Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57416 Comment Period Extended for Navajo Generating Station — Kayenta Mine Complex Draft Environmental Impact
Phoenix, Ariz. — The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is extending the public comment period for the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Navajo Generating Station - Kayenta Mine Complex. The new deadline for interested groups and individuals to provide comments is Thursday, December 29, 2016. The original open public comment period was scheduled to close November 29. 2016. <P> In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Reclamation released the draft EIS for the Navajo Generating Station – Kayenta Mine Complex Project on September 30, 2016. The draft EIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of extending the operation and maintenance of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and associated facilities, and the continued production of coal from the Kayenta Mine, from 2020 through 2044. The current plant-site lease for the NGS expires Dec. 22, 2019. <P> The NGS, located on tribal trust land leased from the Navajo Nation near Page, Arizona, provides power to over one million customers in the southwestern United States and is the primary source of electricity for operation of the Central Arizona Project (CAP). The CAP, a Federal water supply project constructed by Reclamation, delivers over 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water annually to tribal, agricultural, municipal, and industrial water users in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties, Arizona. Although not an owner of the NGS, Reclamation is authorized by statute to participate in the NGS and use its share of NGS power to operate the pumps that deliver CAP water. Coal used by the NGS to generate this power is exclusively provided by the Kayenta Mine, located about 80 miles southeast of the NGS on tribal trust lands leased from both the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe. <P> To learn more about the project and review the draft EIS please visit <a href="http://www.ngskmc-eis.net">http://www.ngskmc-eis.net</a>. Interested parties may also call Project Manager Sandra Eto at 623-773-6254. <P> All written comments must be postmarked by the end of the extended comment period on December 29, 2016 for consideration in the final EIS. Please mail, hand deliver or courier written comments to: NGS-KMC Project Manager, PXAO-1500; Bureau of Reclamation - Phoenix Area Office; 6150 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale, AZ 85306-4001. Comments may be faxed to 623-773-6483 or emailed to <a Href=mailto:NGSKMC-EIS@usbr.gov>NGSKMC-eis@usbr.gov</a> and the sources of those comments will be made available to the public. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57356 Yuma Desalting Plant to conduct Shelter in Place (SIP) Emergency Readiness Exercise
Yuma, Ariz .— The Bureau of Reclamation's Yuma Area Office (YAO) is conducting a "Shelter in Place" emergency readiness exercise on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at the Yuma Desalting Plant, located at 7301 Calle Agua Salada. The exercise will test the plant’s emergency readiness, evacuation and safety procedures in the event the facility experienced a chemical gas release. YAO conducts these exercises semi-annually to test the facilities’ and employees’ operational response readiness for reacting to worst-case emergency scenarios. <P> The Shelter in Place exercise will involve plant employees taking immediate shelter in predetermined locations throughout the facility and sealing off those locations from outside potential contaminants until first responders can arrive and stabilize the situation. <P> Beginning at 9:00 a.m., the Yuma Desalting Plant's Chemical Alarm Siren System will be activated for no more than 10 minutes to simulate an accidental chemical gas release from the facility. The alarm siren system is used to inform on-site personnel to shelter in place and notify the onsite Emergency Response Teams to muster and prepare to respond. <P> The Chemical Alarm Siren System can alert both on-site personnel as well as nearby residents that a potential emergency condition exists at the plant. The siren is very loud and can be heard several miles away. No action or response is necessary from residents or businesses located off-site of the plant during the emergency test procedure. <P> Shelter in Place emergency readiness exercises typically involve staying indoors and awaiting further instructions from first responders. During extreme circumstances, sheltering in place could include additional precautions such as turning off fans, air conditioners, and forced air heating systems to reduce any potential for air contamination from an incidental chemical gas release. <P> For further information about this upcoming emergency exercise, please contact Mr. Julian DeSantiago, (928) 343-8259 or via email at <a href=mailto:jdesantiago@usbr.gov>jdesantiago@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57173 Reclamation releases FONSI for Final EA for Eastern Nevada Transmission Project
