Reclamation Seeks Public Comment on Draft Environmental Assessment for the Grand Coulee Third Powerplant Overhaul

Media Contact: Lynne Brougher, (509) 633-9503
John Redding, (208) 378-5212

For Release: October 02, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment on a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the proposed Third Powerplant Generating Units Overhaul Activities at Grand Coulee Dam located on the Columbia River about 90 miles west of Spokane, Wash.

The six generating units that comprise the Third Powerplant have been in service since the mid 1970s and are starting to have problems stemming from age-related wear on the principle components which have resulted in increased power outages and reduced reliability. The proposed overhaul will ensure continued operation and allow Reclamation to provide a reliable source of hydroelectric power.

The four proposed alternatives in the Draft EA include: No Action; Third Powerplant Overhaul, and construction of a separate material storage building; Third Powerplant Overhaul with expansion of Third Powerplant for storage, and Third Powerplant Overhaul with expansion of the powerplant and construction of a separate material storage building.

A Draft EA is available for review, with the comment period ending on October 20. The document is available online at and also at the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center located just downstream from Grand Coulee Dam.

Written comments can be sent to Jim Taylor, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 1150 North Curtis Road, Suite 100, Boise ID 83706-1234. He can be reached at (208) 378-5081 or

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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