Notice of the Availability of an Environmental Assessment

The USDA, Rural Utilities Services has received an application for financial assistance from the City of Salida. As required by the National Environmental Policy Act and agency regulations, the Rural Utilities Service has prepared an Environmental Assessment that evaluated the potential environmental effects and consequences of the proposal. This notice announces the availability of the Environmental Assessment for public review and comment.

The proposal consists of the construction of new waste water treatment facilities and upgrades to the existing waste water treatment facilities to meet existing and future demand and satisfy new discharge standards established by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The preferred alternative, construction of an Integrated Fixed Film Activated Sludge (IFAS) treatment system, was found to exert the least impact on environmental resources. The project area is contained within the current site of the City’s waste water treatment facilities at 6608 County Road 102. The entire area is located east of the Arkansas River at an elevation primarily above the level of floodplains. Investigation of Federal Emergency Management Agency Floodplain Maps indicated that the project area had not been mapped. Hydraulic modeling and mapping by the City’s engineering firm indicates that a small part of the project area will be impacted by 100 and 500 year floodplains. Under all project alternatives some portion of the existing or proposed facilities are within the floodplains. A short section of the discharge pipeline would be within the floodplains. To mitigate risks associated with the location of the facilities within the floodplains, an emergency pump station will be constructed for the effluent discharge line during those conditions where gravity discharge is not possible. Standard construction best management practices will be followed to mitigate environmental impacts to the project area. Finally a stormwater management plan will be followed to mitigate effects to surface and groundwater quality during construction.

 The alternatives considered to the proposal include:

  1. No action
  2. Construction of an aeration basin for sidestream treatment
  3. Construction of an anaerobic ammonium oxidation system
  4. Conversion of existing rotating biological contactor (RBC) to a sidestream treatment process
  5. Construction of a nitrification basin to receive effluent from the existing trickling filter and RBC basins
  6. Construction of a modified Ludzak-Ettinger process
  7. Construction of the IFAS treatment system
  8. Construction of an oxidation ditch
  9. Construction of vertical loop reactors


Copies of the Environmental Assessment are available for review at the following locations:

USDA, Rural Development
655 Parfet Street, Room E-100
Lakewood, CO 80204
City of Salida
448 East First Street, Suite 112
Salida, CO 81201

For further information, contact Duane Dale, Area Specialist at 970-565-8416 extension 4. Any person interested in commenting on this proposal should submit comments to the USDA address above by July 2, 2010.

A general location map of the proposal is included as part of this public notice.