Author Topic: Ca - Final EIS - reconstruction of the furnace creek water collection system  (Read 1889 times)

Offline Todd Ockert

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[Federal Register: August 7, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 151)]
[Page 44180]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



National Park Service

Final Environmental Impact Statement; Reconstruction of the
Furnace Creek Water Collection System; Death Valley National Park, Inyo
County, CA; Notice of Approval of Record of Decision

    Summary: Pursuant to Sec.  102(2)(C) of the National Environmental
Policy Act of 1969 (Pub. L. 91-190, as amended) and the implementing
regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR
part 1505.2), the Department of the Interior, National Park Service has
prepared, and the Regional Director, Pacific West Region has approved
the Record of Decision (and Statement of Findings for Wetlands and
Floodplains) for the reconstruction of the Furnace Creek water
collection system at Death Valley Natioal Park. Reconstructing the
water collection system affords the park with the opportunity to
provide a reliable quality and quantity of potable water to the users
in the Furnace Creek area, to promote conservation of biological and
cultural resources in the Texas-Travertine Springs area, and to enhance
water resource protection and management in the Furnace Creek area. The
no-action ``30-day wait period'' was officially initiated July 14,
2006, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Federal Register
notification of the filing of the Final Environmental Impact Statement.
    Decision: As soon as practicable the park will begin to implement
the Preferred Alternative (with minor modifications from Alternative C
as described in the Draft and Final EIS); as documented in the EIS,
this alternative was deemed to be the ``environmentally preferred''
course of action and it was further determined that implementation of
the selected actions will not constitute an impairment of park
resources and values. In doing so, the park can rebuild the outdated
water collection system in the Furnace Creek area to supply safe and
reliable potable and nonpotable water to the park's main visitor use
area, separate the potable and nonpotable water systems in the project
area, and provide nonpotable water from the Inn Tunnel and a relocated
Furnace Creek Wash collection gallery. The selected actions will
provide potable water from two to three new groundwater wells in the
Texas Springs Syncline, and will treat water collected for potable
purposes using a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. The concentrate
water generated from the water treatment process will be conveyed to
the park's sewage treatment plant for evaporation. Non-potable water
will be collected from Furnace Creek Wash and the Inn Tunnel. Water for
riparian restoration purposes will be released from Texas Springs and
Travertine Springs Lines 1, 2, 3, and 4. To meet maximum daily flow
requirements, Alternative 3 will collect 600 gallons per minute (GPM)
of potable water and 900 gpm of nonpotable water, and release
approximately 770 gpm of riparian water.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Based upon agency comments and refinements
desired by the planning team collaborative, the selected plan includes
several adjustments from the Preferred Alternative as detailed in the
EIS, including but not limited to the determination that reverse
osmosis discharge water will be piped to wastewater treatment lagoons,
thus eliminating any potential for unacceptable environmental effects
through other discharge options. The selected project and three
alternatives were identified and analyzed in the Final EIS, and
previously in the Draft EIS (the latter was distributed in October,
2005). A broad spectrum of foreseeable environmental consequences were
assessed, and appropriate mitigation measures identified, for each
alternative. Beginning with early scoping, through the preparation of
Draft and Final EIS, a series of public meetings and open-houses were
conducted locally. Overall approximately 10 written comments were
received (as noted above, some agency comments served as the source of
minor adjustments to the final selected plan). Key consultations or
other contacts which aided in preparing the EIS involved (but were not
limited to) the California State Historic Preservation Office, the
Lahotan Region Water Quality Control Board, the California Department
of Transportation, the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe and its Tribal Historic
Preservation Officer, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    Copies: Interested parties desiring to review the Record of
Decision may obtain a complete copy by contacting Superintendent James
T. Reynolds, Death Valley National Park, P.O. Box 579, Death Valley,
California 92328; telephone (760) 786-3227 or via e-mail at

    Dated: May 21, 2007.
Jonathan B. Jarvis,
Regional Director, Pacific West Region.
[FR Doc. 07-3838 Filed 8-6-07; 8:45 am]


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