MAXWELL, Calif. Aug. 14, 2017—The Sites Project Authority (Authority) today has submitted its application to the California Water Commission for Proposition 1 Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP) funding for the Sites Reservoir Project. This important milestone marks substantial project momentum, as demonstrated by the over 170 organizations, agencies, businesses and elected officials that support the project. Representing labor, business, water and agricultural interests, and various local and statewide agencies, as well as several cities and counties, this diverse coalition views Sites as a viable, modern solution to securing statewide water supplies while benefitting critical ecosystems.
In another step forward for project planning, the Authority, the state lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act, and U.S. Bureau Reclamation (Reclamation), the federal lead agency under National Environmental Policy Act, have also posted a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS) for public review and are accepting comments through November 13, 2017.
The Draft EIR/EIS evaluates and describes the environmental effects and proposed mitigation measures associated with construction and operation of the Sites Reservoir and associated facilities. Reclamation will publish their Notice of Availability for the Draft EIR/EIS in the Federal Register by the end of this week.
The Sites Project is the culmination of decades of planning to optimize water supplies and deliveries throughout California and provide direct and real benefits to instream flows and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) ecosystem. The 1.3 to 1.8 million acre-foot offstream surface water storage project is being advanced to greatly increase the reliability of statewide water supplies for environmental, agricultural and urban uses.
“California faces an uncertain future of new and different water challenges, and needs a project like Sites that offers essential benefits under a future of changing conditions,” said Authority board president and Colusa County Supervisor Kim Dolbow Vann. “Submittal of our Prop 1 application, and release of the draft environmental documents, advances this critical project one step closer to construction, securing water sustainability and benefitting California’s economy and environment.”
“With the release of these documents as well as the extensive work already performed, the Sites Project Authority is well-positioned to request funding for the project under Proposition 1. Reclamation is pleased to provide technical assistance towards that effort, and proud of our partnership with the Sites Project Authority,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo.
Reclamation has also prepared a Draft Feasibility Report, which is a critical component of the Authority’s funding request submitted to the California Water Commission under Proposition 1. Reclamation’s planning process anticipates that, if constructed, the Sites Reservoir could be constructed with entirely non-federal funding.
The Authority is comprised of several Northern California public agencies who are motivated to build local water sustainability in a way that helps the state meet its overall water system needs.
The 90-day Draft EIR/EIS public review period provides an opportunity for regulatory agencies and the public to comment on the adequacy and completeness of the environmental analyses and proposed mitigation measures, helping inform project development.
Two public meetings will be held to provide information and an opportunity to learn more about the Sites Project and submit comments on the draft environmental documents:
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Sites Project Authority Office
122 Old Highway 99 West
Maxwell, CA 95955
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Sacramento Convention Center
1400 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Draft EIR/EIS and more information about the environmental review process can be found online at: https://www.sitesproject.org/environmental-review/. For questions about the Sites Project or public meetings please contact: Janet Barbieri, Sites Project Authority, at 530-919-9306.
To view the complete Sites Prop 1 WSIP application, visit: https://www.sitesproject.org/environmental-review/wsip-application/, and Reclamation’s Draft Feasibility Report is located here: https://www.sitesproject.org/information/FeasibilityReport.
There are currently 32 participants in the Sites Project. The following compose the Sites Project Authority: Colusa County Water District, County of Colusa, County of Glenn, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, Maxwell Irrigation District, Orland-Artois Water District, Placer County Water Agency/City of Roseville, Proberta Water District, Reclamation District 108, Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority, Western Canal Water District, Westside Water District.
Follow the Sites Project on social media @SitesProject.