ronald Reagan State Building Auditorium (300 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013). The second meeting will be on May 13, 2019 from 9 AM to 11 AM at the Paul Bonderson Building Hearing Room (901 P Street, Sacramento CA 95814).

For more information, you can visit the project webpage. CLICK HERE

See the article in the sidebar to read the latest notice from the Department of Water Resources on the repair efforts on the Lake Oroville spillways.

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