Posted on | June 10, 2011 | 1 Comment
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare your reading glasses. Today the Bureau of Land Management is expected to publish a long-delayed draft environmental impact statement scrutinizing the impact to federal land of a proposed Las Vegas pipeline into the Great Basin. Long pipe (306 miles), long document (it’s expected to run more than 1,200 pages). An extended comment period of 90 days is expected. Click here for background, here for a link to the federal register. The comment period will start the day that a notice of publication of the EIS appears in the register.
Shortly after the federal comment period ends over access to public land for the Vegas pipeline, Nevada’s State Engineer will begin omnibus hearings to decide whether or not to award water to fill it. Previous awards by the former state engineer were thrown out by two courts, citing due process violations and unsound assessments of available groundwater reserves. Click here for the latest schedule for the hearings, which will begin in September. Among new protestants is the Long Now Foundation.
*Update: A downloadable version of the EIS has not yet been posted on the BLM website. The BLM explains that it’s a massive job involving more than 100 downloads. Another hydrologist warns that it is “a hard drive buster.” For those not near to public reading rooms carrying hard copies in Nevada, it is better perhaps to request a disk version from the BLM. There are links to do this on the Federal Register announcement.