August 1, 2018
Thirty-one outdoor groups claim the Icicle draft environmental impact statement is so deficient that it should be withdrawn and rewritten.
Led by Alpine Lakes Protection Society (ALPS), the 31 groups cite an array of shortcomings in the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS).
-- the DPEIS falsely assumes that water users, mainly the Icicle Peshastin Irrigation District, have actual water rights, as distinct from "paper rights" to as much water as the Icicle Strategy proposes. (This is a point that the Alpine Lakes Foundation also emphasized in its earlier comments.) The groups stress that the Department of Ecology should resolve the extent of any actual rights before the work group charges ahead with any proposals.
-- the DPEIS alternatives do not meet the work group's "guiding principles", which require compliance with such federal laws as the Wilderness Act.
-- the range of alternatives is too limited. All the current alternatives would significantly impact and harm wilderness values.
-- by improperly phasing programmatic and project-specific environmental reviews, the DPEIS evades the question of cumulative impacts.
-- inadequate cost estimates skew comparisons in favor of the worst alternatives.
-- the DPEIS ignores the negative impacts of unnaturally timed water releases on streams.
-- the DPEIS places too little emphasis on water conservation, citing specifics on a number of shortcomings.
In conclusion the 31 groups claim that the DPEIS should be withdrawn and rereleased only after addressing these deficiencies.
A full copy of the groups' impressive comments are posted in the Library section of this website, under Documents: Alpine Lakes Protection Society (ALPS).