Final EIS Highlights
On November 7, 2011, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for Over The River (OTR). The ROD gave Federal approval to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s original artistic vision to suspend 5.9 miles of fabric along a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River and marked the conclusion of the OTR Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. As part of the permitting process, the EIS contains a comprehensive analysis of the project’s potential impacts and benefits, as well as more than 100 mitigation measures that avoid or minimize the potential impacts related to the project.
We have compiled some of the highlights from the Final EIS and ROD, sorted by key areas of interest and concern. Here is what the BLM’s analysis showed:
- Traffic: “Overall, impacts to local businesses and commercial traffic as a result of traffic delays during installation and removal would be negligible to minor and short term due to the limited time frame of construction activities and the implemented traffic management measures.” (Chapter 4-132) Read More About Traffic
- Safety: “Local service providers, including emergency services, would be able to meet demands of both visitors and residents from the beginning of the installation period through the end of the removal period.” (Chapter 4-145) Read More About Safety
- Wildlife: The Final EIS identifies no “Significant Impacts” to any terrestrial, avian or aquatic wildlife as a result of Over The River when the identified mitigation measures are implemented. (Summary S-15, 16) Read More About Wildlife
- Socioeconomic Benefits: Total economic output generated by the project in Colorado would exceed $121 million (ROD pg. 2), including the creation of over 620 jobs, the majority of which will be designated to local residents. (Chapter 4-124, 125) Read More About Socioeconomic Benefits
- Installation and Removal Periods: “Overall, the quality of life for most residents would be unaffected by installation and removal activities. The influx of additional visitor spending and temporary increase in the incomes of local residents would be a benefit to the area.” (Chapter 4-134) Read More About Installation and Removal
- Cultural Significance: “The publicity surrounding (the project) would bring additional awareness to the arts community and to other artistic endeavors in Colorado and may result in increased interest and participation in the arts from a larger base of people in the future.” (Chapter 4-143, 144) Read More About Cultural Significance
Click here to download a printable fact sheet about Over The River mitigation measures described in the Final EIS. You can also download the Executive Summary of the Over The River Final EIS by clicking here, or you can download the full document on the BLM’s website (please note that the full document is over 1,600 pages long). You can also request a compact disc containing the file by calling the BLM office in Cañon City at (719) 269-8500.