Hearings scheduled for Sheridan 6 and GMD 4 LEMA plans

Public hearings will be conducted in western Kansas on July 26 and 27 to consider the proposed renewal of two Local Enhanced Management Area management plans in the region. The hearings will provide the opportunity for in-person oral statements, and written comments may be submitted prior to the hearings.

The Sheridan 6 LEMA hearing July 26, 2 p.m. at the Sheridan County Courthouse, 926 9th Street in Hoxie. The GMD 4 LEMA hearing will be July 27, 10 a.m. at the City Limits Convention Center, 2227 S. Range Avenue in Colby.

A LEMA is a tool that allows local groundwater management districts to set goals and corrective control measures to aid in water conservation. The Sheridan 6 LEMA was established in a designated area in Sheridan and Thomas counties in 2013 and extended in 2017. The GMD 4 LEMA was established in a designated area in Cheyenne, Decatur, Rawlins, Gove, Graham, Logan, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas, and Wallace counties in 2018. For both LEMAs, the plans for proposed renewal were previously submitted to the chief engineer by GMD No. 4 and were found to be acceptable for further consideration.

The chief engineer will serve as the presiding officer at both hearings and will consider the effectiveness of the current LEMA plans’ provisions in meeting those plans’ stated goals. The chief engineer will also consider whether conditions within the LEMA boundaries continue to warrant the designation of a LEMA and whether the corrective controls proposed by the LEMA plans are in the public interest and will ultimately determine whether the LEMA plans should be renewed as proposed.

Anyone may submit written or oral statements to be included in the record of the hearings. Oral comments will be accepted only in person at the public hearings. Written comments may be submitted at the public hearings or sent to KDA, labeled either “Sheridan 6 LEMA” or “GMD 4 LEMA,” or c/o Ronda Hutton; 1320 Research Park Drive, Manhattan, Kansas 66502, faxed to 785-564-6777, or emailed to [email protected]. Written comments will be accepted if delivered on or before Aug. 9 (Sheridan 6) or Aug. 10 (GMD 4).

More details about the hearings including a copy of the proposed plan and related documents are available online at www.agriculture.ks.gov/LEMA.