National Park Service Announces Availability of Environmental Assessment for new Science and Resource Management Facility in Grand Canyon National Park
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Steve Martin has announced that an environmental assessment (EA) for the construction of a new Science and Resource Management Facility in the park is now available for public review and comment.
The EA evaluates two alternatives, including a No Action alternative. Under the No Action alternative, Science and Resource Management staff offices and operations would remain in the current facility in a converted maintenance yard. This facility offers less than optimal working conditions and is not easily accessible to visitors. Additionally, the park’s 1995 General Management Plan states that this area will ultimately accommodate park concessioner offices and operations. The park is exploring the implementation of this action in the General Management Plan which could occur if the new Science and Resource Management Facility is approved and constructed.
The Preferred Alternative (Alternative 2) proposes construction of a new facility within the Grand Canyon Village National Historic Landmark District. The building would be designed to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, improve working conditions for Science and Resource Management staff, and allow for visitor access and educational opportunities. The Preferred Alternative also includes underground utility installation, parking, and off-site storage.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, calls on federal agencies to consider environmental issues as part of their decision making process and to involve interested parties in the process. The NEPA process was initiated in April 2009 with a public scoping letter soliciting issues and concerns on preliminary project proposals. Responses to these scoping efforts were used during preparation of the EA.
The EA will be on public review for 30 days. The document can be reviewed online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grca by clicking on the project name, and then scrolling to “Open for Public Comments.” Comments can also be submitted online at the same Web address (the preferred method) or mailed to Steve Martin, Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, Attention: Science and Resource Management Facility, P.O. Box 129 (1 Village Loop for express mail), Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023. Comments will be accepted through December 19, 2009.
The National Park Service encourages public participation through the NEPA process. After the public review period, the comments received will be carefully considered before a decision is made regarding implementation of actions proposed in the Science and Resource Management Facility EA.
For additional information, please contact Phil Fessler, Project Manager at (928) 774-1239 or Rachel Bennett, Environmental Protection Specialist, at (928) 774-9612.
To download a copy of this news release in .pdf format, CLICK HERE.
Did You Know?
Within the Grand Canyon, the rugged, V-shaped Inner Gorge rises darkly from the Colorado River. The broad shelf above it is the Tonto Platform, which spreads like a green blanket across both sides of the canyon. The Inner Gorge achieves a depth of over 1200 feet (366m)