MEDIA ADVISORY:WSSC and National Park Service to Hold Public Meeting to Discuss Proposed Offshore Submerged Intake in Potomac River

Representatives to discuss the Environmental Assessment and Assessment of Effect for the project

| Media Advisory

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Laurel – July 7, 2016 – The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to construct a proposed offshore submerged channel intake in the Potomac River for water supply at the Potomac Water Filtration Plant (WFP).

NPS and WSSC are inviting all interested parties to attend a public meeting on Thursday, July 14, 2016 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Potomac Community Library (Medium Room), 10101 Glenolden DR, Potomac, MD, 20854. The meeting will consist of a brief presentation providing an overview of the project and an open house format to provide the public with opportunities to discuss their interests and concerns with NPS and WSSC staff.

Feasibility studies on this project began in 2003, but in 2006 finalization of the environmental assessment was deferred and the study was subsequently expanded to consider operational information from other mid-river intakes that was not previously available. WSSC formally re-initiated revision and finalization of the feasibility study in March 2013. For more information on this project, please visit our website.

Some components of the Potomac WFP are located within the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal NHP) and therefore WSSC is seeking a construction Special Use Permit from the NPS. The park’s enabling legislation recognizes the potential need for utility projects to cross the park and provides the Secretary authority to permit crossings “if such crossings are not in conflict with the purposes of the park and are in accord with any requirements found necessary to preserve park values” Public Law 91-644, Section 5 (b), 1971.

The EA provides a decision-making framework that analyzes reasonable alternatives to meet the objectives of the proposal, evaluates potential issues and impacts to resources and values, and identifies mitigation measures to lessen the degree of extent of these impacts. An Assessment of Affect (AOE) document was also prepared for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 procedures.

The EA and AOE are available for review on the NPS’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Under “Choose a Park” click on “Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park” and follow the link to Potomac Submerged Channel Intake Environmental Assessment. Comments may be submitted electronically via the website.

Written comments should be mailed to:
Christopher J. Stubbs
Chief, Division of Resources Management
C&O Canal NHP
1850 Dual Highway
Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740.

Comments must be received by August 14, 2016.

For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.

 

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