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RRFW Riverwire - Glen Canyon Dam Comments Needed By May 9, 2016

May 6, 2016

The Department of Interior is taking comments through May 9, 2016, on the Glen Canyon Dam Long‐Term Experimental and Management Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement (LTEMP DEIS)

For the last four decades, the Department of Interior has been attempting to address the declining habitat conditions in the river corridor of Grand Canyon National Park caused by operations at Glen Canyon Dam, just upstream of Grand Canyon National Park.

It is critical that you encourage the Department of Interior to treat this EIS opportunity as a major step forward to draft a remedy to the ongoing failure of Interior’s past ambivalence.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Draft Environmental Statement merely represents a recommendation for how one aspect of operations at Glen Canyon Dam may be occasionally altered to tinker with one habitat variable affecting a single remnant population for a single endangered fish species, while ignoring many other impacts of the dam’s operations on critical habitat in the river corridor of Grand Canyon.

Moreover, the six years taken by Reclamation to deliver this minutia, illustrates the perpetuation of the agency’s ongoing lack of commitment to endangered species protection and recovery in Grand Canyon National Park’s river corridor.

Further, Reclamation’s willful misrepresentation of the growing risks associated with the dam’s operational safety, the value and security of its water storage and hydropower generation benefits, as well as threats to water quality, not only renders it’s suite of alternatives and assessment thereof, wholly incomplete, but renders a tremendous injustice on the thirty nine million people who rely on the Colorado River by denying the public a truthful and up-to-date assessment of the known risks associated with the continued operations of Glen Canyon Dam.

Your comments are needed to tell the Department of Interior, in your own words, that:

A. The DEIS must evaluate each alternative against the most current range of authentic peer-reviewed projections for climate change impacts on Colorado River hydrology.

B. The DEIS must discuss how lack of hydropower revenue will affect the Basin Fund’s ability to finance the experiments and research directly related to the purpose and need for this proposed action.

C. The DEIS must incorporate updated scenarios and projections to its 1998 “Dam Failure Inundation Study”, to better understand the impacts of 100 and 500 year floods to the river corridor in Grand Canyon and the communities and infrastructure downstream.

D. The DEIS must address how such floods will be safely routed through Glen Canyon Dam, and the impacts such routing will have on Grand Canyon National Park.
E. Any environmental management plan for addressing Glen Canyon Dam’s operations must evaluate both the impacts of sediment from flood flows as well as the long term accumulation into Lake Powell. This DEIS has not addressed the issues of sedimentation and must now correct this oversight.

F. If streamflow reductions bring about a significant lowering of Lake Powell’s pool level to at or near dead pool for extended periods of time, this DEIS must address the water quality issues that will be presented to the downstream environment in Grand Canyon National Park.

You may submit your comments electronically at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=70123

For additional background information, please visit the scoping comments document drafted by Living Rivers at

http://www.riversimulator.org/Resources/NGO/LTEMP/LTEMPeisCommentsLivingRivers31Jan2012.pdf

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