ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT SCOPING MEETING
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., August 14, 2015… The City of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain (PPAM), in partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) and U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (U.S. Army), are proposing to redesign and reconstruct the existing Pikes Peak Summit Complex located in the Pike National Forest in El Paso County, Colorado. The U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service), Pikes Peak Ranger District, is the federal lead agency for the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider and disclose the environmental effects of redesigning and constructing the Pikes Peak Summit Complex. The Forest Service is soliciting comments from Federal, State, and local agencies, and other individuals or organizations that may be interested in or affected by implementation of the proposed project.
The partnering agencies are hosting an open house on August 25, 2015 from 3 to 7 pm at Library 21c (Venue @21c) located at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920. Interested parties are invited to stop by anytime during the open house to review background information, understand ways to provide input throughout the process, and identify key issues to be analyzed in the EA. Input provided by interested and/or affected individuals, organizations, and governmental agencies will be used to identify resource issues that will be analyzed in the EA. Representatives of the project proponents, along with team members of the Summit Complex redesign team, a parallell process to design the facilities, will be present to address questions related to these processes.
The 30-day scoping comment period will be initiated on August 21, 2015 and will end on September 21, 2015. The purpose of this comment period is to provide an opportunity for the public to provide early and meaningful participation on a proposed action prior to a decision being made.
About the Project:
The City, PPAM, U.S. Army, and CSU are requesting approval to design and construct three facilities
on two building sites on the summit of Pikes Peak as accepted by the Forest Service in a letter dated April 16, 2014. Connected to the proposal and integral to the proposed project is decommissioning and removing the existing facilities, building new facilities designed specifically for the Pikes Peak summit use objectives and environment, restoring disturbed sites to native tundra, protecting heritage resources, and enhancing visitor experiences above the 14,000-foot contour.
The proposed action is to redesign and construct a new Summit Complex, consisting of PPAM’s Summit Visitors Center on one site and to consolidate the City’s Plant Building, CSU’s Communications Facility, and the U.S. Army’s High-Altitude Research Laboratory (HARL) on the second site. Although separate facilities, the City’s Plant, CSU’s communications tower, and U.S. Army’s HARL, will be designed to give the appearance of one facility.
The draft EA is expected to be issued for public review in spring of 2016, and the final EA is expected to be issued in the fall of 2016.
How to Comment:
Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, oral, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of notice in Pueblo Chieftain (paper of record) and The Gazette newspapers. There will also be opportunity to comment at the open house. Comments must be received by September 21, 2015.
Visit the Forest Service project website for additional information, how to comment, and to sign up for project updates at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47229 or call the Pikes Peak Ranger District office at (719) 636-1602.