Boulder City, Nev. — The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) today released a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Eastern Nevada Transmission Project. Reclamation’s action is the issuance of a 130 foot right-of-way to Silver State Energy Association (SSEA) for approximately 5 miles of the Silverhawk to Newport transmission line on Reclamation administered land in the River Mountains adjacent to Henderson, Nevada. The Eastern Nevada Transmission Project will add infrastructure to support SSEA’s projected electrical load obligations. <P> The EA details the SSEA proposal to construct, operate, and maintain two separate 230-kV transmission lines, each within the boundaries of Clark County, Nevada on BLM and Reclamation administered land. The SSEA is a joint-powers association comprised of the City of Boulder City, Lincoln County Power District No. 1, Overton Power District No. 5, Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), and the Colorado River Commission of Nevada. Members of the SSEA provide power to residential and commercial customers in Lincoln County, northeastern Clark County, Boulder City, and water system operations by SNWA. <P> The FONSI and final EA were prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available on the Reclamation internet site at: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g2000/envdocs.html">http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g2000/envdocs.html</a> by clicking on the links under Eastern Nevada Transmission Project. For questions on the project or to request a compact disk or paper copy of the FONSI and Final EA, please contact Faye Streier at 702-293-8132 or <a href=mailto:fstreier@usbr.gov > fstreier@usbr.gov </a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57075 ‘C.A.S.T. for Kids’ anglers reel in fun, fish, trophies at annual event
“I was hoping to catch a fish which I did but I also caught a turtle. I was so excited because they said that was the only turtle ever caught at CAST. Thank you!” said Suzanne. <P> “I had so much fun and I got to go on my first boat ride. It was a neat day,” Donald remarked. “My captain really taught me how to catch the big ones. I'm going fishing again soon with my new pole. Thank you everyone at CAST,” Robert added. <P> “I really liked being on the water. Everyone was so nice and the food was yummy!” Christie exclaimed. <P> “This was my first time, but it was fun!” commented Angel. <P> These few quotes represent the general feelings of the anglers who participated at the 2016 C.A.S.T. (Catch a Special Thrill) for Kids event on Oct. 22 at Nevada's Lake Mead Marina. <P> For most volunteers, the day began at about 7 a.m., but for some it began Friday evening. However, by 8 a.m. on Saturday, novice and not-so-novice anglers began arriving with their families to register and to be outfitted with rods, reels, tackle boxes and personal flotation devices (PFDs). <P> Any person who fishes will say there are no bad fishing days, but Saturday was an exceptional day — clear skies, a slight breeze and moderate temperatures. This combined with the joint efforts of volunteers from a variety of agencies and organization “. . . resulted in a fun day for all the participants,” observed event coordinator Brandon Barrow, one member of the trio that guided the Planning Committee to conduct such a successful affair. Fellow coordinators included Adrianne Reed and Toyya Mahoney. <P> “When you looked at our C.A.S.T. event, people were fishing and having fun, and that was our goal,” said Barrow. <P> As the participants began casting their baited hooks into the water, shouts of “fish on” and “I caught one” could be heard from the pontoon boats where the anglers were fishing, thanks to the courtesy of Lake Mead Marina at Hemenway Harbor. Further, the marina removed the seats from a few boats to ensure there was enough room for wheelchairs, so their users could also feel the sway of the boats as they cast their lines hoping for that “. . . special thrill” of a hooked fish. <P> By midmorning, many of the anglers were sporting stamped images of fish on their arms, indicating the number of fish they had hooked. At the same time, several agencies hosted information and “touch” tables at the event. Positioned within close proximity of the fishing pontoons, the tables allowed family members to learn about various local outdoor recreation opportunities, while they viewed their anglers, “. . . trying to catch another one.” <P> Overseeing the morning’s activities with Barrow, Reed and Mahoney, were Reclamation Deputy Commissioner David Palumbo, Special Assistant Jessica Munoz from Reclamation's External and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Lower Colorado Region Deputy Director Jaci Gould. For these three people, C.A.S.T. for Kids was nothing new. Palumbo had previously been very active in the Lower Colorado Region’s event, Munoz had visited other Regions' events and Gould had participated, as well, in many events in her previous Reclamation jobs. <P> Soon the sun was approaching its midday position and whether the anglers stood, sat in wheelchairs or were unable to even see their catches, the fishing had been good, but