FINAL Environmental Assessment and Initial Study for Bucktail and Lower Junction City Channel Rehabilitation Sites AVAILABLE

Bucktail (River Mile 105.3-106.4) and Lower Junction City (River Mile 78.8-79.8)

Trinity River Channel Rehabilitation sites

The Final Environmental Assessment/Initial Study (EA/IS) for the Bucktail (River Mile 105.3-106.4) and Lower Junction City (River Mile 78.8-79.8) Trinity River Channel Rehabilitation sites, including response to comment, is now available. Together the sites comprise the Proposed Project. The Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP), with federal co-lead agencies, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and with the California State lead agency, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, is working together to inform the public about this proposed Trinity River restoration project. After completion of a 30 day public review period and response to comment, the Final Project EA/IS, which is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), is available.

The Bucktail site is located on the mainstem Trinity River, just upstream of the Bucktail Bridge near Lewiston. The Lower Junction City site is located in Junction City on the mainstem Trinity River, just downstream of the Dutch Creek Bridge. The TRRP intends to construct the Lower Junction City site in 2014 to increase salmon and steelhead habitat downstream of Lewiston Dam, as described in the December 19, 2000, Record of Decision for the Trinity River Mainstem Fishery Restoration Environmental Impact Statement. The Lower Junction City site will enhance aquatic habitat quality and complexity via construction of slow water fish nursery habitats, reconnection of the floodplain with the river, revegetation with native plants, and placement of in-river structures to react with flow and to create/maintain habitat.

The Bucktail and Lower Junction City Final EA/IS, and the Master Environmental Impact Report – the Programmatic Environmental Review document for TRRP proposed channel rehabilitation and sediment management actions, together explain and analyze environmental impacts of the project. These documents are available on the TRRP website: http://www.trrp.net/  The Bucktail and Lower Junction City Final EA/IS (with response to comment) is available on the Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific website at: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=15761. In Weaverville, the copies of the Final EA/IS will be available at: 1.) the Trinity County Library at 211 Main Street; 2.) the TRRP office at 1313 S. Main Street (next to Top’s Grocery); or 3.) the Trinity County Resource Conservation District at 1 Horseshoe Lane (off HWY 3). In Redding the Final EA/IS will be available at the Bureau of Land Management office at 355 Hemsted Lane.

The Final EA/IS was updated to state that the Bucktail channel rehabilitation project would not move the present boat ramp to a location downstream of the Bucktail Bridge, to clarify that funding is not available to complete the Bucktail channel rehabilitation project in 2014, and to highlight the TRRP’s intent to construct the Bucktail channel rehabilitation project in coordination with the building of a new Bucktail Bridge.  The Bucktail channel rehabilitation project would be implemented at a later date when the potential for Bucktail Bridge replacement is better clarified.  At that time, portions of the Bucktail channel rehabilitation project would be redesigned, as needed, and a supplemental environmental document would be prepared and circulated for public review of a revised Bucktail channel rehabilitation project. The TRRP will move forward with construction of the Lower Junction City Project in summer 2014 and will not include the Bucktail channel rehabilitation project in the current FONSI.

In 2009, the Regional Water Board acted as lead agency for a Master Environmental Impact Report (MEIR) and site specific Environmental Assessment/Environmental Impact Report (EA/EIR) (State Clearinghouse number 2008032110) for channel rehabilitation and sediment management activities for the remaining Phase 1 and Phase 2 sites in order to comply with the CEQA. The Regional Water Board certified the environmental documents on August 25, 2009 (WDID No. 1A09062WNTR). Under California Code of Regulations, title 14, section 15177, after a Master EIR has been prepared and certified, subsequent projects which the lead agency determines as being within the scope of the Master EIR will be subject to only limited environmental review.  The preparation of a new environmental document and new written findings will not be required if, based on a review of the initial study (IS) prepared for the subsequent project (e.g., the Bucktail and Lower Junction City Final EA/IS), the lead agency determines, on the basis of written findings, that no additional significant environmental effect will result from the proposal, no new additional mitigation measures or alternatives may be required, and that the project is within the scope of the Master EIR.

The Bucktail and Lower Junction City Final EA/IS contains project specific information required to apply for enrollment under the General Permit R1-2010-0028 for Trinity River Channel Rehabilitation activities which the Regional Water Board will consider in making its determination and approval decision.

If you would like to receive a printed copy of the Final EA/IS, please contact Mr. Brandt Gutermuth, Bureau of Reclamation, at bgutermuth@usbr.gov or 530-623-1806.