Feds seek comments on environmental impacts of proposed Lake Powell pipeline

glen canyon dam
The Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona marks the beginning of a 140-mile pipeline project that is currently undergoing the public comment process. Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation

The Bureau of Reclamation has issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the Lake Powell Pipeline Project, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Interior Department officials seek public comment on the scope of the environmental documents. This is the first step in the public scoping process, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.

The proposed pipeline would establish a second source of water for Washington and Kane counties through an approximately 140-mile-long water delivery pipeline from Lake Powell near Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona, to Sand Hollow Reservoir near St. George. The project will help meet future water demands, diversify the regional water supply portfolio and enhance the reliability of the water supply, according to bureau officials.

The Reclamation Department was designated the lead federal agency with responsibility for coordinating the environmental compliance effort of all Interior Department agencies. Through this effort, the bureau will assess the environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline. The proposed action to be analyzed in the draft EIS includes construction of the pipeline and associated facilities, entering into a water exchange contract, and potentially amending the Arizona Strip Resource Management Plan, according to the bureau.

“The public scoping process is an important step in informing interested parties of the proposed action and gathering their issues and concerns,” said the Reclamation Department’s Provo Area Office Manager Wayne Pullan. “Their input will help [the Department of] Interior define the scope of the EIS and identify significant issues to be analyzed in depth.”

In addition to the Reclamation Department, other agencies involved in the development of the draft EIS will include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

Comments and requests to be added to the mailing/notification list may be submitted by mail, web form, e-mail or fax to: Lake Powell Pipeline Project, Bureau of Reclamation, Provo Area Office, 302 East Lakeview Parkway, Provo, Utah 84606. Comments should be received by 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 10.