it ended with their relocation to the patio deck for lunch. This was provided through a generous donation from Hotel Manager Renee Repelt of the Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino, and prepared by Lake Mead Marina staff members under the direction of Marina Supervisor Erin Charlesworth. <P> As everyone gathered for lunch, Barrow greeted and welcomed the participants and their families, and recognized Keith Ferlanie and Monica Neshat of the the Nevada Bass Anglers Club and long-time participant parent Sue Stoddard. Following lunch, Barrow introduced Superintendent Lizette Richardson from the National Park Service's Lake Mead National Recreation Area. <P> “I am glad to be here today to see all of your smiling faces and to see all of these wonderful partners come together to host this C.A.S.T for Kids event,” she said, then added, “Lake Mead is continuously working to create accessible experiences within the park so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of Lake Mead.” <P> Noting that this year marked the 25th anniversary of C.A.S.T for Kids, she also informed the attendees that “. . . this year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service . . . [we] are excited to help provide the venue for another successful C.A.S.T for Kids event here at Lake Mead. I hope each and every one of you takes away from this experience a joy for the great outdoors.” <P> “I would like to thank all of the amazing partners and volunteers who made this day possible,” she concluded. “We value the relationship we have with the Bureau of Reclamation and our concession partners at Lake Mead Marina. Without you this event would not be as successful as it is and I am looking forward to hosting it at Lake Mead again next year.” <P> “It’s great to be back!” Deputy Commissioner Palumbo declared as he began his remarks. Extending a thank you to the National Park Service for their partnership in supporting C.A.S.T. for Kids, he stated that this year, “. . . 77 volunteers joined together to make a fun day for 33 participants.” Recalling his days in the Lower Colorado Region, Palumbo continued by saying how much he enjoyed the C.A.S.T for Kids events and thanked those who had given their time to be volunteers. <P> Brandon then introduced Jim Behnken, Western Program Director for the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation. Stating that he was “. . . happy to be here,” he also extended gratitude to the volunteers and to the families of the participants for “. . . bringing them to our event.” “The equipment is yours to keep and we encourage you to keep enjoying the outdoors as a family,” he said. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/lc/images/people/CAST2.jpg" alt="Under the watchful gaze of their captains, C.A.S.T. for Kids participants found the tutoring they received was very helpful as they reeled in their catches." width="75%"> <br /> <small>Under the watchful gaze of their captains, C.A.S.T. for Kids participants found the tutoring they received was very helpful as they reeled in their catches.</small> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/lc/images/people/CAST3.jpg" alt="C.A.S.T. for Kids participants, newly equipped with fishing gear and ready to fish. " width="75%"> <br /> <small>C.A.S.T. for Kids participants, newly equipped with fishing gear and ready to fish.</small> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57008 Stop logs installed at Hoover Dam
On Sept. 23, Hoover Dam’s hydroelectric mechanics (HEM) went to work placing the stop logs to kick off the FY2017 maintenance season. Stop logs are 9-ton water barricades that stop tail bay water from flowing into the draft tubes. <P> Once the stop logs are placed in their respective channels, eductors (also known as jet pumps or Venturi pumps) pump all of the water from the draft tubes. The water pressure from the river holds the stop logs in place. <P> This process of installing the stop logs allows workers to walk around inside the draft tube and the scroll cases, where they can perform inspections and conduct maintenance and repairs as needed. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/lc/images/hoover/stoplog3.jpg" alt="HEMs Nathaniel Seria and Dennis Cothran remove the rigging gear from the top of the N5 stop log." width="75%"><br /> <small>HEMs Nathaniel Seria and Dennis Cothran remove the rigging gear from the top of the N5 stop log.</small> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/lc/images/hoover/stoplog2.jpg" alt="Using the gantry crane, HEM Randy Pryor extracts a stop log from the Nevada side of Hoover Dam." width="75%"><br /> <small>Using the gantry crane, HEM Randy Pryor extracts a stop log from the Nevada side of Hoover Dam.</small> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56928 Reclamation to Temporarily Detour Traffic on Strand Avenue to Replace Bridge Crossing
