The deadline was Friday, but the Interior Department hasnít
said a word about how its agencies have responded to the National
Academy of Sciences report about the 2001 water cutoff in the
Herald and News calls to the Interior Departmentís press aides
in Washington havenít been returned. Regional
press aides for the Interior Department and its agencies say they
canít talk about the reports, what they contained or what will be
made of them. They refer journalists to Interior Department
headquarters in Washington.
After the academy issued
its report saying the water cutoff wasnít supported by scientific
data, Interior Secretary Gale Norton asked two agencies she controls
for a response.
The agencies are the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. The responses were due on her desk within 10 days,
a period officials said would end Feb. 15. No press aides have been
able even to say whether the agencies met the deadline.
Dallas Boyd, Rep. Greg Waldenís press secretary, said Walden
thought the review was an
internal document that would not necessarily be made public.
However, Walden wanted to see the agenciesí response and had
asked if the report would be released after Norton had reviewed it.
As of the end of last week, Boyd said, the department hadnít