Flaming Gorge pipeline: Corps of Engineers extends comment period to September 28

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From the Casper Start Tribune (Jeff Gearino) via Billings Gazette:

The scoping comment period for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental impact statement will now close Sept. 28, Corps project leader Rena Brand said Tuesday in a media release.
She said the extended comment period will allow the Corps additional time to respond to more than 40 requests for cooperating agency status from a variety of agencies and organizations, including Green River and Sweetwater County.
“The Corps intends to communicate with some entities on consolidating participation by appointing a single point of contact to represent multiple entities,” Brand said…

locals contended the project would hurt local businesses in the area, would curtail future growth in Green River and neighboring Rock Springs and could threaten the world-class fisheries on the river and in the gorge. Last week, Rock Springs council members voted to join a coalition with Green River and the county that aims to fight Million’s proposal. The three governmental entities allocated a combined $450,000 to the Communities Protecting the Green River coalition for the effort, which officials said may include litigation. Additionally, the county and Green River are seeking cooperating agency status as part of the Corps’ environmental impact statement process. Corps officials predicted the draft EIS could be released as early as 2012, with a final permit decision taking up to five years.

In written comments submitted to the Corps last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it was opposed to the Million project plan. Service officials said the agency’s concerns focused on how the pipeline would affect threatened or endangered species, migratory birds and habitats, and the overall ecosystem balance.

More Flaming Gorge pipeline coverage here and here.

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