Yuma, Ariz. — Reclamation’s Yuma Area Office (YAO) is temporarily establishing a traffic detour beginning Wednesday, November 2, 2016 on Strand Avenue. The detour will direct traffic away from a bridge crossing that spans the Main Outlet Drain Extension (MODE) canal near the levee road as it enters into the Cocopah Bend RV & Golf Resort area. (See attached Strand Avenue Detour map at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/lc/images/maps/ModeBridgeAtStrandAveDetourR1.jpg "> http://www.usbr.gov/lc/images/maps/ModeBridgeAtStrandAveDetourR1.jpg</a>. YAO is replacing the bridge crossing and will install a temporary bypass piping system for rerouting water from within the MODE canal during construction. The existing structure will be replaced with a dual box concrete culvert configuration using both cast-in-place and pre-cast concrete supports and infrastructure. <P> The project is anticipated to take approximately 120 days starting in November 2016 and ending in approximately March 2017. <P> For more information, please contact Michael Igoe, Reclamation Facilities Engineering Group Manager, Yuma Area Office, 7301 Calle Agua Salada, Yuma, AZ 85364, or <a href=mailto:migoe@usbr.gov>migoe@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56870 Reclamation to Extend Closure of Public Access at Imperial Dam
Yuma, AZ – Reclamation’s Yuma Area Office (YAO) is extending the closure of several locations at Imperial Dam to the public. The YAO announced today that access will likely be restricted through the fall of 2017 to accommodate ongoing construction efforts at the facility. <P> In September 2014, Reclamation closed Phil Swing Park and other public locations near the dam for a projected two-year period to accommodate upgrade of the dam’s control house and electrical substation infrastructure. However due to changes in construction schedules and unforeseen delays in finalizing the project, the completion timeframe has changed. The extended closure remains necessary for public safety in the construction area. <P> “As construction work at the dam continues to involve the operation of heavy equipment and staging of construction materials, we will need to extend closure of public access at the facility,” said Doug Cox, Imperial Irrigation District’s (IID) Assistant Manager for operations and maintenance. “Infrastructure improvements to the dam are extensive but are imperative to the continued efficient operations into the future of these important water delivery structures. While this inconveniences area residents and visitors, Reclamation and the IID are deeply committed to ensuring public safety throughout the remainder of construction.” <P> The IID, which operates and maintains the facility on behalf of Reclamation and other water district entities, oversees the infrastructure improvement projects occurring at the facility. Reclamation will maintain the public access closure to the Phil Swing Park area, the dam control house and overlook, and associated parking lot areas. The public will also not be allowed access at the McKinley Road Access Gate until project completion. <P> Imperial Dam, located approximately 18 miles northeast of Yuma, Arizona serves as the primary diversion point for water flowing from the Colorado River to the All-American Canal, the Coachella Canal, the Yuma Main Canal and the Gila Gravity Main Canal. Imperial Dam, the All-American Canal and the Gila Gravity Main Canal’s headworks which are operated and maintained by the IID. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56868 Bureau of Reclamation Temporarily Closing a Portion of Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail Near Hoover Dam.
Boulder City, Nev. — Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Dams Office is issuing an emergency closure notice for portions of the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail due to safety concerns related to construction work in the area. The portion of the trail that will be closed to the public lies within the Hoover Dam Security Zone and includes portions of the Trail immediately adjacent to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. <P> The Trail area near Hoover Dam will be temporarily closed on the weekdays of Monday through Thursday from October 11 through November 17, 2016. The area will be open to the public Friday through Sunday from dawn to dusk, and all special events scheduled during this period will occur. Visitors to the Railroad Tunnel trail during weekends are encouraged to maintain situational awareness as some construction equipment may be nearby but not in the way of the main trail. <P> The temporary closure of portions of the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail Mondays thru Thursdays from October 11 through November 17, 2016 is implemented in cooperation with the National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area for public safety. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56801 Draft Environmental Impact Statement Now Available for the Navajo Generating Station – Kayenta Mine Complex Project
