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Ochoco Irrigation District - Notice of Availability of Draft EA & Public Meeting

Notice of Availability of Draft Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment and Virtual Public Meeting on September 16, 2020 for Ochoco Irrigation District Infrastructure Modernization Project

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces the availability of a Draft Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (Draft Plan-EA) for the Ochoco Irrigation District Infrastructure Modernization Project. Ochoco Irrigation District proposes to replace 10.1 miles of District-operated canals with 9.2 miles of buried pipelines, install a new pipeline along McKay Creek, and complete associated improvements such as pump installations and canal bank raises. The proposed project would improve irrigation water management and delivery, reduce district operations and maintenance costs, improve public safety, and enhance streamflow in portions of McKay Creek and the Crooked River. The Deschutes Basin Board of Control is the project sponsor and Ochoco Irrigation District is the project co-sponsor. Farmers Conservation Alliance is assisting NRCS in this planning process. The Bureau of Reclamation participated in the preparation of this Draft Plan-EA as a Cooperating Agency for National Environmental Policy Act compliance purposes. The proposed improvements may be partially funded through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954 (PL 83-566).

The proposed project is located in Crook County, Oregon. The National Environmental Policy Act and the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations at 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508 require evaluations of the potential effects of federally funded projects on human and natural resources. These evaluations include input from the public. NRCS has reviewed the potential impacts of the project and released a Draft Plan-EA for public and agency review.

You are invited to attend a virtual public meeting to provide input on this project. At the virtual meeting, project partners will present the range of resource issues associated with the project and alternatives to addressing system improvements in Ochoco Irrigation District. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Date: September 16, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Register at:  www.oregonwatershedplans.org

The meeting will be held virtually using Zoom. A recording of the meeting will be available afterward at the same website. Media inquiries should be sent to Margi Hoffmann at margi.hoffmann@fcasolutions.org.
 

Comments on the Draft Plan-EA may be submitted during a public comment period starting September 1, 2020 and ending on September 30, 2020. You can view the complete Draft Plan-EA and other project information online at www.oregonwatershedplans.org. A printed copy of the Draft Plan-EA is also available at the Crook County Library (175 NW Meadow Lakes Drive Prineville, OR 97754).

Comments may be emailed to ochoco.id.comments@gmail.com, submitted online at www.oregonwatershedplans.org, or mailed to:

Farmers Conservation Alliance
102 State Street
Hood River, OR 97031