BLM seeks comment on plan that would affect proposed Lake Powell pipeline; public meetings scheduled

Zach Frankel, executive director of the Utah Rivers Council, warns that the Lake Powell pipeline will be a tremendous financial burden on the residents of Washington County during a public comment meeting, St. George, Utah, March 22, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Bureau of Land Management is accepting the public’s input on a proposal to amend the Arizona Strip Resource Management Plan as part of its evaluation of the proposed Lake Powell pipeline route in the Kanab Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern, located south of the Kaibab Paiute reservation.

Approximately 1 1/2 miles of the proposed pipeline would run through the Kanab Creek area, affecting 900 of 13,148 acres, with approximately 1 mile located within a designated utility corridor. The BLM must complete the resource management plan amendment in order to address planning inconsistencies between the proposed water pipeline route and the existing designated utility corridor.

“We are committed to hearing from all area stakeholders about the use of public lands in their backyards,”Arizona Strip Field Manager Lorraine Christian said in a statement released by the agency. “The BLM works with the public to determine responsible uses of working landscapes, such as this proposed water pipeline project, which has the potential to benefit local communities through improved infrastructure, job creation, and economic growth.”

The Utah Legislature passed the Lake Powell Pipeline Development Act in 2006. When completed, the 140-mile-long pipeline would generate an estimated 300 megawatts of power and divert 82,249-acre feet of water from Lake Powell to Washington County and 4,000 acre-feet to Kane County each year.

The Utah Division of Water Resources is the Lake Powell Pipeline Project proponent. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the lead agency to complete the environmental impact statement for the pipeline project, and the BLM is a cooperating agency.

The BLM has scheduled public scoping meetings in communities near the Kanab Creek ACEC.  During these meetings, the public can provide input to the BLM on relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and help guide the planning process.  The meetings are scheduled for the following dates, times and locations:

  • Tuesday, July 17, from 5-8 p.m. at the Fredonia Elementary School gym, 222 N. 200 East, Fredonia, AZ 86022
  • Wednesday, July 18, from 5-8 p.m. at the Dixie Center, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George, UT 84790
  • Thursday, July 19, from 1-5 p.m. at the Kaibab Village Community Center, 2230 N. Pipe Spring Road, Fredonia, AZ 86022

Comments may also be submitted via mail and email. The comment period ends Aug. 3, 2018.

Written comments may be mailed to Christian at the Arizona Strip Field Office, 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah 84790. Comments may also be faxed to her at 435-688-3258 or emailed to BLM_AZ_ASFO_comments@blm.gov.  Please include “Proposed Arizona Strip Resource Management Plan Amendment” in the subject line of your letter, fax or email. All comments will be made available to the public.

The BLM will incorporate the analysis for the resource management plan amendment into Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental impact statement for the larger Lake Powell Pipeline Project. The commission will analyze the proposed pipeline project and the proposed plan amendment to consider allowing development of the Lake Powell pipeline within the Kanab Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

Updated June 28 to reflect new deadline for comment period.

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2 Comments

  • beacon June 26, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    300 megawatts of power produced by the LPP is only if the Pumped Storage Project part of the LPP is built – a project that costs over $600 million and IS NOT INCLUDED in the current cost projections for the LPP of $1.1-1.8 billion. With the PSP cost the LPP cost would be approx $2.5 billion and that does not include finance costs. Conveniently (!) the district and state do not talk about the PSP other than when they want to make note of the power production could afford or when they want to convince FERC that the LPP is a “power project” which is also interesting. In all the meetings I’ve attended, both local and state, the discussion has always been about water not power!

  • Billy Bob Ray June 28, 2018 at 12:36 am

    Don’t bother to comment about the LPP. The fix is already in to make so folks very rich……….

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