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Public Notice Announcing Public Review Period for Adoption of the Odessa Subarea Special Study Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision

Public comments may be submitted until 30 days after the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register, which is estimated to be on December 8, 2023.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is adopting the 2012 Odessa Subarea Special Study Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) produced by the Bureau of Reclamation in cooperation with the State of Washington, represented by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

The FEIS examined the potential to replace groundwater with Columbia Basin Project water for currently irrigated lands within the Odessa Subarea Special Study Area. The FEIS and Record of Decision identified Alternative 4A: Modified Partial-Replacement-Banks with Limited Spring Diversion Scenario as the selected alternative. Alternative 4A aims to replace acre-for-acre groundwater irrigation on 70,000 acres in the Odessa Subarea with 164,000 acre-feet of new Columbia River diversions. Since Reclamation published the FEIS in 2012, the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Program—a consortium of local, state, and federal partners—has worked towards phased implementation of Alternative 4A. NRCS is adopting the FEIS to support implementation of Alternative 4A. Implementing Alternative 4A will support agriculture and address groundwater depletion impacting agricultural, municipal, industrial, and commercial users in the Odessa Subarea.

NRCS intends to select Alternative 4A as its preferred alternative. NRCS invites agencies and individuals who have special expertise, legal jurisdiction, or interest in the NRCS adoption of the FEIS for the Odessa Subarea Special Study to participate and comment. Changed circumstances or new information will be evaluated to determine if a new or supplemental EIS should be prepared.

Public comments may be submitted until 30 days after the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register, which is estimated to be on December 8, 2023. Comments may be emailed to comments@ogwrp-programs.org, submitted online at https://www.ogwrp-programs.org/watershed-plan, submitted via phone at (541) 716-6085, or mailed to Farmers Conservation Alliance, 102 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031.

Additional information is available online at https://www.ogwrp-programs.org/watershed-plan or the NRCS Washington https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/conservation-basics/conservation-by-state/washington/nrcs-washington-public-notices.

Encontrará más información en la página web https://www.ogwrp-programs.org/watershed-plan o en la página web de avisos públicos del NRCS de Washington en https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/conservation-basics/conservation-by-state/washington/nrcs-washington-public-notices.