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A finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been signed by Christine S. Lehnertz, Regional Director for the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service, for the implementation of the Scotty's Castle Waterline Replacement for Death Valley National Park.
This action is needed because the existing waterline is original to Scotty's Castle, in poor condition and continuing to deteriorate. Several short sections of the waterline have been replaced over past years due to breakage. The NPS needs to continue providing water to Scotty's Castle for visitors, residents, and fire suppression; therefore, the park is planning to replace the entire waterline to avoid a major break that may temporarily shut off water to the site.
In June 2011 the National Park Service (NPS) prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to implement the Scotty's Castle Waterline Replacement.This EA, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, analyzed the impacts that will likely result from implementation of the project.Three alternatives for addressing the purpose and need for action were evaluated in the EA, including a no action alternative.The EA was available for a 30-day public comment period.Public comments that were received were used in preparation of the FONSI.
Actions under the preferred alternative include replacing the approximately 5,330 foot long water main from the storage tanks to the Death Valley Scotty Historic District with a new 8-inch waterline. The project proposes mechanically trenching along a sporadically used two-track maintenance road to expose the existing waterline, and replacing the waterline in-kind. The new pipe would connect both storage tanks where their out-flow lines join together and at Scotty's Castle near the Stables. The newly laid pipe would be reburied.Along with the excavation of the trench, surface vegetation would be removed along the construction corridor, with the disturbance measuring approximately 25-30 ft wide, and a maximum surface disturbance of 115,356 square feet.
All those that commented on the June 2011 EA will be receiving a copy of the FONSI.Those interested in viewing the FONSI may do so on the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/deva.
For questions and additional information about this project please contact Carre Shandor at 760-786-3218.