Bureau of Reclamation Issues Finding of No Significant Impact for Plan to Rehabilitate San Xavier Cooperative Farm

Media Contact: Patricia Cox, 602-216-3830
John McGlothlen, 602-216-3866

For Release: August 12, 2005

Reclamation has completed a final Environmental Assessment (EA) and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed rehabilitation of the 1,100-acre San Xavier Cooperative Farm located in the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation, south of Tucson.

The proposed project, a joint venture between Reclamation and the San Xavier District, is being carried out in accordance with the Southern Arizona Water Rights Settlement Act of 1982 and the Arizona Water Settlement Act of 2004. Once implemented, the improvements will allow the San Xavier District to better utilize its allocation of Central Arizona Project water.

The construction will be phased over a two-year period beginning in 2006. Improvements will include high-efficiency piped water distribution infrastructure, new field irrigation systems, flood protection, and improved farm roads.

The subject EA was prepared consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. A draft of the EA was distributed on June 17, 2005, to approximately 50 entities, including public agencies, tribal governments, and interested organizations and individuals, for a 30-day public review and comment period. Information on its availability was also released to local news outlets.

Reclamation has determined that implementation of the proposed farm rehabilitation will not significantly impact the environment, and a FONSI is appropriate. A copy of the FONSI and final EA are available on the Phoenix Area Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix/ .

Questions may be directed to Mr. John McGlothlen of the Environmental Resource Management Division, at (602) 216-3866.

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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.