Phoenix, Ariz. — In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Navajo Generating Station – Kayenta Mine Complex Project. The Draft EIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of extending the operation and maintenance of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and associated facilities, and the continued production of coal from the Kayenta Mine, from 2020 through 2044. The current plant-site lease for the NGS expires on Dec. 22, 2019. <P> The NGS, located on tribal trust land leased from the Navajo Nation near Page, Arizona, provides power to over one million customers in the southwestern United States and is the primary source of electricity for operation of the Central Arizona Project (CAP). The CAP, a Federal water supply project constructed by Reclamation, delivers over 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water annually to tribal, agricultural, municipal, and industrial water users in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties, Arizona. Reclamation, although not an owner of the NGS, is authorized by statute to participate in the NGS and use its share of NGS power to operate the pumps that deliver CAP water. Coal used by the NGS to generate this power is exclusively provided by the Kayenta Mine, located about 80 miles southeast of the NGS on tribal trust lands leased from both the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe. <P> The Draft EIS is available for public review and comment from Sept. 30, 2016, to Nov. 29, 2016. To download a copy of the Draft EIS or to find information on locations where a hard copy is available for review, please visit <a href="http://www.ngskmc-eis.net">http://www.ngskmc-eis.net </a>. Interested parties may also call Project Manager Sandra Eto at 623-773-6254 for information on repository locations. <P> The public is also invited to attend public meetings to learn about the proposed project and to provide input on the environmental analysis presented in the Draft EIS. Input from the public will ensure the adequacy and accuracy of the environmental document and will help the Department of the Interior make a well-informed decision on the proposed project. All written comments must be postmarked by the end of the comment period on Nov. 29, 2016, for consideration in the Final EIS. Send written comments via postal mail, hand delivery or courier to: NGS-KMC Project Manager, PXAO-1500 Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office 6150 W. Thunderbird Road Glendale, AZ 85306-4001 <P> Comments may also be faxed to 623-773-6483, emailed to NGSKMC-EIS@usbr.gov or submitted in person at any of the 11 public meetings. <P> Information about the public meetings, as well as a schedule and list of meeting locations is available at <a href="http://ngskmc-eis.net/draft-eis">http://ngskmc-eis.net/draft-eis </a>. <P> To learn more about the Navajo Generating Station – Kayenta Mine Complex Project, visit <a href="http://ngskmc-eis.net/draft-eis">http://ngskmc-eis.net/draft-eis </a> or call Project Manager Sandra Eto at 623-773-6254. <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56793 Apprentices successfully complete first year of training program
“The month of August 2016 is a memorable period in our Apprenticeship Program,” Randolph M. Argote declared recently. <P> Argote, the Supervisory Apprentice Coordinator at Hoover Dam, added, “Our power system electrician apprentices (PSEAs) successfully completed their first year in the program on Aug. 21.” <P> He then said that following a recent announcement, the Program is in the process of selecting five more powerplant operator apprentices (PPOAs). Additionally, the hydroelectric mechanic apprentices (HEMAs) completed their examinations on Aug. 31, which expedited their crossing of the halfway point in their program. <P> “This is an exciting triple milestone completion for all of us in the Apprenticeship Training Group,” Argote said. “We will celebrate these accomplishments with pride and gratitude to everyone in Hoover Dam and the Lower Colorado Dams Office, whose continuous support made all these possible.” He continued and with pride characterized the Hoover Dam Apprenticeship Program as “. . . a viable resource to train and develop these outstanding journeymen of the future.” <P> The group of PSEAs and HEMAs include Jeremy Trip, Joseph Crugnale, Richard Stewart, Dustin Shigematsu, Paul Valdez, Joshua Schwab, Sean Bucknam, Elijah Long, Chris Hanson and Corinna Wittig. <P> PPOA Instructor Bob Swain said he expects to begin instruction on powerplant operations in December with a new class “. . . of five shiny new powerplant operator apprentices.” <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56642 Reclamation Lowers Lake Mohave Water Level as Annual Razorback Sucker Harvest Gets Underway
