The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is in the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding the LPP project. Scoping is the gathering stage, when Reclamation asks the public to help them identify significant issues that need to be analyzed by consultants, scientists and technical experts in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Federal Register Notice of Intent (NOI) to create the EIS.
Kanab LPP Scoping Meeting on January 7, 2020—6 to 8 pm There will be a local Lake Powell Pipeline Scoping Meeting at the new Kanab Center, 20 North 100 East, Kanab.
**How to Submit LPP Scoping Comments**
Excerpted from the excellent description by Conserve Southwest Utah:
The public comment period regarding the Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) project in southern Utah was opened December 6, 2019 and ends January 10, 2019. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding the project.
**Ways to Submit Your Scoping Comments
a. Attend the January 7 Kanab Scoping Meeting
b. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
c. Mail to: Rick Baxter, Bureau of Reclamation Provo Area Office, 302 E. Lakeview Parkway Provo, Utah 84606
d. Submit online: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/eis/LakePowellPipeline/index.html
*comments must be received by 11:59 MT on Jan 10th- postmark doesn’t count!*
Lake Powell Pipeline Scoping Meetings in Utah:
January 7, 2020—Kanab Center, 20 North 100 East, Kanab, Utah 84741
January 8, 2020—Dixie Center, 1835 South Convention Center Dr., St. George, Utah 84790
January 9, 2020—Valley High, 325 West 11000 South, South Jordan, Utah 84095
Reclamation is requesting public scoping comments to identify significant issues or other alternatives to be addressed in the EIS. They are seeking comments related to “anticipated impacts” of the pipeline, such as environmental data gaps, information needs, new data or information that would be pertinent to the project.
Scoping is the first step in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for developing the EIS and this is the phase we are in now.
Scoping is the gathering stage, when Reclamation asks the public to help them identify significant issues that need to be analyzed by consultants, scientists and technical experts in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that will be published later. “The public scoping process is an important step in informing interested parties of the proposed action and gathering their issues and concerns,” Wayne Pullan, Reclamation’s Provo area office manager, said in a press release. “Their input will help (the U.S. Department of the) Interior define the scope of the EIS and identify significant issues to be analyzed in depth.”
Utah recently switched lead federal agencies for the Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) project to the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), which in turn began a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. This process begins with “scoping” and includes asking the public for their comment on what should be analyzed in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This is a very important and influential step. Historically this has been 90-day process that encourages public input, but the current federal administration has reduced that period to 30 days, occurring over the holiday season. In addition this period includes the holiday season, which is likely to further reduce the opportunity for comments.
Writing a scoping comment is simple!!
Scoping Comment = Personal Statement + Key Issues to be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
· Your personal statement: name, where you live, how long, and what you observe on water use and any suggestions for improvement.
Key issues to add to your comments. Select any or all that resonate with you from this list below:
• Add a water conservation alternative to the EIS studies.
• Evaluate the costs and yields of major conservation methods.
• Determine the high-probability long-term local water supply, including culinary, secondary, agriculture, reuse and water rights held by private landowners of Kane and Washington Counties.
• Determine a reasonable and exemplary water use rate in comparison to other water-wise communities in other states.
• Determine the probability that the LPP’s water right is highly secure for a permanent water project.
• Determine the high-probability long-term Colorado River flow for the LPP under a range of future climate conditions.
• Determine how the specific LPP costs will be paid back to the state, including the tax burden on residents.
• Provide the missing data on water rights that verifies that Reclamation has physical water to sell to UBWR in its water exchange contract for the LPP. In addition, provide the water rights data that verifies UBWR has water in the Green River tributaries to exchange with Reclamation for the LPP.
• A study on costs over the long term risk of the possible infestation of quagga mussels into our regional pipeline from the LPP that is connected to many cities water infrastructure. The health hazard of putting chemicals in the water at every pump station along the pipeline. The concern that filters do not work as there is a very early life stage of mussels that is microscopic and can pass through current filters. In addition, the risk of infestation the Virgin River system.
• Update the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) studies to include the findings and recommendations from the current Reclamation studies on climate change, the Utah state audit on water projections, and the recent Division of Water Sources reports. It has been a decade or more since some of FERC studies were completed. This affects their reliability and the credibility to be used in the EIS. If the FERC studies are to be used in this EIS verify all previously submitted comments have been property dispositioned and that the FERC Study reports have been updated appropriately.