The Williston Herald reports:
A more detailed study looking at how best to make the Glendive Intake Diversion Dam fish friendly while preserving its ability to reliably and cost-effectively deliver water to about 58,000 acres of cropland in Montana and North Dakota has been finalized and is being posted to the Federal Register on Oct. 21.
The posting will start a 30-day clock in which the public has one final chance to review and comment on the matter. Assuming no new and significantly adverse effect is identified in the final EIS comments, the lead agencies may then prepare a Record of Decision.
The more detailed study was ordered as a result of a lawsuit filed by Defenders of Wildlife and the Natural Resources Defense Council, arguing that there were no guarantees that a fish passage would work and that more alternatives, including removal of the dam altogether, ought to have been considered. The study was completed and presented for public comment and review this summer. An agreement between the parties in the suit requires a status report to be made to the judge within 15 days of a Record of Decision, or within 60 days of a final EIS, so that he can issue a ruling. The parties could also meet in the interim to reach an agreement and resolve the dispute.
The federal agencies involved in the more extensive environmental study report received more than 13,250 comments on the expanded study.
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Source: Williston Herald