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Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
Diana Cross
(208) 378-5020
Steve Dunn
(208) 383-2222

Released On: May 07, 2004

Reclamation Issues Final EA, FONSI for Lucky Peak Water Service Contracts
The Bureau of Reclamation has issued a Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for renewal or conversion of water service contracts that provide irrigation water stored in Lucky Peak Reservoir.

Out of a total reservoir storage capacity of approximately 293,000 acre-feet, approximately 71,000 acre-feet of water is allocated to the water service contracts currently held by 18 irrigation contractors. The original 40-year contracts signed between 1965 and 1968 are due to expire between 2005 and 2008.

Lucky Peak Reservoir is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir impounded by Lucky Peak Dam which was constructed in the late 1950s as a flood-control dam and reservoir on the Boise River, located six miles northeast of Boise, Idaho.

According to Federal Reclamation Law, and an agreement with the Corps, Reclamation has the authority to enter into irrigation contracts aimed at making some of the reservoir water available to qualifying entities for supplemental irrigation supplies.

Water Service Contracts: Water service contracts provide irrigation entities with the right to a quantity of water in exchange for payment of a percentage of applicable reservoir capital, operation, and maintenance costs. They expire after a specific time period, but may be renewed.

Repayment Contracts: Repayment contracts provide irrigation entities with the right to a quantity of water in exchange for payment of a percentage of applicable reservoir capital, operation, and maintenance costs. However, repayment contracts have a specific time period for repayment of project construction costs with no expiration date of the contract.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires Reclamation to evaluate the impacts of this proposed action on the human and natural environments. In December 2003, Reclamation issued a Draft Environmental Assessment that analyzed the environmental impacts of a Preferred Alternative, which would convert each contract to a permanent repayment contract for the currently contracted amount, a second action alternative which would convert each contract to a repayment contract, but for a lesser amount for some contractors based on highest annual delivery of stored water in past years, and a No Action alternative required by the National Environmental Policy Act which assumes the water service contracts would be continued under present terms.

Reclamation has chosen to implement the Preferred Alternative and has found that doing so would not have a significant impact on the human environment. Therefore an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Questions on the Final Environmental Assessment and FONSI should be directed to Ms. Diana Cross at (208) 378-5020. To obtain a copy of the documents contact Steve Dunn at (208) 383-2222 or by email at sdunn@pn.usbr.gov. The document is also available online at www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/lpcontract/index.html.

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