Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Corps Announces EIS Process For ANS Control Interbasin Study

Nov 16: The Chicago District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced in the Federal Register [75 FR 69983-69985] its intent to: (1) prepare a Draft EIS; (2) accept public comments; and (3) host a public scoping meeting in Chicago for the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS). In collaboration with other Federal, state, and local agencies as well as non-governmental entities, USACE is conducting a feasibility study of the options and technologies that could be applied to prevent or reduce the risk of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) transfer between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through aquatic pathways. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping period ends on February 28, 2011. The first NEPA Public Scoping meeting for GLMRIS is scheduled for December 15, 2010 in Chicago. Additional scoping meetings in other cities will be announced later.
    According to the announcement, the Mississippi River and Great Lakes Basins are connected by man-made channels that, in the past, exhibited poor water quality, which was an impediment to the transfer of organisms between the basins. Now that water quality has improved, these canals allow the transfer of both indigenous and nonindigenous invasive species. Potential ANS controls may include, but are not limited to, hydrologic separation of the basins, waterway modifications, selective barriers, etc. USACE will accept comments related to GLMRIS until February 28, 2011.
    Access the FR announcement (click here). Access the GLMRIS project website for further information and to submit comments (click here).