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Public Review of Environmental Assessment for Replacement of Watch Hill Well; Comments Due by January 25

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Date: January 10, 2011
Contact: Paula Valentine, Public Affairs, 631-687-4759
Contact: Diane Abell, Park Planner, 631-687-4773

Patchogue, New York— The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that coincides with plans to replace a Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA) well on federal land within Fire Island National Seashore is now available for a 15-day period of public review, which will close on January 25. This project replaces an existing well, located near Watch Hill, which was found to be failing. All work is expected to take place over the winter and spring, and be completed before the 2011 visitor season begins in May.  

A tentative preferred alternative, 2.2 Well Replacement Scheme 2 with Ground Discharge, has been selected by the National Park Service, pending further analysis. While No Action is the environmentally preferred alternative, complete failure of the existing well will result in a lack of potable water for the Fire Island community of Davis Park and the Seashore development at Watch Hill. Therefore, No Action would have an adverse impact on community and visitor services.  The project involves constructing a new well, 10 inches in diameter and 465 feet deep, adjacent to the existing artesian well installed in 1975, which will be properly sealed and abandoned. As with the existing well, the replacement well will be rated at 200 gallons per minute. 

All construction and maintenance costs and operation of the well will be borne by the SCWA. The NPS must issue a Utility Right-of-Way permit before any utility project may be undertaken within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore. As part of the NPS procedures to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NPS has various ways in which the public can review the EA. 

Printed copies of the document are available for public review at park headquarters in Patchogue. The document is also available for review and comment through the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) web site.  No public meetings have been scheduled.

For more information about this project, contact Diane Abell, Fire Island National Seashore's park planner, at 631-687-4773. 

By January 25, 2011, comments on the project should be addressed to Superintendent Chris Soller at Fire Island National Seashore Headquarters, 120 Laurel Street, Patchogue, NY 11772. 

Comments may also be posted electronically at parkplanning.nps.gov.  Search through Plans/Documents Open for Comment for Fire Island National Seashore projects.   

(Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.)  

2-page PDF version of this press release 

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Did You Know?

PWC passes a green channel marker in bay near wooded shoreline and salt marsh.

The use of personal watercraft (PWCs or JetSkis) is restricted within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore. While not permitted at National Park Service facilities or near shorelines, PWCs may use the marked channels to access some of the Fire Island communities. More...