Bureau of Reclamation Banner
Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
John Redding
(208) 378-5212
David Kaumheimer
(509) 575-5848 ext. 232

Released On: January 25, 2008

Reclamation and Ecology to Release Yakima Basin Storage Study Draft Planning Report/EIS
The Bureau of Reclamation and the Washington State Department of Ecology have completed the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study Draft Planning Report/Environmental Impact Statement. It is being distributed to the public in anticipation of its formal filing with the US Environmental Protection Agency on January 29.

The purpose of the Storage Study is to develop and evaluate alternatives that could create additional water storage for the Yakima River basin and assess their potential to improve anadromous fish habitat, improve the reliability of the Yakima Project irrigation water supply during dry years, and provide water to meet future demand for municipal water supply.

The Draft PR/EIS identifies seven alternatives but does not identify a preferred alternative. The Draft PR/EIS includes the following alternatives: " No Action " Black Rock " Wymer Dam and Reservoir " Wymer Dam Plus Yakima River Pump Exchange " Enhanced Conservation " Market-Based Reallocation of Water Resources " Groundwater Storage "As Reclamation and Ecology move forward in this effort, we are committed to hearing the views of the public and looking for long-range solutions to future water storage needs in the Yakima basin," said Gerald Kelso, manager of Reclamation's Upper Columbia Area Office.

The public review and comment period is scheduled to run until March 31. Comments may be submitted orally, electronically, or by regular mail. Oral comments may be presented at one of four public hearings, each of which will be preceded by an open house. The open houses will be from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. followed by hearings from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the dates and locations listed below. February 27 Yakima Convention Center 10 North 8th Street Yakima WA 98901

February 28 Three Rivers Convention Center 7016 West Grandridge Blvd. Kennewick WA 99336 Questions about the Draft PR/EIS can be addressed to Mr. David Kaumheimer, Environmental Program Manager. Phone: (509) 575-5848 ext. 232; Fax: (509) 454-5650. TTY users may dial 711 to obtain a toll free TTY relay. Or Email: storagestudy@pn.usbr.gov.

Copies of the document have been mailed to parties who have requested one, as well as area Tribes and appropriate local, State, and Federal government agencies. In addition, Reclamation and Ecology offices, and local libraries will also have copies available for viewing. Copies of the report are available by phoning (509) 575-5848 ext. 612, or it can be viewed online at: www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/storage_study.

The public hearing facilities are physically accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for special assistance should be made by February 15 to Mr. David Kaumheimer at the contact information above.

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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.