Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

One of the multiple National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping meetings took place in Silver City. Representatives from the Interstate Stream Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the joint leads for the process of analyzing the proposed action by the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity to construct a New Mexico Unit under the Arizona Water Settlements Act, also attended. Members of Environmental Management and Planning Solutions Inc. (EMPSI), which is contracting with Reclamation to do the NEPA process explained the process to visitors wishing to comment, as part of the public process.

The scoping meeting did not offer speeches, but rather poster presentations, with people standing by each to explain the process, the maps and other questions posed to them.

Comments can continue to be made as part of the scoping process to or for more information, visit Or they may be written and mailed to the Phoenix Area Office, Bureau of Reclamation, (ATTN: NM Unit EIS), 6159 West Thunderbird Road, Glendale, AZ 85306.

According to a recent rule from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, a NEPA process should be completed within one year of its beginning. That fits well with the timeline for the joint leads, working with the advice of the NM CAP Entity, to make a decision to  proceed or not to the SOI by the deadline of December 2019, according to the AWSA.