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Environmental Assessment - Public Comment Period


The National Park Service (NPS) seeks public comments on a proposed project to rehabilitate the water and wastewater systems in Furnace Creek and Cow Creek within Death Valley National Park. The NPS has funding from the Great American Outdoors Act to rehabilitate the park's two largest water and wastewater systems.

These systems have exceeded their lifespan in this extreme environment and are regularly breaking. NPS staff repaired Death Valley's water systems 32 times in 2023 and 67 times in 2022. They repaired the park's wastewater systems 12 times in 2023 and 15 times in 2022. Some of these failures released untreated sewage into the park.

Furnace Creek and Cow Creek utility systems are the park's largest utilities. They serve 1.7 million visitors per year and about 450 residents. This project would include water service to Timbisha Shoshone Village, The Oasis at Death Valley, campgrounds and visitor center in Furnace Creek, and NPS housing and offices in Cow Creek. Construction would be anticipated to start in 2025.

The proposed improvements would enhance employee and visitor experiences by providing more reliable service. The NPS plans to add redundancy into the water systems so that potable water service can continue if there is a break in one section of a water main pipe. The systems are designed to support anticipated future visitation levels and potential future facilities.

Modifications would protect natural resources by reducing sewage spills and reducing water loss from pipe leaks and breaks.

The systems would be upgraded to meet regulatory requirements. Features would be added to make work safer for NPS utility operators. NPS operations would benefit by reduced frequency of emergency repairs.

The NPS prepared the Environmental Assessment (EA) in compliance to analyze potential impacts of the proposed utility improvements in Death Valley. This EA evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action Alternative and the No Action Alternative to the following resource areas: Cultural resources; recreation, visitor use, and human health and safety; special status wildlife species; and water quality.

Comments will be accepted until February 22, 2024. Click on link for the document "Final Draft EA.pdf" to view the document, and to comment. The NPS will consider all feedback in preparation of an environmental assessment (EA), in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to develop and evaluate alternatives.
 
Comment Period: Closed        Jan 5, 2024 - Feb 22, 2024
Document Content:
Final Draft EA.pdf   (4.9 MB, PDF file)
Disclaimer: Links within the above document(s) were valid as of the date published.
Note: Some of the files may be in PDF format and can be viewed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. You may download a free copy of from Adobe Systems.