Odessa Subarea Special Study; Adams, Franklin, Grant, and Lincoln Counties, Washington INT-DES 10-54
Pursuant to section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is notifying the public that Reclamation and the State of Washington have prepared a Draft EIS for the Odessa Subarea Special Study. The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is a joint lead with Reclamation in the preparation of this Draft EIS, which will also be used to comply with requirements of the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The purpose of Reclamation's Odessa Subarea Special Study is to evaluate alternatives to replace groundwater supply with surface water to irrigate existing, groundwater-irrigated acres in the Odessa Ground Water Management Subarea. Measurements of groundwater levels in wells have shown a substantial decline in much of the Odessa Subarea since the 1980s, which are the earliest available measurements. This has prompted public concern about the declining aquifers and associated economic and other effects, which resulted in a directive by the U.S. Congress and the Washington State legislature to investigate the problem.