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Sites Authority Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact

Sites Authority
Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact

AGENCY: Rural Housing Service (RHS), USDA

ACTION: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that RHS has made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to a request for possible financing assistance to the Sites Project Authority for the construction of the Maxwell Water Intertie located Northwest of Maxwell, CA.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To obtain copies of the Environmental Assessment (EA) and FONSI, or for further information, contact: Richard Brassfield, State Environmental Coordinator for USDA Rural Development, 3530 W. Orchard CT, Visalia, CA 559-754-3149. Email: richard.brassfield@ca.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Sites Project Authority proposes to increase the efficiency and reliability of water management in the western Sacramento Valley by adding to or improving existing facilities to facilitate greater flexibility in water conveyance, which would increase the drought resistance of rural communities. The Maxwell Water Intertie pipeline would connect existing canal systems west of the Sacramento River (the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District Main Canal and the Tehama- Colusa Canal) to achieve this flexibility. The goals of the Maxwell Water Intertie project are to:

Improve the transfer of water between the Tehama-Colusa Canal and Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District Canal systems.

Improve water management facilities and activities for use by some participating water agencies for agriculture as a benefit to rural communities.

Alternatives considered by the Sites Project Authority and RHS include: No action and the Proposed Action. Other alternatives were considered but eliminated because they would reduce the Authority’s ability to meet the purpose and need of the project and were therefore not carried forward in the EA. The alternatives are discussed in the Maxwell Water Intertie Project EA. The RHS has reviewed and approved the EA for the proposed project.

The availability of the EA for public review was announced via notice in the Williams Pioneer Review on August 29, 2018, and September 5, 2018. A 15-day comment period was announced. The EA was also discussed at the September 5, 2018 public meeting held in Maxwell, CA and made available for public review at the USDA Rural Development Visalia and Davis offices as well as the Sites Project Authority office. No public comments were received.

Based on its EA and commitments made by the Sites Project Authority, RHS has concluded that environmental effects of the proposed Project have been adequately addressed and that no significant impacts to the quality of the human environment would result from construction and operation of the proposed Project.

The proposed project will have no known adverse effect on resources listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, however further cultural studies will take place once the final design has been determined. The Agency has also concluded that the proposed project is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any federally listed threatened and endangered species or designated critical habitat thereof.

The proposed project would not disproportionately affect minority and/or low- income populations.

No other potential significant impacts resulting from the proposed project have been identified. Therefore, RHS has determined that this FONSI fulfills its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR §§ 1500-1508), and USDA Rural Development’s Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR Part 1970) for its action related to the project.

RHS is satisfied that the environmental impacts of the proposed project have been adequately addressed. RHS’s federal action would not result in significant impacts to the quality of the human environment, and as such it will not prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for its action related to the proposed project.

Dated: September 26, 2018

09/26/2018 • #2018-1239

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