Environmental Compliance

The Central Utah Project represents a federal action undertaken by the U.S. Department of the Interior, therefore, it must comply with the entire body of applicable federal environmental law. Even the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, charged under the Central Utah Project Completion Act of 1992 to complete the CUP under federal oversight, is considered a federal agency for the purposes of compliance with federal environmental laws (CUPCA Section 205(b)).

Foremost among the wide range of federal environmental laws that apply to the Central Utah project is the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 which established a broad national framework to ensure that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment.

In addition, the CUP must comply with many other environmental laws that require special consideration of effects on fish and wildlife resources, federally listed endangered and threatened species, wetlands water quality, Indian trust resources, and historically important properties. The collective body of environmental laws for which compliance documentaton has been done for the CUP includes:


National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

The National Environmental Policy Act (42 USC 4321-4347) established a sweeping national policy to ensure proper consideration is given to protecting the environment. To this end, all federal agencies are to integrate into their planning and decision-making a full consideration of the potential for environmental impacts that may result from their proposed actions. The evaluation also includes a significant element of public involvement in the planning and decision processes.

The main tool to implement these policy considerations is an Environmental Impact Statement which is a written evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of a proposed action. An EIS must also include consideration of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action (including an evaluation of No Action), identification of adverse effects which cannot be avoided, irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources, and other areas of assessment. The resulting documentation is subject to public review and comment, typically during a 45-day comment period that often includes an open public meeting to present the proposed action and solicit oral comments on the draft EIS.

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has developed implementing regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508) for NEPA that further refine the environmental review process and provide for abbreviated environmental documentation such as an Environmental Assessment (EA), Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), and Categorical Exclusion (CX) that may pertain to less significant actions. Key CUP documents prepared pursuant to the NEPA are:

Final Environmental Impact Statement - Bonneville Unit
Final Environmental Impact Statement - Municipal and Industrial System
Final Environmental Impact Statement - Diamond Fork Power System
Final Supplement to the Final EIS - Municipal and Industrial System
Final Supplement to the Final EIS - Diamond Fork System
Final Environmental Impact Statement - Wasatch County Water Efficiency/Daniel Replacement Project
Final Environmental Assessment - Uinta Basin Replacement Project (Sec 203) + FONSI
Final Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Action Modifications - Diamond Fork System + FONSI
Final Environmental Impact Statement - Utah Lake Drainage Basin Water Distribution System


Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1958

The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 USC 661 et seq.) recognizes the vital contribution of our fish and wildlife resources to the national economy and public interest of our nation. It seeks to harmonize planning, development, maintenance and coordination of wildlife conservation with national water resources development. Whenever any body of water is proposed to be impounded, diverted or otherwise altered by any federal agency, consultation must first be initiated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the fish and wildlife agency of the affected state(s) with a view to assessing anticipated impacts on fish and wildlife resources and developing recommendations for mitigation.

Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act reports have been routinely prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service evaluating CUP units, systems, and independent features. Key reports include:

Bonneville Unit, Central Utah Project Initial Phase
Streamflow Agreement (2/27/80)
MOU Relative to the Streamflow Agreement (9/25/81)
Amendment to the Streamflow Agreement (9/13/90)
Diamond Fork Power System (with amendments)
Wildlife Mitigation Plan for SACS, M&I, and Diamond Fork Power Systems
Aquatic Mitigation Plan for SACS, Bonneville Unit, CUP
Completion of the Diamond Fork System
• Addendum #1 to FWCA, Diamond Fork

• Addendum #2 to FWCA, Diamond Fork


Lower Duchesne River Wetlands Mitigation


Endangered Species Act of 1973

The Endangered Species Act  (16 USC 1531 et seq.) establishes the national policies for the conservation of endangered and threatened species of fish, wildlife, and plants. It establishes the federal authorities, policies, procedures and programs necessary to conserve, to the extent practicable, the various species facing extinction due to the activities of man. Most pertinent to the CUP, the ESA requires that all federal agencies shall review their programs and proposed activities, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to ensure that none shall jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species. The CUPCA Office has conducted numerous formal and informal consultations with the FWS in review of all aspects of CUP completion. Key documents include:

Biological Opinion, Completion of the Diamond Fork System
• Addendum #1 - Diamond Fork System

• Addendum #2 - Diamond Fork System


Biological Opinion, Utah Lake Drainage Basin Water Delivery System


Clean Water Act of 1972 (Section 404)

The Clean Water Act is comprehensive legislation designed to protect the public waterways of the United States. It establishes prohibitions on pollution discharges, establishes enforcement mechanisms, provides incentive funding for a broad range of programs for clean-up of the nations waters such as water treatment plants, and more. The Clean Water Act, in pertinent part (§404) prohibits the discharge of pollutants, such as dredged or fill material, into waters of the United States, absent a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Activities necessary for completion of the CUP will require such discharges of fill materials into certain waterways and jurisdictional wetlands along construction alignments.

In preparation of NEPA compliance documentation, extensive field surveys, mapping and evaluation of existing streams, wetlands or other waters of the United States was completed.  Results, impact assessments, and compliance documentation related thereto are found in the various NEPA documents listed elsewhere on this website.


National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

The National Historic Preservation Act  (16 USC 470-470t) embodies the national program historic preservation and directs that appropriate consideration of significant elements of our historic past shall be an integral part of planning for any federal activity. Historic preservation includes the identification, protection, rehabilitation, restoration or reconstruction of sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed significant in American history, architecture, archeology or culture. As concerns the CUP, NHPA compliance has typically been incorporated into the NEPA compliance planning and documentation.  Chapters that document the compliance procedures and recommendations for historic preservation resulting therefore are found in the individual NEPA documents listed elsewhere.

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