After receiving a number of requests, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Park Service decided to extend the scoping period for a new Environmental Impact Statement related to the operation of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River from Dec. 30 to Jan. 31.
During the scoping period, agencies determine what factors to consider in the EIS and gather comments from the public to identify social, economic and environmental concerns and project alternatives to evaluate.
The EIS, which is jointly led by Reclamation and the Park Service, involves adopting a Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan for the Operation of Glen Canyon Dam.
The plan, the first comprehensive review of dam operations in 15 years, will ensure that regulated flows on the Colorado River meet the goals of supplying hydroelectricity and water for communities, agriculture and industry; protecting endangered species; and lessening the impact on downstream ecosystems, including the Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon.
Changes to current water flows will be evaluated as “alternatives” in the EIS.
For more information on the EIS or how to submit a comment, visit the project’s web site.
In an effort to improve and protect the resources of the Grand Canyon, the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service initiated a public process on Nov. 7 to review the timing and volume of water flow from Glen Canyon Dam. This includes the management of the dam over the next 15 to 20 years.
A Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan will be developed to ensure that the water flow management on the Colorado River meets goals of supplying water for communities, agriculture and industry, and protecting the natural resources and fish species of the Grand Canyon, while providing hydropower.
The next step is to develop an environmental impact statement.
In addition to the meetings, written comments are being accepted through Dec. 30 of this year, with a draft study expected to be released in 2013.
More information, visit the Glen Canyon Dam website.
Desert Southwest linemen show us an example of an insulator change using an N619DE helicopter. This is a relatively new work process that began early this year. It allows repairs like this to be completed very quickly resulting in shorter outage times and much less cost compared to conventional methods such as bringing in a bucket truck. All required tools and hardware are also flown into the structure tower.
The first step is the helicopter removes the old insulator from its cradle. The pilot then flies in the new insulator and sets the end of it onto the cradle of the old insulator. The linemen guide the new insulator horizontally into the cradle as the pilot lowers it down. The linemen then attach the insulator to hardware and conductor.
January 1 has come and gone but it’s not too late to start a New Year resolution to conserve energy. And while you’re at it, why not add a second resolution…save money! If you’re serious about these resolutions, commit to one or more of the energy-saving tips below in 2011:
• Kill phantom energy loads by unplugging appliances when you’re not using them.
• Keep your hot water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and install a hot water heater insulating blanket. These two tips can save up to 15 percent in energy costs.
• Confirm that your programmable thermostat is set to the optimal settings. Turning back the thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees when you’re not at home can save you around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills.
• Check for air leaks in and around your home then apply caulking and weather stripping where needed.
• Purchase energy-efficient products, operate them efficiently, and incorporate more daylight into your home using energy-efficient windows and skylights.
• Analyze your energy bills. One of the best ways to truly understand how your home consumes energy is carefully reviewing your monthly utility bills.
• Only use rechargeable batteries. Aim to make your batteries rechargeable, a far cheaper option than constantly replacing them.
What energy saving habits do you plan to start this year?