The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Missouri signed a Record of Decision on May 11, 2022, supporting the installation of a multi-purpose reservoir in Sullivan County. The decision concludes extensive environmental analysis and fulfills National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for NRCS.
The East Locust Creek Reservoir near Milan is designed to provide seven million gallons of water per day to over 100,000 people living in the surrounding 10-county region. The reservoir will also provide flood damage reduction and water-based recreation opportunities. An earthen dam 79 feet tall will impound a reservoir with a permanent pool of 2,328 acres. This project has a design life of 100 years and is estimated to cost $110 million to construct. NRCS is assisting the North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission, Locust Creek Watershed District, and the county commissions and soil and water conservation districts of Putnam and Sullivan Counties on this project.
“The signing of the ROD is a significant milestone in this project,” says Scott Edwards, NRCS State Conservationist in Missouri, “NRCS is excited to continue working with the NCMRWC.”
As the lead federal agency, the NRCS has provided financial and technical assistance to support the project’s efficacy. Planning efforts were formalized in 1986 with the completion of an NRCS Watershed Plan Environmental Assessment and were refined over time. A 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement and 2020 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement considered all possible options according to NEPA, regulations, and policy. The agreed-upon conclusion of building a reservoir will serve the public while mitigating flood damage. Once local, state, and federal permits are obtained, construction on the reservoir will begin.
About the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program
The WFPO Program provides technical and financial assistance to project sponsors to develop and implement authorized watershed project plans. Under the WFPO Program, NRCS cooperates with state, local agencies, and government units to carry out works of improvement for soil conservation, flood prevention, conservation, development, utilization and disposal of water, and conservation and proper utilization of land. The work is usually installed over multiple years. All works of improvement, including floodwater-retarding dams and reservoirs, are owned and operated by sponsoring local organizations and participating individuals.
To learn more about NRCS Watershed projects in Missouri, visit this link.