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Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEISs)


Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Yuba River Development Project (P-2246-065)
Issued: May 30, 2018

Commission Staff prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the relicensing of Yuba County Water Agency’s (YCWA) existing 361.9-megawatt (MW) Yuba River Development Project No. 2246.

YCWA filed an application on April 24, 2014 for the project (amended June 5, 2017), located on the Yuba River, North Yuba River, Middle Yuba River, and Oregon Creek in Yuba, Sierra, and Nevada Counties, California. The project consists of the New Colgate, New Bullards Bar Minimum Flow, and Narrows 2 Developments and occupies 4,416.7 acres of federal lands administered by the Forest Service and 16.1 acres administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. YCWA proposes to construct an auxiliary flood control outlet and tailwater depression system at New Bullards Bar Dam.

The primary issues associated with relicensing the projects are erosion and sedimentation control; restoration of floodplains in the lower Yuba River; flow regimes in project-affected reaches for aquatic resources; spill cessation schedules following high-flow periods to mimic natural conditions and for whitewater boating opportunities; protection of plant and wildlife resources and special-status species; effects on threatened and endangered species including Central Valley steelhead, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, North American green sturgeon, California red-legged frog, and valley elderberry longhorn beetle; recreation enhancements; and protection of cultural resources.

In the draft EIS, Commission staff recommended the staff alternative, which consists of measures included in YCWA’s proposal, as well as many of the mandatory conditions and recommendations made by state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations, and some additional measures developed by the staff.

The deadline to comment on the draft EIS is July 30, 2018.