News Release Archive

Reclamation to Host Open House on Proposed Third Hydroelectric Generating Unit at Black Canyon Dam

Media Contact: Kelly Bridges, (208) 378-5101
Erika Lopez

For Release: February 23, 2016

EMMETT, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation will host an informational open house March 9 to inform the public of the status of the proposed construction of a third hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam on the Payette River, near Emmett, Idaho.

The open house will be held 6 – 8 p.m. at Kenneth J. Carberry Intermediate School, 1950 E. 12th St., Emmett, Idaho. Contact Erika Lopez at (208) 383-2254 by March 7 if you need sign language interpretation or other accessible accommodations.

People will be able to visit information stations where representatives will explain plans for the project as it moves forward. Topics at the information stations include:

• Project overview

• History of the Payette Division of the Boise Project

• National Environmental Policy Act process

• Fish, wildlife and water quality considerations

“We are very interested in meeting with members of the community to update them on the progress of the project,” said Roland Springer, Snake River Area Manager. “The open house format will allow people to converse directly with specialists covering a wide range of aspects related to the project.”

In October 2011, Reclamation completed an Environmental Assessment and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact. To incorporate new environmental information, Reclamation has prepared a revised Draft Environmental Assessment that supersedes the 2011 Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact.

The revised Draft Environmental Assessment, released Feb. 12, analyzes a proposal to construct a 12.5 megawatt hydroelectric generating unit. The proposed hydroelectric unit would generate 105 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power 9,500 homes. The power produced would be integrated into the power grid and serve 10 irrigation districts in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon as well as the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

The Draft Environmental Assessment analyzes potential environmental impacts of two alternatives, including a preferred alternative:

• Alternative A – No Action – Under the No Action alternative, a third hydroelectric generating unit or associated facilities would not be constructed.

• Alternative B – Proposed Action – Under Alternative B, Reclamation would construct a 12.5 MW third hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam.

You may download the Draft Environmental Assessment at:

Written comments will be accepted until March 14, 2016. The public is also invited to submit written comments during the open house; oral comments will not be recorded. For more information, please contact Richard Jackson, Natural Resource Specialist at (208) 383-2285.

Black Canyon Diversion Dam was constructed in 1924 as part of the Payette Division of the Boise Project. It is a multipurpose facility that provides water for irrigation, hydropower and recreation.

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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