News Release Archive

Public Comment Extended on Rio Grande Operating Agreement Draft EIS

Media Contact: Mary Carlson, (505) 462-3576, mcarlson

For Release: May 05, 2016

Albuquerque, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation is extending the public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on continuing to implement the 2008 Operating Agreement for the Rio Grande Project Operating Agreement, and to implement long-term contracts for storage of San Juan-Chama Project water in Elephant Butte Reservoir.

The Notice of Extension of the comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement was published in the Federal Register on May 5, 2016. The public comment period for the Draft EIS will end on June 8, 2016.

The document was prepared to analyze the environmental effects of continuing to implement the Operating Agreement until 2050. The Operating Agreement fulfills obligations in Reclamation’s contracts with the Elephant Butte Irrigation District and El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1. The proposed action is also to implement long-term contracts for storage of San Juan-Chama Project water in Elephant Butte Reservoir, where Reclamation would execute a multiyear contract through 2050 to store 50,000 acre-feet per year.

The document is available at the Bureau of Reclamation website at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/albuq/rm/RGP/index.html.

Copies of the document are also available for public review at the following locations:

• Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office, 555 Broadway NE, Suite 100, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102.

• Bureau of Reclamation, El Paso Field Division, 10737 Gateway West, Suite 350, El Paso, Texas, 79935.

• Natural Resources Library, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Main Interior Building, Washington, DC, 20240-0001.

• Elephant Butte Irrigation District, 530 South Melendres Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88005.

• El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, 13247 Alameda Avenue, Clint, Texas, 79836.

• El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, Canutillo Office, 7254 La Junta Drive, Canutillo, Texas, 79835.

The Rio Grande Project extends from Elephant Butte in southern New Mexico down to west Texas. Its facilities include Elephant Butte and Caballo Dams and Reservoirs; Percha, Leasburg, Mesilla, American and International Diversion Dams; and canals and drains.

Written comments on the Draft EIS should be submitted to Nancy Coulam by e-mail at ncoulam@usbr.gov or by mail at Bureau of Reclamation, 125 State Street, Room 8100, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138-1147 on or before Monday, June 8, 2016.

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