• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain

    Denali

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Environmental Assessment on the Upgrade of the Headquarters Utility Infrastructure Available for Public Comment

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Date: May 16, 2013
Contact: Kris Fister, (907) 683-9583

DENALI PARK, Alaska:The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to upgrade the utility systems in the headquarters area of Denali National Park and Preserve. The purpose of the project is toprovide reliable utility service for the headquarters facilities; protect the health and safety of park staff in performing operations and maintenance; increase the utility infrastructure energy efficiency; and reduce the park's energy consumption and operating costs.

The existing utilidor system consists of underground concrete and corrugated metal pipe structures that connect the administrative facilities and permanent housing units in the headquarters area. The utilidor houses multiple utilities, including steam, water, sewer, electric, and communication (i.e., telephone, data, fire alarm, and satellite) lines. The steam, sewer, and water lines have not been replaced since the utilidor's construction in 1958, and are well past their serviceable life.

The Environmental Assessment (EA) evaluates the environmental and operational impacts of two alternatives, the no action alternative and the NPS preferred alternative to upgrade the utility systems and complete the transition from steam to propane heating in each building. Under the no action alternative the park would continue to maintain the existing utility infrastructure. The preferred alternative includes the placement of new water, sewer, propane, electric, and communication lines in buried trenches located mostly under the headquarters road system, the installation of new propane tanks near some of the buildings, and the abandonment of the current utilidor.

The NPS has published an EA for this project entitled "Upgrade Headquarters Utility Infrastructure." It is available at the NPS planning website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. It was completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR 1508.9).

Comments on the EA may be submitted through June 16, 2013, preferably via the web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Comments may also be mailed to Superintendent, Attn: Headquarters Utility Infrastructure EA, Denali National Park and Preserve, P.O. Box 9, Denali Park, AK 99755 or faxed to 907-683-9612. For questions or paper copies of the EA, please contact Steve Carwile at 907-644-3612 or steve_carwile@nps.gov.

www.nps.gov

Did You Know?

snowy landscape and distant snow-covered mountain

Recent climate warming has affected Denali in ways that are readily apparent, such as reduced spring snowfall, earlier snowmelt, earlier green-up and thawing of permanent snowfields. Subarctic ecosystems, like Denali, are extremely sensitive to climate variability and change.