February 15, 2006
Envirocon, the Milltown project contractor, has requested to move the Stage I drawdown of the reservoir from October of this year to the spring, roughly June 1st, the peak of high water. The June drawdown of roughly 8 to 10 feet would lengthen the construction season and allow additional time for sediments to drain. The earlier drawdown also increases the possibility that the Milltown Dam would be removed in early 2008.
The EPA, the state and Envirocon are exploring the feasibility of a spring drawdown. Significant milestones would need to be met before a drawdown could occur. These include the signing of the consent decree, and the completion of various reports and plans, including the highway bridge mitigation report, a downstream sediment sampling plan, the project monitoring plan, the design work plan, the drawdown design report and contingency plans addressing scour management, domestic well issues, and irrigation intakes. A final decision on the early drawdown is expected by the end of March.