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CBCD Requests Comments on 2024 Phosphorus Mitigation Project

About the Project

In 2024, the Columbia Basin Conservation District (CBCD) is planning to implement a $3.1 million pilot project to improve Moses Lake’s water quality. This project is anticipated to include phosphorus sequestration technology that would be utilized in the inflow area of Rocky Ford Creek to reduce external phosphorus loading by 2,000+ pounds per year, and the use of lanthanum-modified bentonite clay and other technologies in deeper areas of the Rocky Ford Arm to prevent the release of phosphorus and mitigate approximately 10,000 pounds of internal phosphorus loading. Sediment and water quality monitoring will be completed in Moses Lake to monitor the impacts of the project and to provide quantitative data to guide additional restoration in the future.

Rocky Ford Creek, Moses Lake Watershed

Environmental Considerations & Questions

As the funding agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is working with CBCD to assess the potential impacts of the proposed project to be implemented in 2024. At this time, CBCD does not anticipate environmental impacts from the proposed project. An environmental review has been conducted by the Washington State Department of Ecology (2017) on the proposed management practice: lanthanum-clay (Phoslock). The risk of lanthanum toxicity is negligible and the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration communication standard does not consider lanthanum-clay hazardous and lanthanum-clay is not listed on the EPA Toxic Substances Control Act inventory list.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the proposed project, please contact Kristina Ribellia, CBCD Executive Director by October 17, 2023 at or at (509) 765-9618.


Funding & Support for this Project

Thanks to Rep. Dan Newhouse, CBCD's District’s $3.1 million dollar Community Project Funding Request to help improve Moses Lake’s water quality was included in H.R. 8239, the FY2023 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. Following input from Rep. Newhouse’s Community Project Funding Advisory Board, Rep. Newhouse selected and championed this important project along with several other provisions in the bill. Funding for the project is being allocated through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to CBCD.

CBCD’s project request was submitted with support from the Grant County Commissioners, City of Moses Lake, Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce, Cascade Marina, and the Moses Lake Watershed Council. This tremendous local support was instrumental in Rep. Newhouse selecting and securing this huge win for the health of Moses Lake, our community, and our economy.

"The impact this funding and project will have on our local communities and economy is incredible. I am so excited to see the hard work being noticed, and this project finding its funding. We owe a large amount of appreciation to the conservation district and those who have been working on this for many years," said Grant County Commissioner Rob Jones.

Moses Lake is the heart of the 4th Congressional District and is part of the $364 million annual economic benefits generated by recreational boating in the district, supporting 1,209 jobs and 41 businesses. It is a significant asset of Grant County, which is the #1 fished county in Washington state.

Protecting and improving Moses Lake’s water quality and reducing occurrences of harmful algal blooms in Moses Lake has been a top priority for our community, elected officials, and legislators as evidenced by the volume of planning efforts, media coverage, and scientific data that has been produced over nearly 60 years, including the more recent formation and work of the Moses Lake Watershed Council.

“Achieving the goal of sustainable water quality for Moses Lake does not just happen, it requires the vision of citizens that see the value of the lake to their community and decades of work by dedicated professionals that share that vision,” said Harold Crose, chair of the Moses Lake Watershed Council. “Receiving this funding is a major step toward achieving that goal. We will continue our work on a comprehensive Lake Management Plan that will be the guiding document for sustainable water quality.”

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