From the Vernal Express (Mary Bernard):
[David Allison, environmental consultant for Uintah County] opened his talk before the Vernal Chamber luncheon saying the comment period relates to the environmental impact statement being prepared for Million’s permit request. “He has submitted project plans to the Corps in order to receive a permit for the 400-mile long pipeline,” says Allison…
“It’s a no-brainer,” Allison says enumerating the county’s concerns. “In the first place, based on water availability the amount of water requested may be unsustainable.” Water withdrawal would include 85,000 acre feet out of the Green River and 165,000 acre feet to be piped from Flaming Gorge Reservoir. “Secondly, they’re not dealing with issues relating to water rights in this environmental impact statement,” the consultant said. “Federal process under the National Environmental Protection Act do not allow severalty. They need to address all the impacts.”
The strongest argument Allison says is that water flows will be changed on the Green River which will likely further endanger protected species of fish. “We’ve spent a lot of money on threatened and endangered species,” Allison says, noting the considerable cost that has gone into protected lands like the Ouray Refuge in Brown’s Park.
He sums up effects by saying “these withdrawals will degrade water quality, increase temperature, raise sediment levels and alter flows.” “Local business will be affected as the draw-down will impact the recreational use of Flaming Gorge and the Green below the dam,” Allison says. “But these impacts are not part of the current Corps document in preparation.”