News Release Archive

Reclamation Seeks Comments for Proposed Hungry Horse Power Plant Modernization

Media Contact: Lynne Brougher, (509) 633-9503,
Chris Vick, (208) 378-6547,

For Release: December 14, 2015

COLUMBIA FALLS, Montana– The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comments to identify issues and concerns to be addressed in an Environmental Assessment for a proposed Hungry Horse Power Plant (HHPP) Modernization, part of Hungry Horse Dam in northwest Montana.

The power plant’s four generating units include components that are operating far beyond their intended service life. The proposed modernization and overhaul project will alleviate safety-related concerns, potential limitations on plant operations, and increased risk to sustained long-term operation of the plant.

The Environmental Assessment will evaluate the impacts of each alternative on the human and natural environments and is expected to be published in summer of 2016. Reclamation proposes to evaluate the following alternatives:

Alternative A – No Action: Reclamation would continue operating the HHPP’s four generating units under the existing maintenance program with allowances for emergency repairs or replacements. Operations to generate electricity and regulate streamflows would continue according to existing protocols and agreements with the Bonneville Power Administration. Maintenance and repair costs, production outages, and time needed to obtain replacement parts would continue to increase based on the aging technology and the scarcity or unavailability of such parts.

Alternative B – Hungry Horse Power Plant Modernization: Reclamation would upgrade the power plant, overhaul and modernize the four generating units, conduct major maintenance on the penstocks and selective withdrawal system, refurbish the dam outlet works tubes and spillway, and upgrade the domestic water system.

To submit comments, or for additional information, contact Chris Vick, Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, 1150 Curtis Road, Suite 100, Boise, ID 83706, by January 31, 2016. Contact can also be made by emailing or by calling (208) 378-6547.

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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.