Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Draft Environmental Assessment Delayed

Engineers to Address Additional Concerns over De-Icing Fish Screens

Media Contact: John Redding , (208) 378-5212
Amy J Gaskill, USFWS, (503) 231-6874

For Release: December 23, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will delay issuing the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Intake Replacement Project.

Project engineers have identified the need for additional design modifications to better address de-icing of the fish screens before the Draft EA can be released for public review. Both federal partners are working together to respond to design questions so the environmental effects associated with any changes can be fully analyzed. The agencies currently anticipate this reanalysis will take two to three months to complete.

When the Draft EA is completed, it will be broadly released for public comment. For updates, please visit the project website at: http://www.fws.gov/leavenworth/.

"Although an EA does not require public comment, we will be seeking public input to ensure we have not overlooked important environmental aspects necessary to meet the water supply and fish passage needs at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery," said Bob Hamilton, Reclamation Activity Manager.

An Environmental Assessment determines whether or not a federal undertaking would significantly impact the environment. If it is determined that no such impacts exist, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) would then be issued. In the event that significant impacts are identified, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would be developed.

"These processes are important so the public can be kept fully informed about the project's environmental aspects and given ample opportunity to comment prior to a final decision," said Jana Grote, Fisheries Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region.

The Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery is located in Chelan County along Icicle Creek in central Washington. The Service and Reclamation are preparing to replace a 70-year-old water intake and delivery system at the Hatchery. The water intake and delivery system is deteriorating rapidly and is reaching the end of its design life. Rehabilitating the water intake system is important to secure a sound and reliable water delivery system compliant with environmental standards. It also contributes toward the goal of restoring Icicle Creek by providing improved fish passage and screening.

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Relevant Link:

Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery