December 19, 2014

Additional Refinements to Proposed Water Delivery Facilities Reduce Impacts

In consideration of feedback received during the 2014 public comment period and additional engineering developments, the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) water delivery facilities (Conservation Measure 1) have been refined to further reduce impacts to Delta communities, minimize disturbances or dislocation to Greater Sandhill Cranes, and improve the long-term reliability and operation of the tunnels.  Visual simulations of Intake 3 and Clifton Court Pumping Facility and Forebay illustrate how the current proposal would be modified. The proposed changes, subject to further refinement, will be included in the recirculated BDCP and environmental review documents expected for public review and comment in 2015.

Changes to the proposed water delivery facilities currently include elimination of the northern pumping plants at the proposed intakes, removal of a siphon under Italian Slough, and the addition of a consolidated pumping plant on property currently owned by the Department of Water Resources at Clifton Court Forebay. More information on the proposed changes to Conservation Measure 1 is provided in the fact sheet, Modified Pipeline Tunnel Option.

Changes to the proposed water delivery facilities are also proposed to reduce impacts to Greater Sandhill Cranes, including removal of proposed transmission lines near Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, relocation of tunnel launch facilities, and removal of reusable tunnel material storage areas from crane habitat on Staten Island. More information on how the BDCP would benefit Sandhill Cranes is provided in the fact sheet, BDCP: Expanding Sandhill Crane Habitat.

What to expect in the Recirculated Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS

In addition to changes related to the modified pipeline tunnel option, the Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (RDEIR)/ Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS), expected for release in 2015, will include other changes based on plan refinements and comments received during the first public review period. The types of revisions expected include changes to the Plan and Implementing Agreement, and substantial new and updated analysis (and revisions to impact conclusions and mitigation measures based on this analysis).  The following topic areas are expected to be addressed, revised or modified in the RDEIR/SDEIS:
  • Project description
  • Alternatives comparison
  • Water quality
  • Air quality and health risk assessment
  • Traffic and noise
  • Aquatic species
  • Cumulative impacts
  • Environmental commitments
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Modeling interpretation
The RDEIR/SDEIS will not include comments and responses to comments received during the 2013-2014 public review draft comment period and only those portions of the draft Plan, IA, and EIR/EIS warranting additional public review will be recirculated for public comment. Once the comment period concludes, lead agencies will prepare responses to comments received during both comment periods and prepare the Final EIR/EIS. More information on the recirculated documents is provided here
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