Lake Powell Pipeline Scoping Comments Due by Jan 10, 2020

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 analysed 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 to discourage public comment.  This is our chance to prove we cannot be discouraged.

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, address, what you think about water conservation, large water development projects, the importance of wise water use, and being locally sustainable.

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.
  • Details on each bullet point

Comments can be submitted by:

·         email to: lpp@usbr.gov

·        or mail: Lake Powell Pipeline Project / Bureau of Reclamation, Provo Area Office / 302 E. Lakeview Parkway Provo, Utah 84606.

 Scoping meeting  January 8, 2020 at the Dixie, Center   and how to submit comments.

Background information on the scoping process

Federal Register Notice of Intent (NOI) to create the EIS.

GSEP 404 permit Comment on LPP