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Public Notices

Under the Corps' Regulatory Program, a public notice is the primary method for advising all interested parties of a proposed activity for which a permit is sought. Soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impacts on the public interest. Public notices are also published to inform the public about new or proposed regulations, policies, guidance or permit procedures.

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SPK-2001-00055, Public Notice of Permit Application, Sites Reservoir Project, Colusa, Glenn, Tehama, and Yolo Counties, California

Published March 15, 2024
Expiration date: 5/14/2024

Comment Period: March 15, 2024 – May 14, 2024

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to discharge dredged or fill material into approximately 365.6 acres of potential waters of the United States to construct the Sites Reservoir Project. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.

AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.

APPLICANT: Sites Project Authority, Attn: Mr. Jerry Brown,

LOCATION: The approximately 17,225-acre project site is located on Funks Creek, Stone Corral Creek, Grapevine Creek, and Antelope Creek, Latitude 39.32434°, Longitude -122.341629°, within Colusa, Glenn, Tehama, Colusa, and Yolo Counties, California, within the Sites USGS Topographic Quadrangle.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant, the Sites Project Authority, is proposing to construct the Sites Reservoir Project (Project), an off-stream surface water storage reservoir and ancillary facilities. The Project would use existing infrastructure to divert unregulated and unappropriated flow from the Sacramento River at Red Bluff and Hamilton City and convey the water to the new off-stream reservoir west of the community of Maxwell. The reservoir would be approximately 13,200 acres in size and is capable of holding 1.5 million acre-feet of water. New and existing facilities would move water in and out of the reservoir. Releases from Sites Reservoir would ultimately return to the Sacramento River system via existing canals and a new pipeline located near the town of Dunnigan. Additional proposed activities include building a bridge across the reservoir, realignment of a segment of Huffmaster Road with a gravel road to residents at the south end of the reservoir, and development of new recreational facilities at the reservoir. Additional information of the Sites Reservoir Project can be found at

The Project will require the discharge dredged or fill material into 365.6 acres of potential waters of the United States, which including 94.7 acres of wetlands. Additional information regarding proposed impacts can be found in the enclosed tables (Enclosure 2). The Project activities would include the following:

  1. Pre-construction geotechnical testing.
  2. Construction/modification of regulating reservoirs, pipelines, pumping generating plants at Terminal Regulating Reservoir and Funks Reservoirs. Additionally, the applicant proposes the construction of electrical transmission lines with substations, switchyards and administration and maintenance buildings to control the conveyance of water between Sites Reservoir, Tehama-Colusa Canal, and Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District Main Canal.
  3. Utilization of borrow areas as it is anticipated that earth and rockfill for the reservoir facilities would come from onsite sources and aggregate for dam construction would be obtained from offsite commercial sources.
  4. Construction of two main dams (Golden Gate Dam on Funks Creek and the Sites Dam on Stone Corral Creek) and a series of saddle dams along the eastern and northern rims of the proposed reservoir footprint to close off topographic saddles in the surrounding ridges and form Sites Reservoir.
  5. Construction of Inlet/Outlet Works south of Golden Gate Dam within Sites Reservoir, including a low-level intake, multi-level Inlet/Outlet tower, and an Inlet/Outlet tunnel.
  6. Construction of a new delivery pipeline (Dunnigan Pipeline) to convey water released from Sites Reservoir from the Tehama-Colusa Canal to the Colusa Basin Drain.
  7. Development of two recreation areas, a day-use boat ramp, a network of new roads and upgrades to existing roads for maintenance and local access.
  8. Construction/modification of approximately 46 miles of paved and unpaved roads, and one or more new bridges across the reservoir inundation area, to provide construction and maintenance access to the proposed facilities, as well as public access to the proposed recreation areas.

The applicant has identified the project purpose is to provide off-stream (i.e., off of the Sacramento River) surface water storage north of the Delta in order to meet existing and projected water supply demands of participating members and programs during all water years, and in a manner that is consistent with Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act requirements and Reclamation law. The applicant believes there is a need to provide off stream surface water storage.


Environmental Setting. Within the approximately 26,784-acre project survey area, there are approximately 15.5 acres of forested wetland, 62.2 acres of freshwater marsh, 20.9 acres of scrub shrub wetland, 48.2 acres of managed wetlands, and 509.3 acres of seasonal wetland for a total of 656.1 acres of wetlands. The site is characterized by Coast Range foothills surrounding the Antelope Valley and in a long swath of the northwestern Sacramento Valley. The reservoir inundation area would be in rural, unincorporated areas of Glenn and Colusa Counties, located approximately 10 miles west of the town of Maxwell. Other Project components would be located in Tehama and Yolo Counties.

Alternatives. The applicant has not provided a final document concerning project alternatives. Additional information concerning project alternatives may be available from the applicant or their agent. A reasonable range of alternatives will be developed during the review process for this permit application and/or the NEPA process. All reasonable project alternatives, in particular those which may be less damaging to the aquatic environment, will be considered.

Mitigation. The Corps requires that applicants consider and use all reasonable and practical measures to avoid and minimize impacts to waters of the United States. If the applicant is unable to avoid or minimize all impacts, the Corps may require compensatory mitigation. The applicant has proposed to mitigate through onsite restoration of temporary impact areas, onsite permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation/preservation, and offsite compensatory mitigation. Onsite restoration of temporarily impacted aquatic resources would be reestablished/restored following completion of Project implementation activities. Onsite permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation would include restoration (reestablishment or rehabilitation), establishment (creation), enhancement, and/or in certain circumstances preservation of aquatic and/or biological resources that occur within the Project area to compensate for the permanent loss of aquatic resource functions and services. Offsite compensatory mitigation may include the purchase of Corps-approved mitigation bank credits, payments to an in-lieu fee program, or the establishment of permittee-responsible offsite mitigation sites.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the State Water Resources Control Board is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification.

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT:  The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, (Reclamation) is the lead agency preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Corps was a cooperating agency on the EIS. The final supplemental EIS was published on December 4, 2023.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: As the lead federal agency, designated to act on the Corps’ behalf, the Bureau of Reclamation is coordinating the development, execution, and implementation of a Programmatic Agreement with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the California State Historic Preservation Officer for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The proposed activity may affect Federally listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat. As the lead federal agency, designated to act on the Corps’ behalf, the Bureau of Reclamation, will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat. As the lead federal agency, designated to act on the Corps’ behalf, the Bureau of Reclamation, will initiate consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as appropriate.

The above determinations are based on information provided by the applicant and our preliminary review.

EVALUATION FACTORS: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the described activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the described activity, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the described activity will be considered, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. The activity's impact on the public interest will include application of the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 230). The Corps is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, State, and local agencies and officials, Indian tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK‑2001‑00055, must be submitted electronically to the email listed below on or before May 14, 2024.

L. Kasey Sirkin, Project Manager

US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District


The Corps is particularly interested in receiving comments related to the proposal's probable impacts on the affected aquatic environment and the secondary and cumulative effects. Anyone may request, in writing, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests shall specifically state, with particularity, the reason(s) for holding a public hearing. If the Corps determines that the information received in response to this notice is inadequate for thorough evaluation, a public hearing may be warranted. If a public hearing is warranted, interested parties will be notified of the time, date, and location. Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the applicant or the Corps' project manager Kasey Sirkin, (916) 557-5250,


5 Drawings (Enclosure 1)

Impacts Tables (Enclosure 2)