Reclamation Preparing Environmental Assessment on Proposed Safety of Dams Modification to Stampede Dam

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100

For Release: December 17, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation is requesting public comments to be considered during the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed safety of dams modification to Stampede Dam located in Sierra County, California, about 11 miles northeast of Truckee, California. A draft environmental assessment is scheduled to be completed in early 2010.

Reclamation proposes to correct safety deficiencies identified by safety of dams studies at Stampede Dam to prevent potential loss of life, water storage, property damage, and other losses due to dam failure. The two proposed alternatives for the Draft EA are No Action and a Mechanically Stabilized Earth Raise. Under the No Action Alternative no Federal action would be taken.

With the mechanically stabilized earth raise alternative an over 11-foot-high wall would be constructed on the crest of the existing dam and dike, providing additional emergency storage to protect the dam during extreme flood events. The wall consists of two rows of concrete panels with compacted fill material between them. Reclamation would continue to operate the dam and reservoir according to current procedures under normal conditions.

Reclamation anticipates that there will be road closures during the construction and will inform the public of any road closures and alternative access routes ahead of time.

Completed in 1970, Stampede Dam is 239-feet high and has a crest length of 1,511 feet. The reservoir provides water primarily for fishery enhancement along the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake Fishway facilities operation. The dam is owned and operated by Reclamation and is part of the Washoe Project.

Reclamation is requesting public comments to help identify potential issues and concerns to be addressed in the Draft EA. Written comments should be sent by Wednesday, January 13, 2010, to Ms. Jane Schmidt, Bureau of Reclamation, 705 N. Plaza St., Room 320, Carson City, NV 89701, faxed to 775-882-7592, or e-mailed to For additional information, please contact Ms. Schmidt at 775-884-8372 (TDD 775-882-3436), or Mr. David Jones, Reclamation, at 916-978-5108 (TDD 916-978-5608), or e-mailed to

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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.