Boulder City, Nev. — The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region is lowering water levels in Lake Mohave to aid in harvesting razorback suckers, a species native to the Colorado River, from lakeside rearing ponds. The work is part of annual river operations which is timed to coincide with conservation activities for the endangered fish. Beginning today, Lake Mohave will steadily lower from its September 14 elevation of 642 feet above mean sea level (msl) to an elevation of about 635 feet msl by the week of October 24. Lake Mohave is located above Davis Dam on the Colorado River near Laughlin, Nevada. <P> Water levels will begin rising again by early November as the conservation work is finished. Updated information on water levels at Lake Mohave and other Lower Colorado Region reservoirs is located at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html">www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html</a> under Current Conditions. Boaters may experience decreased access to ramps and should be extra cautious on the lake. For current recreation opportunities and changes, contact the National Park Service office at 702-293-8691. <P> Each year, Reclamation’s Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (LCR MSCP) gathers tens of thousands of newly hatched razorback sucker larvae from Lake Mohave and transfers the larvae to state and federal hatcheries throughout the Southwest. After an initial growth period in these hatcheries, many of the fish are placed in lakeside rearing ponds around Lake Mohave, where they continue to grow and learn how to forage for food. In the fall, these fish are harvested from the lakeside ponds, tagged with microchips and released back into Lake Mohave. <P> The project is part of Reclamation’s continuing collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State University and the Nevada Department of Wildlife. The LCR MSCP is a multi-agency effort to accommodate current and present water and power needs while conserving species and their habitats along the river. More information about conservation efforts for razorback suckers is available at <a href="http://www.lcrmscp.gov/fish/razorback_sucker.html">http://www.lcrmscp.gov/fish/razorback_sucker.html</a>. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56347 Bureau of Reclamation Begins Low-Level Helicopter Research Flights Over Yuma Area
YUMA, Ariz. — Reclamation’s Yuma Area Office (YAO), in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, is announcing an upcoming research project involving low-level helicopter flights in the Yuma area. The helicopter will be towing a large hexagonal frame over the Yuma agricultural production areas and the Colorado River over the next few weeks to survey and capture groundwater imagery. The flights will begin the last week of August and continue for up to 3 weeks. <P> On August 8, 2016 YAO entered into a contract with SkyTEM to collect real-time airborne electromagnetic geophysical survey flow imagery to determine the amount, location, quality and breadth of groundwater existing in underground channels and aquifers in the area. The instrumentation mounted below the helicopter gathers geologic measurements to learn more about water quality and the extent of aquifers existing below the sub-surface layer. <P> As part of the research effort, the contract helicopter will fly repetitive survey and grid runs over the Yuma Mesa, Yuma Irrigation District, Gila River, Wellton Mohawk, and along the southerly border with Mexico. <P> As part of its primary mission, YAO monitors and manages the depth and concentration of groundwater levels in the Yuma area for the use and benefit of water districts who depend on these supplies from the Colorado and Gila Rivers for irrigation, municipal use, or other related purposes. To better meet current and future water use needs in the area, YAO is undertaking a groundwater resource characterization study throughout the greater Yuma vicinity. <P> In conducting the detailed research, technicians will affix electromagnetic based survey equipment to a hexagon-shaped support apparatus that is towed about 100 feet below the helicopter in a ‘spider web’ array that is designed to map geologic features beneath the earth. The helicopter will be staffed by experienced pilots specially trained for low-level flights using this type of equipment. <P> Data gathered from the research flights will help YAO better understand and manage groundwater resources, and will include detailed geological cross sections and 3D imagery from the very near surface to depths over 350 meters. Data acquisition is expected to take place throughout September. <P> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56169 YAO student trainees’ work experience allows them to grow, shine
“There was always something new to experience,” said Enrique Cervantes, describing his participation in an eight-week internship at the Yuma Area Office (YAO) that he and eight other students recently completed and during which they gained work experience and learned about YAO operations. <P> The group also included Tara Andre, Gustavo Reyes and Matthew Federico, who worked in the Desalting and Program Management Office, Noel Robles, who worked in the Technical Support Office (TSO) along with Cervantes, Rusty Williams and George Onwiler, who worked in the Administrative Support Office, and Liliana Belmonte and Alecxis Meneses, who worked in the Resource Management Office. <P> Their internships were the highlight of a busy summer for them, which was preceded by a March 3, Student Employment Awareness Event hosted at YAO. At that event, Drake Cruz, Nicole Wilson, Brittany Johnson and Katie Swinn, from the Regional Office’s Human Resources and Equal Employment Opportunity offices, guided approximately 25 local students through the ins and outs of applying and interviewing for federal jobs, preparing a resume and networking with employers. Alluding