STATE

Public Invited to Missouri River Scoping Meetings

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is holding a series of public meetings to determine if changes to the Missouri River project purposes, established by the 1944 Flood Control Act, are warranted.

Thirty public and 11 tribal-focused meetings are being held by the Corps to collect recommendations, suggestions and comments to help define the scope of studies for the multi-year Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study (MRAPS).  Directed by Congress, the Corps’ MRAPS is the first-ever review of the 1944 legislation that created the system of dams and reservoirs on the Missouri River and major tributaries.

The goal of the multi-year study is to determine if changes in the original project purposes and the existing federal water resource infrastructure managed by the Corps and Bureau of Reclamation may be warranted.  The eight purposes are flood control, hydropower, water supply, irrigation, navigation, recreation, water quality and fish and wildlife.  Effects on the Mississippi River resulting from the operation of projects on the Missouri River are part of the study.

Each of the public meetings take place from 5 to 8 p.m. with an open-house from 5 to 7 p.m., and public speakers’ comments from 7 to 8 p.m.  Participants may attend at their convenience.  The meetings will include:

• A program booklet and comment form

• A continuous overview video presentation

• Individually staffed stations focused on  the authorized purposes

• Opportunities for one-on-one conversations with Corps experts to ask questions and share information on the study

• Materials on the study

• Opportunities for participants  to make  comments during the open-house or public speakers’ comment period

• Comment forms and a court reporter to record comments

The Tribal-focused meetings take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The format will vary slightly.

“We encourage the people planning to participate in these scoping meetings to come prepared to talk about what’s important to them and the problems and opportunities that should be addressed by the study,” said Mark Harberg, study co-manager.

Public meetings in Iowa and Illinois are on the following dates and locations (there are no Tribal-focused meetings scheduled in Iowa and Illinois):

Jun 22 - Council Bluffs, Iowa - Mid-America Center, One Arena Way

Jul 27 - Rock Island - Holiday Inn Conference Center, 226 17th St.

Jul 28 - Des Moines, Iowa - Holiday Inn Airport, 6111 Fleur Dr.

Jul 29 - Sioux City, Iowa - Stoney Creek Inn, 300 3rd St.

Individuals requiring assistance under the Americans with Disabilities Act to participate in these meetings can contact lois@djcase.com at least three days prior to a specific meeting.  Those who use a telecommunications service for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) anytime at 800-877-8339 to relay this same information.

Comments will be accepted through September 20, 2010.  They can be e-mailed to: mraps@usace.army.mil or sent to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study, Attn.: CENWO-PM-AA, 1616 Capitol Avenue, Suite 9000, Omaha, NE  68102-4901.

For more information about the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study, visit:  www.mraps.org.