Public Meetings Planned for Minidoka Dam Spillway Replacement Draft EIS

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Allyn Meuleman, (208) 383-2258

For Release: December 07, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public review and comment on the Minidoka Dam Spillway Replacement Draft Environmental Impact Statement which outlines proposed alternatives to prevent structural failure of the existing spillway and headworks which are showing considerable signs of degradation.

Minidoka Dam, constructed in 1909, is located on the Snake River east of Rupert, Idaho.

Each public meeting will run from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the following locations:

- January 12: Red Lion Inn, 475 River Parkway, Idaho Falls, Idaho - January 13: Cotton Tree Inn, 1415 Bench Road, Pocatello, Idaho - January 14: Fairfield Inn, 230 West 7th Street North, Burley, Idaho

After 103 years of continued use, the 2,237-foot-long concrete spillway has reached the end of its functional lifespan. The concrete that forms the spillway crest and stoplog structure piers have suffered extensive deterioration at numerous locations. Additionally, previous ice damage to the overflow section of the spillway requires that the reservoir water levels be dropped each winter.

The headworks at the North Side Canal and South Side Canal also show serious concrete deterioration similar to the spillway conditions. The current conditions of the Minidoka Dam spillway and headworks present increasingly difficult reliability and maintenance problems.

Reclamation is also proposing to designate Special Use Areas at the project site which will define what public uses are allowed in close proximity to the dam, spillway, and other facilities.

Alternatives outlined in the Draft EIS include:

- Alternative A - No Action, required under the National Environmental Policy Act - Alternative B - Spillway and Headworks Replacement (preferred alternative) - Alternative C - Spillway Replacement

The designation of Special Use Areas is included in both Alternatives B and C.

The meeting facilities are accessible to people with disabilities. Please direct requests for sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired, or other auxiliary aids, to Allyn Meuleman at (208) 383-2258, as soon as possible prior to the meeting.

For more information, or a copy of the Draft EIS, contact Allyn Meuleman, Activity Manager, Snake River Area Office, 230 Collins Road, Boise ID 83702-4520 or call (208) 383-2258. A review copy of the Draft EIS will also be available at several public libraries in Idaho, and it is posted at:

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