to the quality and significance of this training, representatives from the Yuma Private Industry Council, Arizona Department of Economic Security and Goodwill of Central Arizona were also present to garner information and insight. <P> “YAO got to present itself as an employer of choice to the next generation of federal employees,” said YAO Management Assistant Brittany McAleese, who helped coordinate the event at YAO along with Administrative Support Office Chief Owen Fulsome; both expressed excitement about the event’s success. <P> During their internships, students had the opportunity to engage in a number of different activities. During their first week here, the interns enjoyed a tour of the YAO and the Yuma Desalting Plant, and received introductory training about office safety, communication skills and other resources available to them. Then, they proceeded to their work assignments in their respective offices and occasionally in the field. <P> “The most fun I had was when I was out with Chris Patane of YAO’s TSO, Construction Services Group, at the Imperial Dam for an inspection,” Cervantes recalled. “I got to talk to engineers while they managed their tasks and got to see wildlife. I also learned of different places [managed] by the Bureau of Reclamation, some of which I didn’t know existed.” <P> Echoing Cervantes’ feelings, Noel Robles stated, “The most fun and educational experience I had was working with Fred Croxen of YAO’s TSO, Geology and Groundwater Team. We visited over 100 wells, went to drilling sites and even took samples of the sediment makeup in order to understand the requirements for future wells to be implanted in the area. I got a great look into the worlds of hydrology and engineering because of this experience.” <P> Near the end of their employment at YAO, each intern gave a brief presentation about his or her experiences. Then, in the last week of their internships, the students experienced a three-hour tour of YAO facilities and projects — visiting Imperial Dam, trying their hand at dredging and learning about the environmental goals of YAO’s Laguna Conservation Project. As they rotated through the various tour destinations, Acting Deputy Regional Director Charlie Addington and Special Assistant to the Regional Director Michael Bernardo accompanied the group and visited with the students. <P> Following the tour, the students enjoyed an appreciation lunch, after which Addington and Bernardo shared words of experience and encouragement to the students to take with them as they prepared to return to school in the fall. At the conclusion of the event, the students received a copy of Colossus by Michael Hiltzik, inscribed by Regional Director Terry Fulp, as he had done for the departing summer employee students in the Boulder City area. The book describes the history and construction of Hoover Dam. <P> “I have learned about all the work that goes into maintaining the Colorado River, which has given me a greater appreciation for Reclamation,” said Tara Andre as she summed up the effect the intern experience had on her and the other interns. “I have done work that utilizes and reinforces my skills and education, which, in turn, has shown me the direction I should take for my career.” She added that she “. . . became invested in the work,” and the people with whom she worked. <P> “I believe that becoming invested in the workplace should be considered a fantastic result of the internship program and I know that my fellow interns share this sentiment,” she concluded. “The YAO has invested in us and now we interns are ready to invest in the YAO!” <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55990 Reclamation will prepare Enviornmental Impact Statement for the Pure Water San Diego Program, North City Project
TEMECULA, Calif. — The Bureau of Reclamation and the City of San Diego will prepare a joint Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the North City Project. The project is the first phase of the Pure Water San Diego Program, a water and wastewater facilities plan to produce potable water from recycled water. <P> Eighty-five percent (85%) of the City’s water supply is imported from the Colorado River and northern California. The Pure Water Program will make San Diego more water independent by recycling a valuable and limited resource that is currently discharged to the Pacific Ocean. <P> The proposed North City Project will expand the existing North City Water Reclamation Plant and construct an adjacent Advanced Water Purification Facility with a purified water pipeline to Miramar Reservoir, providing about 15% of the City’s water supply. A project alternative would install a longer pipeline to deliver the product water to the larger San Vicente reservoir. <P> A notice of intent will be published in the Federal Register on August 5, 2016, starting the National Environmental Policy Act review. San Diego is filing a Notice of Preparation under the California Environmental Quality Act. Public meetings are scheduled on August 23, 2016 and August 25, 2016. The Notice of Preparation, Notice of Scoping Meetings, and a proposed Scope of Work are available at <a