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USGS Announces the Availability of the Environmental Assessment & Section 106, Protection of Historic Properties Review, for a new Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility – Public Comments Sought

February 16, 2021

The USGS Water Resources Mission Area has prepared an Environmental Assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act for a new Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility (HIF) in Alabama. The USGS is requesting your comments on the EA and Section 106 review by March 3, 2021.

MARCH 4, 2021 UPDATE: The public comment period has closed.

The construction of a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) HIF facility has been proposed on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Environmental Assessment (EA) evaluates potential environmental effects resulting from the construction of the new HIF and incorporates the review of historic resources in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

The Water Resources Mission Area works nationally with partners to monitor, assess, conduct targeted research, and deliver information on a wide range of water resources and conditions including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and water use and availability. The HIF supports the water-resource monitoring and evaluation efforts of USGS scientists and other Federal agencies by providing quality-assured hydrologic equipment and instrumentation. The HIF also provides repairs, calibrations and testing services of current and emerging sensor technologies; training of field and laboratory methods; and hydrodynamic simulation capabilities.

The Environmental Assessment, with the review of Cultural Resources, is available in 6 parts: 

  • Main report (PDF file)
  • Appendix A: Amended Environmental Covenant (PDF file)
  • Appendix B: Alabama Department of Environmental Management Water Division Review Information (PDF file)
  • Appendix C: Threatened & Endangered Species List (PDF file)
  • Appendix D: National Flood Hazard Layer Map (PDF file)
  • Appendix E: Cultural Resources (PDF file)

The USGS welcomes and values diverse views about the science and data it provides on behalf of the American people. Comments will be accepted through March 3, 2021 and can be submitted by email to usgs_hif_comments@usgs.govAfter March 3, 2021, the USGS will review and consider comments in making a final determination for the environmental impacts. The final NEPA documentation is scheduled to be completed in March 2021, with construction starting in summer of 2021.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.