FS to issue revised Bend water pipeline study

City's new proposal limits Tumalo Creek withdrawal

BEND, Ore. - The Deschutes National Forest on Wednesday will release an environmental analysis of the city of Bend's revised Waterline Improvement project for a 30-day public comment period.

The environmental analysis (Environmental Assessment) considers the impacts of the Deschutes National Forest issuing a special use permit to the city of Bend for improvements to the Bridge Creek Water Supply System. 

The improvements, located on National Forest System lands, include installation of a 10-mile-long replacement water supply pipeline and upgrades to an existing intake facility.

The Forest Service is evaluating two alternatives in the Environmental Assessment:  the proposal from the City (Proposed Action) and the No Action Alternative.  The public comment period for the environmental analysis ends on May 10.

A previous decision on issuing a special use permit to the city for the improvements was withdrawn. 

The major change being analyzed is the new proposal limits the city of Bend to withdrawing a maximum of 18.2 cfs (cubic feet per second) from Tumalo Creek, which would allow more water to remain in 10 miles of Tumalo Creek than under the original proposal from the city.  The city currently withdraws 18.2 cfs of water daily from the creek, regardless of demand.

The Forest Service could issue the special use permit in July. The City would begin installing the replacement pipeline in the summer or early fall and begin construction of the intake building upgrades in the fall.

Beginning Wednesday, the public can review the Bridge Creek Water Supply System Environmental Assessment at the Forest's project website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/centraloregon/projects  (Click on Deschutes National Forest NEPA Projects). People also can contact Rod Bonacker at 541- 541-480-3915 or the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District, 541-383-4000 to request a copy.

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