Missouri River Association of States and Tribes

Update regarding Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study (MRAPS)

December 1st, 2010 | Posted by David Pope in News | Newsletter - (Comments Off on Update regarding Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study (MRAPS))

In 2008, MoRAST requested a study to determine whether changes are needed to the authorized purposes of the 1944 Flood Control Act in order to best meet the contemporary needs of the Missouri River Basin, because the physical, economic and environmental conditions have significantly changed since 1944. MRAPS was authorized by Congress in March of 2009 and formally initiated by the USACE in October of 2009. In early 2010, A Situation Assessment was developed to provide recommendations to the USACE on how best to engage the Tribes and public during the study. The USACE, with assistance of the USBR, then held a series of 31 public meetings and 11 Tribal focus meetings between May and September of 2010 to obtain input regarding the scope of the study. MoRAST provided written comments regarding the scope of study including a detailed list of questions for potential consideration during the study that can be found at the MoRAST website. It is expected that a draft scoping report will be released in early 2011. Comments submitted by various parties, meeting announcements and other information about MRAPS and the Pick-Sloan Program can be found on the MRAPS website at:  http://www.mraps.org/

The purpose of the study is to review the original project purposes of the 1944 FCA and other subsequent and relevant legislation and judicial rulings to determine if changes to the authorized project purposes and existing Federal water resource infrastructure may be warranted. Both the USACE and the USBR operate projects originally constructed as a part of the Pick-Sloan Program authorized by the 1944 FCA. According to the Supplemental Implementation Guidance dated January 6, 2010, the study approach will follow the USACE six step planning process. A decision document will be prepared in compliance with NEPA and other applicable laws with comprehensive public participation for approval of the USACE Headquarters and the Assistant Secretary of Army (CW). MoRAST expects the study will provide objective information and recommendations from which interested parties and ultimately Congress can consider whether changes should be made to the 1944 FCA. Additional background information and documents related to the study can be found at:  http://www.mraps.org/documents.

MoRAST meeting and MRNRC Conference to be held in March 2011

December 1st, 2010 | Posted by David Pope in News | Newsletter - (Comments Off on MoRAST meeting and MRNRC Conference to be held in March 2011)

MoRAST will hold an all day meeting on March 8, 2011 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska.  In addition to the  business session and program updates, the meeting will focus on water quality and sediment with a guest appearance by Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 Administrator.  The meeting will also include participation by one or more Commanders and other key officials from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and other Federal agencies.  The agenda will also include an update on the status of the scoping process for the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study (MRAPS) and a presentation on the Pick-Sloan Program by the USBR, both related to projects in the Missouri River Basin authorized by the 1944 Flood Control Act.

Updates about the MoRAST meeting can be found at: http://www.mo-rast.org/.  Registration is not required for the meeting, but   advance notice to the MoRAST office at david.pope@mo-rast.org or (785) 235-3247 is requested so hotel arrangements can be completed. Room reservations can be made by calling the Lied Lodge at (800) 546-5433 and asking for the Missouri River Natural Resources room block, which expires February 15, 2011. See hotel website at: http://www.liedlodge.org.

The Missouri River Conference and BiOp Forum organized by the Missouri River Natural Resources Committee (MRNRC) will be held March 9-11, 2011, also at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center. The Plenary Session will include well known speakers of general interest on the morning of March 9, followed by sessions on technical issues and BiOp implementation. See the conference website at: www.mrnrc2011.com for details regarding the call for abstracts, conference registration, hotel reservations and program updates. Early registration at a reduced fee is available through February 13, 2011. Room reservations are available through February 15 in the same room block referred to above for the MoRAST meeting by calling (800) 546-5433.