The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) at the end of September that approved the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Report prepared for the Moffat Project (also known as the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project) and further stated that the agency determined that the Corps’ responsibilities under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (FWCA) have been met.
What does all of this mean? We asked Travis Bray, an environmental scientist at Denver Water to explain:
Q: What is the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act Report and why was it necessary?
Bray: The report – which was just approved by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) – describes the impacts to fish and wildlife resources as a result of the Moffat Project and is necessary to show that the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) coordinated with the USFWS in its decision to permit the Moffat Project.
Q: What does the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act Report being accepted by the USFWS say to the Corps?
Bray: That the Corps has accurately described impacts to fish and wildlife resources and the USFWS believes the proposed mitigation sufficiently offsets the impacts from the Moffat Project.
Q: How will the report influence / inform the Corps’ work?
Bray: The Corps will proceed forward knowing the USFWS concerns regarding the Moffat Project have been addressed.
Q: What does its acceptance mean to the project?
Bray: It means the project continues to move at full speed ahead. Approvals continue to come through as regulating entities conclude their review of the Moffat Project and its impacts.
Q: What do we expect to happen next?
Bray: Issuance of the Record of Decision by the Corps.