News Release Archive

Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Documents for the Third Hydroelectric Unit Project at Black Canyon Dam

Media Contact: Venetia Gempler, (208) 378-5020, vmgempler@usbr.gov
Vicki Hoffman, (208) 383-2266, vhoffman@usbr.gov

For Release: June 24, 2016

EMMETT, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared a Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the construction of a third hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam on the Payette River near Emmett, Idaho.

In October 2011, Reclamation completed an Environmental Assessment and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact. After geological testing was conducted in 2012 and 2013, Reclamation developed a new Environmental Assessment that evaluated additional environmental information. This 2016 document supersedes the 2011 Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact.

The Final Environmental Assessment analyzes a proposal to construct a 12.5 megawatt hydroelectric generating unit, which is expected to generate 105 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power about 9,500 homes. The power produced will be integrated into the power grid and serve 10 irrigation districts in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon, as well as the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

Along with the construction of a new powerplant, the Final Environmental Assessment also analyzes:

  • installation of a new penstock, intake structure, trash rake and trash racks;
  • replacement and relocation of the switchyard and powerlines to address personnel and equipment safety concerns;
  • replacement of the existing administration building which will be displaced by the new hydroelectric unit; and,
  • control upgrades for the two existing hydroelectric units.

Based upon the analysis of environmental impacts as described in the Final Environmental Assessment, Reclamation prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact selecting Alternative B, the Proposed Action, under which Reclamation will construct a 12.5 MW third hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam.

The Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact is available for download at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/blackcanyondam/. Request print copies or a CD-ROM version of the report by contacting Richard Jackson at (208) 383-2285 or email bcdd-comments@usbr.gov.

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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 https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/blackcanyondam/