News Release Archive

Addendum to Environmental Assessment Calls for Public Comment Period at Grand Coulee Dam

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212,
James Taylor, (208) 378-5081,

For Release: January 06, 2012

The Bureau of Reclamation is notifying the public that an addendum to the Third Powerplant (TPP) Overhaul Environmental Assessment (EA) at Grand Coulee Dam will expand the opportunity for people to submit input related to public funding for schools and other issues.

Reclamation prepared an EA to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for a proposal to overhaul the TPP. The EA identified no significant impacts to relevant resources in the project area, resulting in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on April 28, 2010.

Since then it has been identified that the potential for impacts to the Grand Coulee Dam School District were not evaluated in the EA. This addendum to the EA and FONSI analyzes the effects of the proposed action on District enrollments to determine if indeed there are any significant impacts.

The comment period closes February 10, 2012.

All six generating units in Grand Coulee Dam's Third Power Plant will be overhauled. These generating units are more than 30 years old, installed in the mid-1970s. The mechanical parts of these units have never been replaced and are beginning to show wear, which reduces reliability and increases power outages.

The generators and turbines will be dismantled and inspected and components will subsequently be either refurbished or replaced and reassembled. Each unit will take approximately 17 months to replace as one unit at a time will be overhauled. Work on this project begins in March 2013. Grand Coulee Dam was completed in 1941, and today serves as a multi-purpose facility providing water for irrigation, recreation, fish and wildlife, hydroelectric power production, and flood control.

The EA addendum is posted on Reclamation’s website at . Copies are also available locally at the Grand Coulee Public Library, 225 Federal Ave.; and the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center on State Highway 155 near the Grand Coulee Dam.

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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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