[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 23 (Wednesday, February 4, 2015)]
[Pages 6064-6065]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-02086]



Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers

Separation and Independent Evaluation of the Proposed Halligan 
and Seaman Water Management Projects in Northeastern Colorado

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY:  On February 1, 2006, the Omaha District, U.S. Army Corps of

[[Page 6065]]

Engineers (USACE) published a Notice of Intent to Prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to jointly analyze the direct, 
indirect and cumulative effects of two water supply projects that were 
proposed collectively as the Halligan-Seaman Water Management Project. 
USACE has determined that the two projects will be separated and 
independently evaluated as the Halligan Water Supply Project EIS and 
the Seaman Water Supply Project EIS. Constructing the proposed Projects 
would impact jurisdictional waters of the United States, thereby 
requiring Clean Water Act Section 404 permits. The Cities of Fort 
Collins and Greeley (Cities) have proposed the Projects to meet 
existing and future water demands during droughts, more efficiently 
manage the Cities' existing or future water rights, provide some 
operational redundancy, and possibly enhance river functions. The 
proposed Projects involve enlarging two existing reservoirs, Halligan 
Reservoir and Milton Seamen Reservoir (Seaman Reservoir), which would 
provide approximately 56,125 acre-feet of additional storage capacity 
in the Cache la Poudre River Basin. The Halligan and Seaman Water 
Supply Projects would both be non-federal projects constructed, owned 
and operated by the Cities.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Questions regarding the proposed 
action and Draft EISs should be addressed to Cody Wheeler, Project 
Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 9307 South Wadsworth Boulevard, 
Littleton, CO 80128-6901; [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  In 2006, the Cities of Fort Collins and 
Greeley and six other water providers (Participants) had originally 
proposed to replace the existing dams with new, larger dams immediately 
downstream of the existing Halligan and Seaman dams. This would have 
provided 88,592 acre-feet of additional storage capacity. The 
Participants were composed of water providers in the region and 
included three water districts collectively known as the Tri-District 
including North Weld County Water District, Fort Collins-Loveland Water 
District, and East Larimer County Water District; the City of Evans; 
the North Poudre Irrigation Company; and the Water Supply and Storage 
Company. However, six participants have terminated their participation 
in the Halligan and Seaman water supply projects leaving Fort Collins 
and Greeley as the sole project proponents. The additional storage 
capacity needed has accordingly decreased from 88,592 to 56,125 acre-
feet. This smaller amount of needed storage might be provided by 
raising the existing Halligan and Seaman dams rather than replacing 
them with larger new dams immediately downstream.
    Water stored in the expanded reservoirs would address municipal and 
industrial water demands as well as some agricultural demands. 
Preliminary analyses by the Cities indicate that the enlarged 
reservoirs would fill primarily during the summer and fall months from 
North Fork Poudre River flows. Seaman Reservoir would also fill via a 
pump station on the Poudre River main stem near the dam site. Small 
releases are proposed throughout the year on a periodic basis to 
maximize operational efficiency. The cities anticipate that both 
reservoirs would remain mostly full except during drought periods.
    USACE has completed its analysis of the purpose and need for the 
two projects. Alternatives to the Halligan project have been identified 
and USACE is evaluating the impacts of those alternatives. However, the 
City of Greeley has expressed concerns about USACE-identified 
alternatives to the Seaman project. Addressing these concerns would 
also delay evaluating the Fort Collins' Halligan project. Several 
contributing factors including the differing study schedules led Fort 
Collins and Greeley to request that the two projects be separated and 
independently evaluated. USACE carefully considered the request and 
determined that it is appropriate and in the best interest of all 
involved to independently evaluate the two projects.
    The EIS will be prepared according to the USACE's procedures for 
implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, 42 
U.S.C.4332(2)(c), and consistent with the USACE's policy to facilitate 
public understanding and review of agency proposals. Scoping as 
described in the original Notice of Intent (February 1, 2006 (71 FR 
5250)) was completed. Although needed storage has decreased, the scopes 
of the two projects and the issues identified in the initial scoping 
process remain essentially the same. Therefore, additional public 
scoping meetings are not required. As part of the EIS process, a full 
range of reasonable alternatives including the proposed Project and no 
action will be evaluated.
    As two separate projects, the USACE anticipates completing and 
releasing the Draft Halligan Water Supply EIS during the spring of 
2016. The Draft Seaman Water Supply EIS will be completed at a later 
date. Each Draft EIS will be published for public review and comments. 
Public comments will be considered and addressed in each Final EIS 
serving as a basis for the USACE decision to issue or deny Section 404 
Permits to enlarge Halligan and Seaman reservoirs.
    USACE has invited the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks 
and Wildlife, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 
Larimer County, and Weld County to be cooperating agencies in preparing 
the EISs.

Cody S. Wheeler,
Project Manager, Regulatory Branch.
[FR Doc. 2015-02086 Filed 2-3-15; 8:45 am]