News Release Archive

Release of Draft EA for Palisades Dam Security Enhancement Project

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212, 01/26/2011 08:54
Robert ,

For Release: January 26, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public review and comment on the Palisades Dam Security Enhancement Project Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA), which documents the environmental effects of a proposal to correct security vulnerabilities related to motor vehicles traveling across the top of the dam. The dam is located on the upper end of the Snake River about 7 miles southeast of Irwin, Idaho.

Palisades Dam was constructed by Reclamation in 1957 as part of the Palisades Project. It is a multipurpose facility that provides for irrigation, flood control, hydropower, and recreation.

An in-depth security assessment of Reclamation facilities and a full-scale evaluation of potential vulnerabilities were completed in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Reclamation's Safety, Security, and Law Enforcement Office (SSLE) identified vulnerabilities at a number of Reclamation dams, including Palisades Dam. The studies determined that motor vehicles traveling across the crest of the dam posed a threat to security and public safety from an explosion which could compromise the dam's structural integrity.

The Alternatives outlined in the Draft EA are:

- Alternative A - No Action

- Alternative B - Widening the dam crest up-stream by 10-feet

- Alternative C - Raising the dam crest by 5-feet

- Alternative D - Constructing a bridge down-stream

- Alternative E - Placing a median on the dam crest

Depending on which alternative is decided upon, construction could begin in August 2011 and take about ten months to complete.

The deadline for comments is February 25, 2011. For more information, or a copy of the Draft EA, contact Robert "Hap" Boyer, Upper Snake Field Office, 1359 Hansen Avenue, Burley ID 83318-1821, or call (208) 678-0461 ext 15. A review copy of the Draft EA is also available online at

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. 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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