Reclamation Issues Record of Decision for Minidoka Dam Spillway Replacement Final EIS

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

For Release: October 06, 2010

The Bureau of Reclamation has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) to select and implement the preferred alternative to replace the spillway and headworks related to the Minidoka Dam Spillway Replacement Project. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) outlines and evaluates alternatives considered to prevent structural failure of the existing spillway and headworks at Minidoka Dam, located on the Snake River east of Rupert, Idaho.

Three alternatives were considered in the Final EIS:

* Alternative A - No Action, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act

* Alternative B - Spillway and Headworks Replacement (Preferred Alternative)

* Alternative C - Spillway Replacement.

The action alternatives differed only in the replacement of the canal headworks.

The ROD describes the Preferred Alternative which includes the designation of Special Use Areas, the reasons for selecting this alternative, and the environmental commitments. The Preferred Alternative was identified as the most efficient and environmentally-sound option for replacing the spillway.

"We are one step closer to replacing the spillway and headworks at Minidoka Dam and moving forward with corrective actions to repair the deteriorating spillway," said Karl Wirkus, Reclamation Regional Director. "For 103 years, the Minidoka Dam and Spillway served the community well by delivering water and generating power for Minidoka and Cassia County irrigators. We're optimistic that with these repairs it will last another 100 years."

Minidoka Dam's 2,237-foot-long wood and concrete spillway has reached the end of its functional lifespan, as have the North Side Canal and South Side Canal headworks which show visible signs of deterioration. Current conditions of the spillway and headworks present increasingly difficult reliability and maintenance problems.

The ROD is available to the public. For additional information, or to request a copy of the ROD, please contact Ms. Allyn Meuleman, Activity Manager with the Bureau of Reclamation, Snake River Area Office at 230 Collins Road, Boise, ID 83702-7298, or at 208-383-2258. More information about the Minidoka EIS can be found at

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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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