Texas' Columbia Lake Impact Statement Ready for Comment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a draft environmental impact statement on a proposed water supply reservoir in Texas. Copies of the document are available from the Fort Worth District USACE Web site.

The Angelina & Neches River Authority (ANRA) has proposed that Columbia Lake be located on Mud Creek, a tributary to the Angelina River and would extend into Smith and Cherokee counties. The proposed dam site would be about 3 miles downstream of U.S. Highway 79 in Cherokee County. According to ANRA, Lake Columbia is a recommended water supply strategy in the 2002 Texas Water Plan, which also recognizes the proposed site as a "unique reservoir site" suitable for legislative confirmation. Senate Bill 1362 was approved in 2003, confirming the reservoir site. ANRA began planning for the reservoir in 1978.

The Corp's impact statement has found that "the proposed project would result in adverse impacts to 5,746.5 acres of waters of the U.S., including wetlands." An open house meeting has been scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 1 at the Norman Activity Center, 526 E. Commerce St., Jacksonville, Texas. A formal public meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on March 2 at the same location.

Comments should be submitted by March 30 to Brent Jasper, Regulatory Project Manager, Regulatory Branch, CESWF-PER-R, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, P.O. Box 17300, Fort Worth, TX 76102-0300 or via e-mail.