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Mon, Aug. 15

Real Change PAC wants investigation

Real Change PAC has filed a request with the National Park Service (NPS) to intercede on behalf of the community of Meadview and stop the South Cove portion of the 2018 GMP Amendment/Low Water Plan/Environmental Assessment from taking effect (once the Lake Mead water elevation falls below the trigger level of 1,050 feet) until apparent NEPA violations can be investigated and a Meadview environmental assessment can be properly completed.

The deeper we dug, the more compelling the evidence became that the National Park Service circumvented the public due process of NEPA policy in the way it handled the 2018 GMP amendment process. In 2017, there was a low-water plan set of maps for South Cove submitted for public comment, then it vanished throughout the remainder of the process without explanation. Then, when the 2018 environmental assessment was submitted for public comment (and the Meadview community ”revolted” when South Cove was left out of the plan), the “accidental omissions” that NPS Public Information Officer Christie Vanover said would be corrected never were, and the amendment she promised that would provide the specific details of the building of the new launch ramp was never created.

We are aware of the role that the mega-drought is playing, but the community of Meadview doesn’t deserve to have their local economy decimated because of improper public due process. The NEPA violations need to be properly investigated.

Real Change PAC has partnered with Jack Ehrhardt, who, with more than 10 years of experience as a member of NEPA interdisciplinary teams, is well-versed in NEPA policy. During the research on the issue, Jack identified an even bigger NEPA violation. According to Jack: “Even though Meadview is a few miles away from the launch ramp, it meets the heart and intent of the NEPA process, and should have had its own environmental assessment as the harbor town that it is.” Ehrhardt filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice on May 10, 2022 citing civil rights violations that resulted from the culmination of these apparent NEPA violations.

The 2005 GMP amendment plan for South Cove was to build a new ramp once the lake elevation dropped below 1,100 feet. According to Bureau of Reclamation historical water level records, this trigger point occurred sometime between March and April of 2014. Had the launch ramp been built when it was initially planned to be built eight years ago, none of this crisis to the Meadview community would be happening, and South Cove would have a developed launch ramp down to 950 feet.

Real Change PAC has created a PACtion webpage detailing the South Cove project with hyperlinks to sources of all public access information at https://www.realchangepac.com/south_cove_launch_ramp.

Real Change is a Kingman-based trans-partisan political action committee (PAC) working for common-ground issues across Arizona’s 5th/30th Legislative District. “Strong Local Economy” is one of the 10 core issues that motivates the PAC’s advocacy work. More information about Real Change PAC can be found at www.RealChangePAC.com.

(J’aime Morgaine is executive director of Real Change PAC.)

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