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Bureau of Land Management
The BLM Ely Field Office is preparing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this project. For more information about the EIS, contact the BLM Ely Office.



The EIS Process

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required under the National Environmental Policy Act before the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can issue rights-of-way for the Clark, Lincoln and White Pine Counties Groundwater Development Project (GWD Project). This process also requires public involvement before the federal government makes its decision.

This multi-stage process involves extensive research and public participation. An EIS must be completed on many projects involving federal action—in this case, the potential granting of rights-of-way to the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Purpose

The role of this process is to identify any potential environmental impacts associated with the GWD Project so the BLM can take them into consideration when making its decision.

Stages

The EIS includes six primary stages, each involving a series of related activities. The BLM determines the timetable for this process.

Step One - Notice of Intent (completed)
The process begins with a Notice of Intent published in the Federal Register.

Step Two - Scoping Period
During the Scoping Period, BLM gathers comments related to the EIS. The BLM collects stakeholder comments at public meetings, as well as gathers comments sent via fax or mail. BLM held public scoping meetings in late April and early May 2005, and the public scoping comment period extended through Aug. 1, 2005.

The BLM may hold additional public scoping in summer 2006 to address minor changes to the GWD Project. These changes are based on a January 2006 cooperative agreement between SNWA and the Lincoln County Water District, whereby SNWA will provide capacity in the GWD Project to convey water for Lincoln County.

Step Three - Draft EIS
The BLM prepares a Draft EIS and makes it available to the public. This document generally includes the following:

  • Summary
  • Purpose of and need for action
  • Alternatives, including proposed actions
  • Affected environment
  • Environmental consequences

Step Four - Notice of Availability
The completion of the Draft EIS is announced in the Federal Register through a Notice of Availability. This notice includes specific information about the public comment period, including a time frame, locations of public meetings and information about how comments may be submitted. Public participation associated with the Draft EIS is administered by the BLM.

Step Five - Final EIS
After the public comment period, a Final EIS is prepared. This document includes descriptions of public comments and indicates how they were addressed in the Final EIS. A Notice of Availability is posted in the Federal Register announcing the completion of the Final EIS.

Step Six - Record of Decision
No sooner than 30 days after the Final EIS is published, a Record of Decision describing the BLM's decision regarding proposed action is published in the Federal Register.

Schedule
Rights-of-Way Application Submitted August 2004
Publish Notice of Intent April 8, 2005
Public Scoping Period - meetings and public comment April - Aug. 1, 2005
Second Public Scoping Period Anticipated summer 2006
Draft Environment Impact Statement Review TBD*
Final Environmental Impact Statement Printed TBD*
Notice of Availability Published TBD*
Record of Decision Issued TBD*

*To be determined by the Bureau of Land Management