This Week at Interior May 26, 2023


Hi, I’m Ed Keable, Superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, and you’re watching This Week at Interior 

This Week at Interior 

Interior announced significant new developments this week in the effort to protect the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River. Representatives from the seven Colorado River Basin states agreed to the submission of a Lower Basin, consensus-based system conservation proposal, which commits to measures to conserve at least 3 million-acre-feet of water through 2026.The Department also announced eight new system conservation agreements in Arizona. Those agreements to conserve water are being funded by the President’s Investing in America agenda as we work to increase water conservation, improve water efficiency, and protect critical environmental resources.

Secretary Haaland wrapped up her multi-day visit to Arizona this week, where she met with Tribal leaders, local elected officials and community members to learn about their vision for conserving the natural and cultural resources in the greater Grand Canyon watershed. She also met with local Tribes to highlight Administration investments in clean water and reliable infrastructure.  Her trip included hiking to Supai Village to meet with members of the Havasupai Tribal Council, becoming the first Interior Secretary to visit the Tribe’s village. 

During her visit to the Hopi Tribal community, Secretary Haaland announced a $48 million investment from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to repair and revitalize Tribal water sanitation systems, upgrade irrigation and power projects and invest in the safety of dams in Tribal communities. This includes $6.6 million to replace the existing water distribution system in Keams Canyon, which will help ensure that Hopi residents can receive safe, arsenic-free water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests more than $13 billion directly to Tribal communities across the country, including $250 million over five years for Tribal dams and water projects.  

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Laura Daniel-Davis and Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone Manning held a press call this week, highlighting the administration’s progress in developing a robust and sustainable clean energy economy. They announced the next steps toward permitting two proposed clean energy transmission projects, which will facilitate increased renewable energy development and delivery in Nevada. If approved, the Greenlink North and Greenlink West transmission projects have the potential to connect eight gigawatts of clean energy to the Western power grid. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has completed its environmental analysis of the proposed Ocean Wind 1 wind project offshore New Jersey. If approved the project could power up to a half million homes with clean renewable energy, and advance the administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030. 

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement completed two successful tests of the oil industry’s ability to respond to a well blowout in deep waters. The Gulf of Mexico drills involved deploying capping stacks that were latched to test wellheads at depths between 5,000 and 6,000 feet. The drills confirmed the capping stack would fully contain a well in the event of an emergency. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced $16 million in grants through the Clean Vessel Act Grant program. The grants provide states, territories and the District of Columbia up to a million and half dollars annually for the construction and renovation of recreational boat facilities. 

And our social media Picture of the Week, Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland. Antietam will always be remembered as the turning point in the Civil War, the battle that made possible President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. It's among the 21,000 acres of battlefields and cultural sites that have been preserved with help from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 

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That's This Week at Interior. 

This Week: Interior announces significant new developments to protect the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River; Secretary Haaland meets with Tribal leaders, local elected officials and community members in Arizona; the Secretary announces a $48 million investment to repair and revitalize Tribal water infrastructure; Interior leaders announce the next steps toward permitting proposed clean energy transmission projects in Nevada; BOEM completes its environmental analysis of  a proposed wind project offshore New Jersey; BSEE completes successful tests of the oil industry’s ability to respond to a well blowout in deep waters; the Fish and Wildlife Service announces $16 million for recreational boat facilities; and the turning point in the Civil War is reflected in our social media Picture of the Week!