National Park Service- Yellowstone Controlled Ground Water Area Long Term Monitoring

NOTICE OF INTENT TO AWARD This announcement is not a request for applications.

This announcement is to provide public notice of the National Park Service’s intention to award a task agreement under a previously competed or single source


justified master cooperative agreement.

ABSTRACT Funding Announcement Number NPSP17AC00334 Project Title National Park Service- Yellowstone Controlled Ground Water Area Long Term Monitoring Recipient Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Anticipated Federal Funding 122,877 Non-federal Cost Share Anticipated Period of Performance January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 Award Instrument Task Agreement Statutory Authority 54 U.S.C Sections 100301-100302 CFDA # and Title 1 5. 915 Technical Preservation Services Point of Contact Tina Holland, email:, Phone 307-344-2082 BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Cooperative Agreement Number P13AC00350 was entered into by and between the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, (NPS), and the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology for the purpose of considering together, at such places and at such interval as may be agreed upon by all parties hereto, and in accordance with Article IV of the Water Rights Compact, a program of water rights administration, enforcement, research, and monitoring related to the protection of the hydrothermal system within Yellowstone National Park.

The purpose of the Controlled Groundwater Area of the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact is the protection of Yellowstone National Park’s geothermal resource, primarily on the northern boundary of the park.

The involvement of Yellowstone National Park is critical to insure the protection of the park’s geothermal resource.

Data and interpretations will be discussed and shared on the status of the Yellowstone National Park geothermal system.

These data will include hydrology, temperatures, and geochemical analyses.

The State of Montana will discuss and share with Yellowstone National Park, the results of geothermal monitoring in the Controlled Groundwater Area.

Yellowstone National Park’s geothermal system does not stop at the park’s legal boundaries.

In an effort to protect the park’s world-unique geothermal system, the State of Montana has formed a Controlled Groundwater Area immediately adjacent to the park.

The purpose of the controlled groundwater area is to ensure that no thermal waters will be produced in the Controlled Groundwater Area that may impact the park’s geothermal resource.

Without this involvement from the State of Montana, geothermal resources in the northern portion of Yellowstone National Park would be at risk.

STATEMENT OF WORK Project Title - Yellowstone Controlled Ground Water Area Long-Term Monitoring Project Description - The public purpose of this agreement is the protection of Yellowstone National Park's world-unique hydrothermal system.

1) The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology agrees to:

Long-Term Monitoring Site Activities The long-term monitoring program is designed to phase in the monitoring of up to 35 wells and springs.

Currently MBMG is monitoring 34 sites, including 20 wells, 1 piezometer, and 13 springs.

Changes to the monitoring network may occur during the period of work due to changes in site access, or based on recommendation by the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, with concurrence of the Yellowstone Controlled Groundwater Area Technical Oversight Committee (TOC).

Monitoring activities planned for January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 include:
2) Continued water quantity (water level and flow) monitoring of the wells and springs in the monitoring network.

Each site will be visited a minimum of 3 times, generally in May, August, and November.

Sites with flumes and data loggers require up to monthly visits for data downloads and equipment maintenance.

3) Continued water quality monitoring of the wells and springs in the currently monitoring network.

Each long-term monitoring site will be sampled in August for major ions and trace elements.

4) Replacement of monitoring sites if site owners chose to opt out of the monitoring program, as need arises.

5) Addition of monitoring sites if appropriate.

6) Coordination of monitoring efforts with the MBMG Ground Water Assessment Program (GWAP) and the MBMG Groundwater Investigations Program (GWIP).

7) Inventory and sampling of wells installed within the YCGA since the MBMG well inventory was completed in 2000, as time and opportunity permit.

8) Replacing or updating monitoring equipment as needed.

9) Preparing an annual report on the Long-Term Monitoring Program.

Hydrogeologic Tracer Sampling and Geologic Mapping In addition to routine water quality sampling for major ions and trace elements, MBMG will sample selected wells and springs in the Gardiner Basin, Hebgen Basin, and Soda Butte Creek watershed for hydrogeologic tracers, potentially including, but not limited to 1) noble gases, 2) stable isotopes, and 3) radon.

The hydrologic tracer data will be collected to aid in understanding the recharge areas for the monitoring sites, the hydrogeologic framework around the sites, and potential hydrologic connections between thermal features in Yellowstone National Park and the long-term monitoring sites in the Yellowstone Controlled Groundwater Area.

To supplement the hydrologic tracer data, detailed geologic mapping may be conducted around some monitoring sites to aid in interpretation of the monitoring data.

Previous MBMG sampling for hydrogeologic traces focused on the select sites in the Mammoth Hot Springs area and the Yellowstone River valley between Gardiner and Corwin Springs.

The area between Gardiner and Corwin Springs coincides with the Corwin Springs Known Geothermal Resource Area (Corwin Springs KGRA) as designated by the USGS.

The Corwin Springs KGRA includes LaDuke Hot Springs, Bear Creek Hot Springs, and a geothermal monitoring well (a.k.a.

Miller Well).

These three sites are including in the long-term monitoring network.

Additional Sampling and Monitoring Activities as Needed MBMG will collect additional water quality samples and/or conduct additional monitoring activities within and around Yellowstone National Park upon request by the NPS.

A groundwater monitoring program continuing in an effort to determine the potential impact of groundwater development on Yellowstone National Park’s geothermal system.

The Park agrees to work with the MBMG to choose appropriate field sampling sites within the Park for sampling if needed.

NPS did not solicit full and open competition for this award based the following criteria:
The National Park Service awarded this task to the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology based on the following exception.

(4) Unique Qualifications – The applicant is uniquely qualified to perform the activity based upon a variety of demonstrable factors such as location, property ownership, voluntary support capacity, cost-sharing ability if applicable, technical expertise, or other such unique qualifications; The responsibilities described in this cooperative agreement for both the National Park Service and the State of Montana are specified in the United States Park Service - Montana Compact (Montana Code 85-20-401).

Only the State of Montana has the legal authority to establish, permit, and monitor water flows within Montana in a Controlled Groundwater Area.

The National Park Service, the State of Montana, and the Department of Justice on January 31, 1994, executed a Water Rights Compact describing reserved water rights of the United States for the geothermal system within Yellowstone National Park; and establishing the Yellowstone Controlled Groundwater Area with administrative and enforcement procedures, and with research and data collection activities, the objective of which are to allow no impact to the geothermal system within the reserved land of Yellowstone National Park; and, many of the said procedures and activities are beyond the scope of the ordinary water rights administration procedures and research activities conducted by the State of Montana and are unique to and essential for the protection of the hydrothermal system within Yellowstone National Park.

Section H.

2. b of the United States Park Service - Montana Compact states:
“The Bureau (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology) shall maintain an adequate database on the Yellowstone Controlled Groundwater Area (YCGWA) which shall include, at a minimum, analyses of water chemistry, temperature, well depth, well capacity, and well location.”
Related Programs

Technical Preservation Services

Department of the Interior

Agency: National Park Service


Estimated Funding: $122,877

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