Bureau of Reclamation seeks public comments on plan to line and rehabilitate the Casa Blanca Canal

Media Contact: Patricia Cox , (623) 773-6214
John McGlothlen , (623) 773-6256

For Release: May 23, 2011

Before preparing an Environmental Assessment on a proposed project to line and rehabilitate the Casa Blanca Canal on lands within the Gila River Indian Reservation, approximately 30 miles south of Phoenix, Arizona, the Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public input on the issues and concerns that should be addressed in that document.

The project proposed by the Gila River Indian Community (Community)/Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project (P-MIP) would use Federal funds from the Bureau of Reclamation. After the public scoping period has ended, Reclamation will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential environmental consequences of the proposed project. The Community/P-MIP and Bureau of Indian Affairs will serve as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EA.

The P-MIP is constructing an extensive irrigation system to serve farmlands within the Community. The Casa Blanca Canal is one of the major irrigation delivery canals of this system. The purpose of the project is to improve delivery service by enhancing the efficiency of the irrigation system and by providing more flexibility in its operations to respond to changing needs and conditions.

You are encouraged to offer comments on the scope of the upcoming EA, including potential environmental issues and alternatives to the proposed project that would meet the stated purpose and need. Your comments should be submitted by June 2, 2011, to be considered in the Draft EA. Comments can be mailed to Mr. John McGlothlen at the Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office, 6150 West Thunderbird Road, Glendale, Arizona 85306; or faxed to 623-773-6486; or emailed to jmcglothlen@usbr.gov.

The full Notice of Public Scoping Notice can be obtained by can be obtained by calling Reclamation's Environmental Resource Management Division at (623) 773-6251, by e-mailing jharagara@usbr.gov, or by downloading it from the Phoenix Area Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.