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Great Plains Region
Billings, Mont.
Media Contact:
Mark Andersen
(406) 247-7610

Released On: January 15, 2004

Final Engineering Report for Lewis and Clark Rural Water System
The Bureau of Reclamation's Great Plains Regional Director Maryanne Bach announced today that the Final Engineering Report for the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System has been submitted to Congress. Public Law 106-246 requires that before funds appropriated for construction can be obligated, the engineering report must be submitted to Congress for a period of 90 days.

The Lewis and Clark Rural Water System was authorized by Public Law 106-246 on July 13, 2000. The project will provide safe drinking water to about 200,000 residents in portions of rural Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. The system will take water from a series of wells constructed in alluvial materials adjacent to the Missouri River near Vermillion, S.D. Treated water would then be conveyed throughout the project area by more than 385 miles of buried pipeline.

The engineering report was prepared by the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System, Inc., with the assistance of a private consulting firm. A biological assessment was completed in April 2002 and Endangered Species Act consultation was concluded in June 2002. An environmental assessment of the proposed system was conducted by Reclamation. It concluded in a Finding of No Significant Impact, and the Final Environmental Assessment(EA) was signed in March 2003.

Bach said, "We are pleased the Lewis and Clark project is moving forward toward construction."

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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.