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Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
Diana Cross
208-378-5020
Gerald Kelso
509-575-5848 ext. 202

Released On: December 29, 2006

Reclamation, Ecology Set Public Meetings on Storage Feasibility Study
The Bureau of Reclamation and the Washington Department of Ecology will host two open houses and public scoping meetings in Yakima, Wash. on the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study.

The two scoping meetings will be preceded by informal open houses and will be held at the Yakima Convention Center, 10 North 8th Street, on January 23, 2007.

Open Houses: 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.; and 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Scoping Meetings: 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.; and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The purpose of the Storage Study is to identify and evaluate alternatives that would create additional water storage for the Yakima River basin and assess their potential to supply the water needed for aquatic ecosystem habitat, dry-year irrigation by junior water rights holders, and future municipal needs.

A Notice of Intent to Prepare a Combined Planning Report and Environmental Impact Statement (PR/EIS) was published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2006.

The PR/EIS will be prepared jointly by Reclamation and Ecology and will satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

In addition to comments received at the scoping meeting, written comments will be accepted through January 31, 2007, and may be sent to: Bureau of Reclamation, attn: David Kaumheimer, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, WA 98901-2058, or fax: (509) 454-5650.

The meeting facilities are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired should be submitted to David Kaumheimer at (509) 575-5848, extension 232, by January 8, 2007.

For more information, visit the Storage Study website, http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/storage_study/index.html.

Questions and comments regarding the EIS process may be emailed to storagestudy@pn.usbr.gov.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.