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Posted 12/19/2013

Release no. 20131219-001


Contact
Margaret Oldham
402-995-2416
margaret.e.oldham@usace.army.mil

OMAHA, Neb. – A draft Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District to address environmental issues related to remediation alternatives that will be proposed at the conclusion of a Dam Safety Modification Study for the Cherry Creek Dam in Aurora, Colo. Public scoping meetings will be held in 2014 within the local Cherry Creek Dam project area to present information regarding the array of remediation alternatives that may be addressed in the draft EIS, receive public comments, and solicit input regarding dam safety issues, additional remediation alternatives to consider, and other environmental issues of concern to the public.

BACKGROUND: The Cherry Creek Dam project was authorized in the 1940s for the primary purpose of protecting the city of Denver against floods from Cherry Creek. Cherry Creek Dam and Lake is located on Cherry Creek, 11.4 miles upstream of its confluence with the South Platte River in Aurora, Colo. In 2005, the Corps sought to better categorize the risk at all of its dams. Cherry Creek Dam received an elevated risk rating primarily because of the hydraulic deficiency resulting from an extremely rare precipitation event and the large population which is protected by the dam. The purpose of the current Cherry Creek Dam Safety Modification Study is to define in detail the risk associated with the dam’s safety issues and assess the possible options for remediating the risk. These options may include federal actions that will become the subject of the EIS.

The draft EIS will address environmental issues concerning the remediation alternatives proposed.  Environmental issues initially identified as potentially significant include, but are not limited to: hydrology and water quality, noise and vibration, air quality, socioeconomics, water supply, land use, recreation, visual and aesthetic resources, traffic and transportation, historical and cultural resources, vegetation and wildlife, special status species, and fisheries. The draft EIS will be available for public review in the 2015/2016 time frame.

Cherry Creek Dam