January 21, 2011

Corps extends comment period on Sakakawea surplus water report

Corps extends comment period on Sakakawea surplus water report
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, has extended the public comment period for the Draft Lake Sakakawea Surplus Water Report and Environmental Assessment by an additional 15 days, giving the public an opportunity to provide their input and recommendations through Feb. 1.
“This report has generated a significant amount of public interest, and our goal is to ensure that the public has enough time to review the report, and provide us with their comments and input, which we will take into consideration as we move forward with developing the final report,” said Larry Janis, project manager.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., is urging the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to abandon its proposal to charge North Dakotans for storing surplus water in Lake Sakakawea.
In a letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Conrad said he is deeply concerned about the Corps’ proposal to charge North Dakota users for storage in Lake Sakakawea. He noted that, with the exception of one entity, no other users along the entire Missouri River system are charged for such storage.
“The Corps wants to punish us for using some of the storage at a time when our domestic energy development is thriving and access to this resource is critical to its continued development,” writes Conrad.  “It simply defies logic that the Corps can advance a proposal to charge only some authorized users of the system and not others.”
Gov. Jack Dalrymple has also weighed in, saying the State of North Dakota is opposed to the plan.
 


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