bureau reclamationReclamation’s Yuma Area Office has announced the release of a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for review and comment on the proposed construction of sediment control structures in select washes along the Colorado River near Blythe, California.

Under the proposed action, Reclamation will design, construct and maintain sediment control structures in select washes on the Colorado River (River) as a means to decrease the maintenance activities associated with removal of wash fans along the River. The sediment control structures will capture upland sediment before it reaches the river channel, thereby reducing the amount of maintenance and equipment required to operate the river efficiently and effectively.

Reclamation is proposing the construction of the sediment control structures to minimize river channel constrictions, enabling more efficient water delivery and channel flow capacity. By reducing wash fan deposits within the main channel, the structures will lessen the need to deploy heavy equipment into the River to conduct removal operations, minimizing impacts to bankline soils, aquatic species and riparian vegetation.

The Draft EA describes the anticipated environmental impacts resulting from the proposed action. Based upon analysis completed for the Draft EA, Reclamation has determined that constructing sediment control structures in selected washes will not result in significant impacts. The Draft EA is available online at:  http://www.usbr.gov/lc/yuma/environmental_docs/environ_docs.html

Any questions regarding this action should be addressed to Mr. Nick Heatwole, Environmental Protection Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 7301 Calle Agua Salada, Yuma, AZ 85364. They can also be submitted by e-mail at nheatwole@usbr.gov.