United Water Conservation District (United) operates the Freeman Diversion facility to meet water resource management objectives. The proposed activities are required to maintain the facility (including the associated fish passage structure) in operational condition. The Freeman Diversion facility is currently operating under mandates of an Amended Judgment and Permanent Injunction issued in the case of Wishtoyo et al. vs United Water Conservation District [CV 16-3869-DOC (PLAx)] (Court Order). Maintaining the facility and fish passage structure in operational condition is essential to achieving compliance with the Court Order.
United has requested authorizations pursuant to the Clean Water Act (Sections 401 and 404) and California Fish and Game Code 1602 to conduct the proposed maintenance procedures. The activities proposed for coverage under the authorizations include both routine maintenance and maintenance required on an as-needed basis to repair damage to the Freeman Diversion infrastructure, to maintain the facility in operational condition. Specifically, the proposed activities include: diversion or dewatering of flowing or ponded water; repair of rip rap along the river bank; sediment control within the river channel; vegetation control at engineered structures, access roads and right of way; and grading, recontouring, compaction, and fill within and alongside access roads.
The maintenance activities incorporate minimization and avoidance measures and are not expected or result in significant environmental effects to state or federally protected species.