On 21 September 2011, CSPA and the California Water Impact Network, AquAlliance, Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations, Planning and Conservation League and the Institute for Fisheries Research submitted joint comments on the Draft Program Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program.
The coalition supported Alternative A2 as the environmentally preferred alternative best benefiting fisheries because it would provide sufficient flows in critical reaches of the San Joaquin River necessary to dilute and flush toxic quantities of selenium. Spring run Chinook salmon is scheduled to be reintroduced into the river in 2012.
Selenium is a bioaccumulative toxin and concentrations in the river at Hills Ferry frequently violate the existing 5-microgram water quality standard. Recent studies by the U.S. Geological Survey demonstrate that the present standard is not protective of aquatic and avian life and should be significantly reduced.