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Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment - Implementation of Rio Grande Project Operating Procedures,
New Mexico and Texas

The Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office proposes to continue implementing operating procedures and an operating agreement, signed in 2008, for the Rio Grande Project (Proposed Action).

Reclamation initially intended this supplemental Environmental Assessment to analyze the potential impacts of implementation of the OA on the human environment over the entire remaining period of the OA (through 2050). However, further analysis and review of the potential effects of implementation of the OA revealed two points: 1) for the period 2013-2015, differences in potential impacts between previous operations of the project under the No Action alternative and the projected operations under the OA are projected to be minimal and insignificant, and 2) based on the available data and analytical tools, we can only reasonably predict potential impacts to the human environment over a limited time frame. In light of uncertainties regarding the persistence of drought conditions and the need to improve the analytical tools to detect impacts of the OA, it was determined that analysis of a longer period would be of limited utility at this time.

Consequently, Reclamation believes it should prioritize its review on the short-term, during which the known information will be of the greatest utility to the general public and decision-makers. Reclamation’s period of analysis for this supplemental EA is therefore limited to a three year period. During this three year period, Reclamation will voluntarily commence and actively pursue, upon completion of the current NEPA process, the development and refinement of modeling tools to thoroughly analyze the implementation of the OA over its remaining life (through 2050) through an Environmental Impact Statement. Through this overall approach, Reclamation is providing analysis of short-term impacts in a timely manner while still performing detailed analyses of longer-term impacts in order to assist in the public's consideration of the Proposed Action.

 Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment
2.0 MB
21.8 MB
 Finding of No Significant Impact
500 KB



Last updated: June 27, 2013