From the Bureau of Reclamation:
The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review the draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Mendota Pool Group 20-year groundwater exchange program.
Under the proposed action, Reclamation would execute a series of exchange agreements with the MPG over a 20-year period. The water exchange would allow MPG farmers to deliver groundwater to the Mendota Pool in exchange for Central Valley Project water delivered via the San Luis Canal for use on approximately 42,316 acres of historically irrigated MPG lands in Westlands. The program incorporates design constraints, management actions, monitoring, and reporting requirements as well as groundwater recharge components intended to replenish the local groundwater basin through use of existing recharge facilities.
The draft EIS/EIR was prepared in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act is available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=36282.
Public comments will be accepted through Jan. 14, 2019. Reclamation will respond to all substantive comments received and will consider them in the decision-making process.
The release is concurrent with the Westlands public release of the draft EIS/R pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act. Westlands Water District serves as the lead state agency for compliance with CEQA.
A joint public meeting is being held to solicit public comments on the draft EIS/R. The meeting will be held in:
Mendota Branch Library
Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018
3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
1246 Belmont Avenue, Mendota, CA 93640
From the Modesto Bee:
“Stanislaus County will ask the state Supreme Court for a ruling on whether environmental review is a necessary step for a new water well.
In August, a state appeals court overturned the Stanislaus Superior Court’s decision in the Protecting Our Water lawsuit, which sought an injunction against county well permit approvals. The plaintiffs claimed the county was violating the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in approving well permits without considering environmental harm. … “
Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Stanislaus County appeals ruling that would make it harder for farmers to dig wells