News Release Archive

Draft EIS for Kachess and Keechelus Projects Released

Media Contact: Candace McKinley, (509) 575-5848 ext. 603
Derek Sandison, (509) 457-7120

For Release: January 09, 2015

YAKIMA, Wash - The Bureau of Reclamation and Washington State Department of Ecology have released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir-to-Kachess Reservoir Conveyance projects for public comment. The proposed projects are components of the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan.

The Draft EIS evaluates six alternatives:

  • Alternative 1 - No Action
  • Alternative 2A - KDRPP East Shore Pumping Plant
  • Alternative 2B - KDRPP South Pumping Plant
  • Alternative 3A - KKC North Tunnel Alignment
  • Alternative 3B - KKC South Tunnel Alignment
  • Alternative 4 - Combined KDRPP and KKC  

The purposes of these projects are to restore and enhance instream flows and aquatic habitat for fish; improve water supply reliability during drought years; improve the ability of water managers to respond and adapt to potential effects of climate change; and contribute to the vitality of the regional economy and riverine environment in the Yakima River basin.

The two projects will be evaluated separately and in combination, and bull trout enhancement is a component of all action alternatives. The Draft EIS satisfies National Environmental Policy Act and Washington State Environmental Policy Act requirements.

Questions or comments on the KDRPP/KKC Draft EIS will be accepted until March 10, 2015. Comments may be submitted to, by mail to the Bureau of Reclamation, Attn: Ms. Candace McKinley, Environmental Program Manager, at 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, WA, 98901; by telephone to (509) 575-5848, ext. 603; or by fax to (509) 454-5650. Hearing impaired citizens may dial 711 to obtain a toll free TTY relay.

Oral comments may be presented at one of two public meetings from 4 to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

Feb. 3, 2015
Hal Homes Center
209 N. Ruby Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Feb. 5, 2015
U.S. Forest Service
Cle Elum Ranger District
803 W. Second Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922

Reclamation and Ecology offices and local libraries will have copies available for viewing. Or, you may view online at: and

Additional information regarding the Integrated Plan may be found at

The public meeting facilities are physically accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for special assistance should be made by Jan. 16 to Ms. McKinley at the contact information above.

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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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