The Final EIS includes responses to all comments received on the January 2003 Draft EIS, and revisions and additions to the analysis as a result of those comments.
The Final EIS examines the impacts of annually lowering the water surface elevation of Banks Lake in August from 1,565 feet to 1,560 feet.
Two alternatives are considered in the Final EIS; a No Action Alternative and an Action Alternative. The No Action Alternative describes the conditions that would occur without the proposed action, with the August water surface elevation between 1,570 feet, which is the full pool water surface elevation, and 1,565 feet.
The Action Alternative describes the resource conditions that would occur at Banks Lake with August water surface elevations between 1,570 feet and 1,560 feet. The Action Alternative resulted from the National Marine Fisheries Service’s December 2000 Biological Opinion, Action 31, which advised Reclamation to assess a 10-foot August drawdown of Banks Lake.
In the analysis, both alternatives included refill of the reservoir to water surface elevation 1,570 feet by September 22.
A 10-foot drawdown would result in adverse impacts to recreation, resident fish, vegetation, cultural resources, and the local economy around Banks Lake. There would also be adverse impacts to federal and non-federal power production.
A record of decision, completed in June 2004, identified the “No Action” alternative as the selected course of action on the Banks Lake Drawdown.