Comment Period extended for EIS scoping on Glen Canyon Dam operations

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The public's opportunity to provide input to the preparation of a new Environmental Impact Statement related to the operation of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River has been extended to Jan. 31, 2012. The EIS concerns the adoption of a Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and is being jointly developed by the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service, both units of the Department of the Interior.

To date, six open-house scoping meetings have been held in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah. Additionally, a national session was held via the Internet. The previous comment deadline was Dec. 30. A number of interested parties requested the extension to enable the public to provide more thorough comments plus accommodate the end-of-year holiday season.

The long-term plan will address routine operations as well as "experimental" flows that provide additional scientific information about how to protect endangered fish and lessen the effects of dam operations on the downstream ecology and other resources. The plan will ensure that regulated flows on the Colorado River meet the goals of supplying hydroelectricity and water for communities, agriculture and industry at the same time they protect the ecologies of the Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon.

Work on the new plan, known as the Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan (LTEMP), is the first comprehensive review of Glen Canyon Dam operations in 15 years. The purpose of the LTEMP is to use current and newly developed science to improve and protect resources of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park while also complying with the Law of the River, the 1992 Grand Canyon Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other applicable laws. The LTEMP process will determine the need for future modifications to Glen Canyon Dam operations, and whether to establish an Endangered Species Act Recovery Implementation Program for endangered fish species below Glen Canyon Dam.

Changes to dam operations and other actions taken by the Department of the Interior will be evaluated as "alternatives" in an Environmental Impact Statement. The EIS will document and evaluate impacts of the alternatives.

More information on the EIS process may be found on the project web site: http://ltempeis.anl.gov.

The public can submit comments by the following methods:

Website: http://ltempeis.anl.gov. (the preferred method)

Mail: Glen Canyon LTEMP EIS Scoping, Argonne National Laboratory, EVS/240, 9700 S. Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439.

Reclamation and the NPS will accept comments that are received or postmarked by Friday, January 31, 2012.

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