href="http://docs.sandiego.gov/citybulletin_publicnotices/CEQA/PN1300%20%23499621%20NOP2%20Date%208-4-16.pdf">http://docs.sandiego.gov/citybulletin_publicnotices/CEQA/PN1300%20%23499621%20NOP2%20Date%208-4-16.pdf </a>. <P> Interested parties are invited to comment on the scope of the draft EIS/EIR to help identify alternatives and issues that should be analyzed. Federal, State and local agencies, tribes, and the general public are welcome to participate in the environmental review process. Comments should be mailed to Doug McPherson, Environmental Protection Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, Southern California Area Office, 27708 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 202, Temecula, CA 92590, or submitted by e-mail to: <a href=mailto:dmcpherson@usbr.gov > dmcpherson@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55848 Donnarumma retires after more than four decades of service
“Working and training with this group of people gave me a sense of belonging and I was proud to be a member of this team for 12 years.” <P> With that sentiment in his heart, Hydroelectric Mechanic (HEM) Randy K. Donnarumma will end his nearly 44-year Federal career in late September, 23 years of which he has worked in the Lower Colorado Region. Donnarumma works at Hoover Dam where some of his duties, since his arrival there in 2004, have included “. . . top-side disassembly and assembly of a unit in overhaul to prep the unit for rotor pick,” he said. <P> He also operated and maintained the four 300-ton bridge cranes in the Arizona and Nevada generator galleries. Additionally, Donnarumma was responsible for providing crane service and support throughout the overhaul season — October through June — to HEM overhaul crews, electricians, Western Area Power Administration staff and contractor crews throughout the powerplant. <P> “We also provided forklift service and support for the loading and unloading of equipment off of cars, pickups, trucks, etc.,” he added. “When I transferred to Hoover Dam in June 2004, within a month or so, I volunteered to be on the Fire Brigade for the extracurricular activity,” he said. “Not only do we train to fight fires, we also trained for high-angle rescue and confined space rescue, which is ‘pretty cool’ stuff; I stepped down in April 2016.” <P> Donnarumma began working in the LC Region in 1994 when he joined the staff at Davis Dam. However, his Federal career began years before when he served in the U.S. Navy. <P> “After serving in the Navy as an ABE (steam catapult and arresting gear operator/mechanic) aboard the USS Constellation CVA-64 and three West Pac tours in Vietnam, I was honorably discharged and immediately got into the Veterans Recruitment Appointments (VRA) program. This got me started [as a civilian employee] at the Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, San Diego, California in February 1975,” he said. <P> There he worked as an aircraft engine worker, working on F4 Phantoms, J-79 jet engines and Huey helicopter T-64 & T-68 turbine engines. Additionally, he worked as an aircraft launch and recovery device mechanic. <P> “I worked on catapult and arresting gear systems for aircraft carriers such as USS Ariskani, USS Coral Sea, USS Independence, USS Ranger, USS Kitty Hawk, USS constellation and the USS Enterprise,” he said. “As I started my new job as an aircraft engine worker at NAS North Island, I also started my reserve time with the Air Force Reserve as a flight engineer on a B-141, stationed at March Air Force Base with the 452 Bomber Air Wing,” Donnarumma recalled. <P> During that time, he attended school, trained at Norton Air Force Base and flew with the 452 Air Wing at March Air Force Base. “This was the most memorable and challenging time of my life.” <P> Responding to a question about job satisfaction, he declared, “First and foremost was money! When the Bureau of Reclamation hired him to work at Davis Dam, he said he received a $6 an hour raise, “. . . and my life with my family changed forever!” <P> Donnarumma is a graduate of San Diego State University, where he earned his Bachelor Degree in mechanical engineering. He is also a certified crane operator, rigger and forklift operator. <P> “I plan on purchasing a catamaran and sail back to the Hawaiian Islands and re-explore the islands in a different perspective, but I won't be able to do that until my daughter Ralynn graduates in 2020,” he said describing his plans for after retirement. “Meanwhile, I earned my private pilot certificate in 1997 and have owed three general aviation aircraft since then.” <P> He said he flies “. . . all over the country” in his 1968 Mooney M20C four-seater, which he keeps at the Boulder City Municipal Airport. “I'm working on picking up my CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) certificate,” he added, so he can teach flying at the Boulder City airport until his daughter graduates. <P> To those who are just beginning their Federal career, Donnarumma advised, “Learn how to flow and adapt with the group of people you work with. You think you know it all? Then you’re a ‘wanna be.’ You'll only prove your arrogance in the eyes of a seasoned journeyman. Learn how to flow.” <P>